Saturday, July 2, 2011

Alice Walker on Chickens, Spiders, and the Human Species as a Test

From Alice Walker, The Chicken Chronicles: Sitting with the Angels Who Have Returned with My Memories: Glorious, Rufus, Gertrude Stein, Splendor, Hortensia, Agnes of God, the Gladyses & Babe: A Memoir (NY: New Press, 2011):

Sometimes Mommy wonders: Is the human species a test?  As much as she adores it, she can see it has no idea, generally speaking, where it is, or how to live here.

If Mommy could bring the Mommy spider back to life she would pick her up gently, if at arm's length, and place her outside on the grass, her and her babies.  But that particular spider is going, leaving SPIDER still here.  Just as when a human died, he or she is gone but HUMANITY remains.  Which means whatever is learned can be considered, absorbed, and in the future (or the present) put to use on whatever or whoever is left behind.

That is the prayer (p. 139).

Alice is writing to the Gladyses, Glorious, Rufus, Gertrude Stein, Agnes of God, etc., for whom she is Mommy, about the spider whom, along with her babies, she accidentally killed.

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