Basta, say the people. Enough. Take a beat. A pregnant pause, if you will. “Stop,” sing the hippies, “say what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going down.” Take care, says mama, slow down, be gentle, kind. Raise your voice and worship quietude. Listen, says mama earth, I mean, really listen. Listen with your whole being, with your toes. Listen so hard you forget to keep moving. Basta. Enough.
There are the symptoms and there is the illness. The symptoms are worsening—words of hate scribed on ancient rock art. A local echo of sentiments that seem to be amplifying all over the place like a fever. A feedback loop. Have you heard the feedback when the instrument gets too close to the amplifier? Step back. Zoom out. Slow down. Listen.
Yes, Moab seems a beacon for destructive energy at this moment in time. Revving, crushing, conquering. Are we that unique? What is the illness? Hate is born of fear. Of separation. Of loss. Rage is the whitecap and sorrow is the undertow. Hate is grief without outlet. The most primal of wails run up against a cold, unlistening dam.
To light a match is a neutral gesture. It is up to you whether to light the way or burn it to the ground.
Basta. Enough. What hurts you so? say the mamas of Moab. What is this illness that is causing the whole to attack its own self? Listen, say the mamas of Moab. Our children are wailing for us to keep the torch carefully raised high to light the path, not to burn down their future.
Basta. Begin again. There are no unsacred places, says Wendell. We must heal this illness. We must create and consecrate. There is heavy work ahead of us. Mamas understand heavy, relentless work that must be carried out with kindness, with presence. So listen to her. Follow the canyon to the images of ancient women giving birth and listen to what they have to say. Then listen to what the rock beneath has to say. Then what the creek below has to say. Listen hard. And then begin again.
Josie Kovash, Claire Core, Roslynn Brain McCann, Annie Thomas, Ariel Atkins, Caitlin Gilpatrick and Laurel Hagen