I produced this narrated slideshow on Teviston—one of California’s Black Okie Communities—for the Framing Migrant Labor exhibit at Santa Rosa Junior College’s Agrella Gallery. My photos of the Wilson family are part of an exhibit that features Matt Black’s work, along with photos by Otto Hagel and Morrie Camhi.
Ten years ago I struggled to live in the clear space
between hope and despair.
had crushed the Goddess of Freedom
in Tiananmen Square.
Now, just eleven days from the turning of the century,
I am filled with hope,
growing feelings of hope
that we are at a great divide.
I fear I’ve lost that clear space
where true actions flow like water.
But I’ve walked, at sunset and twilight,
the high desert land of San Cristóbal.
I’ve watched Julia Butterfly climb down
from the redwood she named Luna.
Only two years of her young life up there and
Maxxam bowed to her pure will.
I’ve breathed the perfume of tear gas and pepper spray
on the streets of Seattle
and I’ve gone home
to campuses and neighborhoods
organizing around the world,
calling my brothers and sisters
to the great task.
I walk the skies
the rivers and
I am the deserts and the forests.
No need for hope or despair.
I am this world
this clear space.
December 20, 1999