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Pre-2008 Posts

Revolution Making


Under a sky the color of pea soup
she is looking at her work growing away there
actively, thickly like grapevines or pole beans
as things grow in the real world, slowly enough.
If you tend them properly, if you mulch, if you water,
if you provide birds that eat insects a home and winter food,
if the sun shines and you pick off caterpillars,
if the praying mantis comes and the ladybugs and the bees,
then the plants flourish, but at their own internal clock.


Connections are made slowly, sometimes they grow underground.
You cannot tell always by looking what is happening.
More than half the tree is spread out in the soil under your feet.
Penetrate quietly as the earthworm that blows no trumpet.
Fight persistently as the creeper that brings down the tree.
Spread like the squash plant that overruns the garden.
Gnaw in the dark and use the sun to make sugar.

Weave real connections, create real nodes, build real houses.
Live a life you can endure: Make love that is loving.
Keep tangling and interweaving and taking more in,
a thicket and bramble wilderness to the outside but to us
interconnected with rabbit runs and burrows and lairs.

Live as if you liked yourself, and it may happen:
reach out, keep reaching out, keep bringing in.
This is how we are going to live for a long time: not always,
for every gardener knows that after the digging, after
the planting,
after the long season of tending and growth,

the harvest comes.

~ Marge Piercy, from Seven of Pentacles

This is the way  revolutions are made.  This is still the way we make revolution, if it is to be made.

We aren’t going to make it by going to the polls and voting for someone.  We aren’t going to make revolution by electing a woman or by having the Democrats in power in the United States.  Supporting Hillary Clinton isn’t revolution making and neither is supporting Obama or any of the other front-running candidates.

Revolution-making is not about “voting in” change.  It’s also not about imposing change top-down, because you have the power to.    Revolution is the natural, organic, sustainable consequence and result of connecting, weaving, building, creating, watching, tending, paying attention to the signs and the seasons, the rain and the sunshine.  It is inside out and begins with individuals.  It happens silently, mostly, and quietly, whether or not anyone is paying attention right then, whether or not anybody notices, because sure enough, the seeds which are planted and tended will sprout, the stalks will bud, the harvest will come, and when it does, everyone will see it and there is no way anyone will be able to stop it.

Heart (Photos are of my garden and me in the middle of it of a couple of years ago.  Anyone who wonders how to make revolution should garden.)



13 thoughts on “Revolution Making

  1. Anyone who wonders how to make revolution should garden

    I remember Starhawke’s The Fifth Sacred Thing where a turning point, a starting point, for revolution was when some urban grandmothers, finally too sick of the oceans of concrete and all that it represents to take it anymore, go out into the middle of the street with pickaxes and start hacking away at the pavement. Then they bring out soil and seeds and start gardening. Other people see this and join in, first individually, then in the dozens. Soon the whole community is literally, viscerally, hacking away at the unnatural, oppressive, capitalistic way of our lives, growing revolution.

    So yes to that, symbolically, viscerally, and also practically.

    Also, hi! 😀

    Also, I hope your family emergency isn’t too severe and is being speedily and wonderfully resolved with everyone feeling great afterwards! *worries* (((Hugs))) and best wishes to the Amazon Tribe of Heart

    Posted by Cinder | February 26, 2008, 8:48 pm
  2. i love your garden! 🙂 it’s one of my goals to one day have enough land to have a big garden. i can have a teeny house, but i want a lot of land that isn’t landscaped or concreted. when i think about how the world might look, with all the building and earth-suffocating, the only thing that makes me feel better is growing plants.

    Posted by avril joy | February 26, 2008, 9:20 pm
  3. Hey, Cinder! You can read about my family issue in the other place. Good to read you. 🙂

    Hey, avril joy. 🙂 I first grew gardens in pots and inside my apartments. Wherever we are, we can grow something.

    Posted by womensspace | February 26, 2008, 9:26 pm
  4. Wow, Heart. Great minds! I was moved to write a similar post yesterday. It is the citizenry that is charged with making our country and the world better, not Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama or (shudder) John McCain. It is all of us that need to cultivate the harvest we want.

    Also, I am so jealous of your garden. My husband and I planted our first garden last year, and we were pretty pleased with ourselves, but our little plot is nothing compared to what you have going. Some critter got to my corn before I even got a chance to taste an ear.

    Posted by Tami | February 26, 2008, 10:28 pm
  5. Great minds indeed, Tami, ha! 😀

    You know, the garden in that picture really was a significant harvest for me– it represented my whole lifetime of painfully, trial-and-error, learning to be a gardener. Of course, every year you get better, but it takes years to really improve, seems like, because you have to wait til next year to try again using the new information you learned last year(unless you live somewhere where you can garden year ’round.) Anyway, it was like everything came together for me in that garden, including the weather. Then again, I spent ALL that summer in the garden, every day after work, I went straight out there.

    I doubt I will have a garden that size again until I retire maybe! I’m going to scale way down this year. But I love to garden and always like to meet other gardeners!

    Posted by womensspace | February 27, 2008, 3:09 am
  6. Oh but its so hard to scale down!! i have gardened all my life..a skill and love inherited from my mother. And i love tilling and smelling the earth so i just till and till and till..then i love the little seeds so i just plant and plant and plant and i just cant stop until i have this huge garden!!
    Sorta like i have cooked for 10 people for years and cooking for 2 baffles me!!!

    Nice garden green goddess….and i just tilled last week here and waiting for the time to plant!!!

    Posted by moon goddess | February 27, 2008, 5:14 am
  7. Hey, moon goddess! I feel your pain re trying to scale down from cooking for 10 to cooking for a normal-size family! :/ I still can’t get over the way it feels to buy cereal and have it still be there after a week, or to buy cookies and they aren’t gone in a day, or to have so many leftovers I need to divide them up into ziploc bags and freeze them! The kids always make fun of me for not being quite able to grasp that I no longer have a huge tribe at home.

    We’ve had such gorgeous weather here and I have been tempted to get out there and start digging and planting, but I know it isn’t really safe to for a while, we will probably have at least a couple more hard frosts. Sure feels good though to have sun and feel the days getting longer. 🙂

    Posted by womensspace | February 27, 2008, 11:21 am
  8. That’s why Mother Nature gave us sweet peas. I’ve planted about three seed packets so far and just bought some more for early March planting.

    Posted by Sam | February 27, 2008, 9:56 pm
  9. Those photos, and the post, really lifted my spirits. Thanks.

    Posted by Ann Bartow | February 27, 2008, 10:46 pm
  10. So true, Sam! I just bought some sweet peas, too. 🙂 The smell takes me straight to my mom’s and grandmothers’ gardens.

    Ann, I’m glad! I hope you’re all right. I think this time of year is always kind of tough.

    Posted by womensspace | February 28, 2008, 3:58 am
  11. It’s a return to the way indigenous people lived here in the Americas. It makes the most sense. If you can sustain yourself and your family and cut the ties to corporations and polluters (same thing…sorry…redundant) you’ve got to do it by living WITH the planet.

    Posted by damianmann | February 28, 2008, 6:08 am
  12. That’s a very encouraging post Heart.

    “It’s [Revolution] also not about imposing change top-down, because you have the power to. ”

    What a great reminder in this election season, thank you 🙂

    Posted by Arietty | February 28, 2008, 1:10 pm
  13. Gorgeous garden!!!

    Posted by profacero | March 1, 2008, 5:16 am

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