The Wednesday Word: 25 August 2021

Last week Stefanie Hollmichel posted this lovely observation on our nurturing planet.

I think when we feel loved and nurtured, we in turn find it easier to love and nurture in return. Maybe part of our troubles come from not believing in the love and nurturing abundance of our Mother Earth. We has so abused her that the majority of humans can no longer believe she can still love and nurture us. We are like children yelling “I hate you!” at our mother (as children will do when they can’t have everything they want) and then cowering in terror that Mom will be so angry that she will stop loving us. Mother Earth has never stopped loving us. She continues to give and give and nurture us as best she can in spite of everything. If only we could grow up enough to see it, understand it, and accept her love.

I know many people take umbrage at assigning gender to Earth. But… well, this is my blog. And I feel that this amazing home of humanity is very much like a tender and caring mother to me. I’m glad to know others still feel the same way!

Wednesday Word

for 25 August 2021

stew

You can respond in the comments below or make a Twitter post to the Wednesday Word. Either way, begin your response with #stew. Your response can be anything made from words. I love poetry, but anything can be poetic and you needn’t even be limited to poetics. An observation, a story, a thought. Might even be an image — however, I am not a visual person, so it has to work harder to convey meaning. In the spirit of word prompts, it’s best if you use the word; but I’m not even a stickler about that. Especially if you can convey the meaning without ever touching the word.

If responding in Twitter, you are limited to the forms of Twitter. I would prefer that there be no threads because that is difficult. So if you have something long, post it in the comments below. That said, please don’t go too long. Keep it under 2000 words. I’m not going to count, but I’m also not promising to read a novel. Unless it’s really good!

If I receive something particularly impressive, I’ll post it next week. If not, well, that’s fine too. I know you all are busy. But if you’ve read this far, then I’ve made you think about… stew.

This morning’s post from How to Save the World coincided with thoughts that had already been stewing in my head. I scheduled the ideas for this post in my writing calendar back in July and began writing it last week. So it was eerily synchronous to read this in Pollard’s essay:

Welcoming and including refugees is fraught with dangers. There is the whole philosophical and ideological issue of ‘integration’ — to what extent refugees are expected to quickly adopt the language, customs and behaviours of ‘natives’, versus their right to continue to exercise, protect and celebrate their own cultures. Often more work has to be done with the native population, to deal with their unease, suspicions and fears, than with the refugees themselves.

I do not believe that people should give up their culture when moving to a new land. I think we need common language, but that communication tool could be nothing more than the pidgins we always have used to facilitate trade between peoples. I believe we need public spaces that are culturally neutral so that there is no favoritism, but a wealth of private and semi-private spaces that preserve and nurture heterogeneity. And I think we all need to do a better job of not only tolerating, but celebrating difference. We have always carried things with us on our peregrinations. These things, our cultural tools and wisdoms, are how this wandering species called humanity creates home.

A symphony is beautiful because it combines distinction harmoniously. A forest is beautiful because millions of disparate life-forms are bound together in complex balance — not homogeneity. This should be our guide.

In my country, we have developed a stew-pot of cultures, living side by side in various states of tension and cohesion, but never assimilating. We are beautiful — like a symphony or a forest — only when we allow our differences to flourish. We are successful and enduring only because we have all these cultural tools and wisdoms to draw upon. This is the vibrancy in America. Without those differences we’d be bland, boring and very likely reduced to an ugly, imposed — and therefore false — white bread mediocrity. A system without difference is a dead thing. Is a no thing. Is wrong.

I do not believe in melting pots. I believe in stew. It is altogether more satisfying.


the stew pot

i am a variegated being
a body more than me-ing
with sugared dreams
ambivalent betweens
and laughing dancing passions

in this bubbling jumbling stew
there is not me nor you
but swirling whirling essence
twirling coalescence
in endless twined attraction

boundless eras in these veins
but one ancient seed remains
keenly growing
greenly knowing
gently showing
the hope each bonding fashions

©Elizabeth Anker 2021


1 thought on “The Wednesday Word: 25 August 2021”

  1. Thank you!

    I love stew! I love how you can taste the individual bits of a good stew but also the flavors blend together to make a whole that is richer and more nourishing than the individual. And now I am hungry 🙂

    Love your stew poem, especially the rhythm and the rhyme.

    Liked by 1 person

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