PARABLE OF THE SOWER OCTAVIA BUTLER PDF
myavr.info Beautiful Boy. Octavia Butler - Wild myavr.info Parable of the Sower - Octavia E. Butler - Simon Technology. Parable of the Sowerby Octavia Butler The odyssey of one woman who is twice as feeling in a world that has become doub. Y F T ra n sf o A B B Y Y.c bu to re he C lic k he k lic C w. om w w w w rm y ABB PD re to Y Butler, Octavia - Amnesty · Butler, Octavia E - Amnesty.
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?arable of the Sower () is Octavia Butler's apocalyptic vision of America and American Parable of the Sower (London: The Women's Press. ), This books (Parable of the Sower [PDF]) Made by Octavia E. Butler About Books none To Download Please Click. Octavia Taught Me/12 Things There have been multiple essays and explorations on and around Octavia Butler's iconic award winning sci-fi two part series.
There's a real limit to what I can do as far as sex goes. Anyway, my neurotransmitters are scrambled and they're going to stay scrambled. But I can do okay as long as other people don't know about me. Inside our neighborhood walls I do fine.
Our rides today, though, were hell. Going and coming, they were all the worst things I've ever felt-- shadows and ghosts, twists and jabs of unexpected pain.
If I don't look too long at old injuries, they don't hurt me too much. There was a naked little boy whose skin was a mass of big red sores; a man with a huge scab over the stump where his right hand used to be; a little girl, naked, maybe seven years old with blood running down her bare thighs. A woman with a swollen, bloody, beaten face. I must have seemed jumpy.
I glanced around like a bird, not letting my gaze rest on anyone longer than it took me to see that they weren't coming in my direction or aiming anything at me. Dad may have read something of what I was feeling in my expression. I try not to let my face show anything, but he's good at reading me. Sometimes people say I look grim or angry. Better to have them think that than know the truth. Better to have them think anything than let them know just how easy it is to hurt me.
Dad had insisted on fresh, clean, potable water for the baptism. He couldn't afford it, of course. Who could? The other kids' parents had helped with costs. They thought a proper baptism was important enough to spend some money and take some risks. I was the oldest by about two months. Curtis was next. As much as I hated being there, I hated even more that Curtis was there.
I care about him more than I want to. I care what he thinks of me. I worry that I'll fall apart in public some day and he'll see. But not today. By the time we reached the fortress-church, my jaw-muscles hurt from clinching and unclinching my teeth, and overall, I was exhausted. There were only five or six dozen people at the service -- enough to fill up our front rooms at home and look like a big crowd. At the church, though, with its surrounding wall and its security bars and Lazor wire and its huge hollowness inside, and its armed guards, the crowd seemed a tiny scattering of people.
That was all right. The last thing I wanted was a big audience to maybe trip me up with pain. The baptism went just as planned. They sent us kids off to the bathrooms "men's," "women's," "please do not put paper of any kind into toilets," "water for washing in bucket at left. When we were ready, Curtis's father took us to an anteroom where we could hear the preaching-- from the first chapter of Saint John and the second chapter of The Acts-- and wait our turns.
My turn came last. I assume that was my father's idea. First the neighbor kids, then my brothers, then me. For reasons that don't make a lot of sense to me, Dad thinks I need more humility. I think my particular biological humility-- or humiliation-- is more than enough. What the hell? Someone had to be last. I just wish I could have been courageous enough to skip the thing altogether.
I wish Baptists did. I almost wish I could believe it was important the way a lot of people seem to, the way my father seems to. Failing that, I wish I didn't care. But I do. The idea of God is much on my mind these days. I've been paying attention to what other people believe-- whether they believe, and if so what kind of God they believe in.
Keith says God is just the adults' way of trying to scare you into doing what they want. He doesn't say that around Dad, but he says it. He believes in what he sees, and no matter what's in front of him, he doesn't see much. I suppose Dad would say that about me if he knew what I believe. Maybe he'd be right. But it wouldn't stop me from seeing what I see. A lot of people seem to believe in a big-daddy-God or a big-cop-God or a big-king-God.
They believe in a kind of super-person. A few believe God is another word for nature. And nature turns out to mean just about anything they happen not to understand or feel in control of. Some say God is a spirit, a force, an ultimate reality. Ask seven people what all of that means and you'll get seven different answers. So what is God? Just another name for whatever makes you feel special and protected? There's a big, early-season storm blowing itself out in the Gulf of Mexico.
It's bounced around the Gulf, killing people from Florida to Texas and down into Mexico. There are over known dead so far. One hurricane. And how many people has it hurt? How many are going to starve later because of destroyed crops? That's nature. Is it God? Most of the dead are the street poor who have nowhere to go and who don't hear the warnings until it's too late for their feet to take them to safety.
Where's safety for them, anyway? Is it a sin against God to be poor? We're almost poor ourselves. There are fewer and fewer jobs among us, more of us being born, more kids growing up with nothing to look forward to. One way or another, we'll all be poor some day. The adults say things will get better, but they never have.
How will God-- my father's God-- behave toward us when we're poor? Is there a God? If there is, does he she? Deists like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson believed God was something that made us, then left us on our own.
People have had faith through horrible disasters before. I read a lot about that kind of thing. I read a lot period. My favorite book of the Bible is Job. I think it says more about my father's God in particular and gods in general than anything else I've ever read. In the book of Job, God says he made everything and he knows everything so no one has any right to question what he does with any of it.
That works. That Old Testament God doesn't violate the way things are now. But that God sounds a lot like Zeus-- a super-powerful man, playing with his toys the way my youngest brothers play with toy soldiers.
Bang, bang! Seven toys fall dead. If they're yours, you make the rules. Who cares what the toys think. Wipe out a toy's family, then give it a brand new family. Toy children, like Job's children, are interchangeable.
Maybe God is a kind of big kid, playing with his toys. If he is, what difference does it make if people get killed in a hurricane-- or if seven kids go to church and get dipped in a big tank of expensive water? But what if all that is wrong? What if God is something else altogether? We perceive and attend God.
We learn from God. With forethought and work, We shape God. In the end, we yield to God. Something went wrong with her protective suit and the rest of her team couldn't get her back to the shelter in time to save her. People here in the neighborhood are saying she had no business going to Mars, anyway. All that money wasted on another crazy space trip when so many people here on earth can't afford water, food, or shelter.
The cost of water has gone up again. And I heard on the news today that more water peddlers are being killed. Peddlers sell water to squatters and the street poor-- and to people who've managed to hold on to their homes, but not to pay their utility bills. Peddlers are being found with their throats cut and their money and their handtrucks stolen.
Dad says water now costs several times as much as gasoline. But, except for arsonists and the rich, most people have given up buying gasoline. No one I know uses a gaspowered car, truck, or cycle. Vehicles like that are rusting in driveways and being cannibalized for metal and plastic.
It's a lot harder to give up water. Fashion helps. You're supposed to be dirty now. If you're clean, you make a target of yourself. People think you're showing off, trying to be better than they are. Among the younger kids, being clean is a great way to start a fight. Cory won't let us stay dirty here in the neighborhood, but we all have filthy clothes to wear outside the walls.
Even inside, my brothers throw dirt on themselves as soon as they get away from the house. It's better than getting beaten up all the time. Tonight the last big Window Wall television in the neighborhood went dark for good. We saw the dead astronaut with all of red, rocky Mars around her. We saw a dust-dry reservoir and three dead water peddlers with their dirty-blue armbands and their heads cut halfway off.
And we saw whole blocks of boarded up buildings burning in Los Angeles. Of course, no one would waste water trying to put such fires out. Then the Window went dark. The sound had flickered up and down for months, but the picture was always as promised-- like looking through a vast, open window. The Yannis family has made a business of having people in to look through their Window. Dad says that kind of unlicensed business isn't legal, but he let us go to watch sometimes because he didn't see any harm in it, and it helped the Yannises.
A lot of small businesses are illegal, even though they don't hurt anyone, and they keep a household or two alive. The Yannis Window is about as old as I am.
It covers the long west wall of their living room. They must have had plenty of money back when they bought it. For the past couple of years, though, they've been charging admission-- only letting in people from the neighborhood-- and selling fruit, fruit juice, acorn bread, or walnuts.
Whatever they had too much of in their garden, they found a way to sell. They showed movies from their library and let us watch news and whatever else was broadcast. They couldn't afford to subscribe to any of the new multisensory stuff, and their old Window couldn't have received most of it, anyway. They had no reality vests, no touch-rings, and no headsets. Their setup was just a plain, thin-screened Window. All we have left now are three small, ancient, murky little TV sets scattered around the neighborhood, a couple of computers used for work, and radios.
Every household still has at least one working radio. A lot of our everyday news is from radio. I wonder what Mrs. Yannis will do now. Her two sisters have moved in with her, and they're working so maybe it will be all right.
One is a pharmacist and the other is a nurse. They don't earn much, but Mrs. Yannis owns the house free and clear. It was her parents' house. All three sisters are widows and between them they have twelve kids, all younger than I am. Two years ago, Mr. Yannis, a dentist, was killed while riding his electric cycle home from the walled, guarded clinic where he worked. Yannis says he was caught in a crossfire, hit from two directions, then shot once more at close range.
His bike was stolen. The police investigated, collected their fee, and couldn't find a thing. People get killed like that all the time. Unless it happens in front of a police station, there are never any witnesses. She wanted to be buried on Mars. She said that when she realized she was dying. She said Mars was the one thing she had wanted all her life, and now she would be part of it forever. But the Secretary of Astronautics says no.
He says her body might be a contaminant. Can he believe that any microorganism living in or on her body would have a prayer of surviving and going native in that cold, thin, lethal ghost of an atmosphere? Maybe he can. Secretaries of Astronautics don't have to know much about science.
They have to know about politics. Theirs is the youngest Cabinet department, and already it's fighting for its life. Christopher Morpeth Donner, one of the men running for President this year, has promised to abolish it if he's elected.
My father agrees with Donner. I believe that. As far as I'm concerned, space exploration and colonization are among the few things left over from the last century that can help us more than they hurt us. It's hard to get anyone to see that, though, when there's so much suffering going on just outside our walls.
Dad just looks at me and shakes his head. He's the only person I know who's going to vote at all. Most people have given up on politicians. After all, politicians have been promising to return us to the glory, wealth, and order of the twentieth century every since I can remember. That's what the space program is about these days, at least for politicians.
Hey, we can run a space station, a station on the moon, and soon, a colony on Mars. That proves we're still a great, forward-looking, powerful nation, right? Well, we're barely a nation at all anymore, but I'm glad we're still in space.
We have to be going some place other than down the toilet. And I'm sorry that astronaut will be brought back from her own chosen heaven. Her name was Alicia Catalina Godinez Leal. She was a chemist. I intend to remember her. I think she can be a kind of model for me. She spent her life heading for Mars-preparing herself, becoming an astronaut, getting on a Mars crew, going to Mars, beginning to figure out how to terraform Mars, beginning to create sheltered places where people can live and work now.
Mars is a rock-- cold, empty, almost airless, dead. Yet it's heaven in a way. We can see it in the night sky, a whole other world, but too nearby, too close within the reach of the people who've made such a hell of life here on Earth. Sims shot herself today-- or rather, she shot herself a few days ago, and Cory and Dad found her today.
Cory went a little crazy for a while afterward. Poor, sanctimonious, old Mrs. She used to sit in our front-room church every Sunday, large-print Bible in hand, and shout out her responses: "Yes, Lord! She was the only person I've ever known who lived alone. She had a whole big house to herself because she and the wife of her only son hated each other. Her son and his family were poor, but they wouldn't live with her. Too bad. Different people frightened her in some deep, hard, ugly way.
She didn't like the Hsu family because they were Chinese and Hispanic, and the older Chinese generation is still Buddhist. She's lived a couple of doors up from them for longer than I've been alive, but they were still from Saturn as far as she was concerned. At least she cared enough about neighborly relations to do her talking about them behind their backs. They brought her peaches and figs and a length of good cotton cloth last month when she was robbed. That robbery was Mrs. Sims's first major tragedy.
Three men climbed over the neighborhood wall, cutting through the strands of barbed wire and Lazor wire on top. Lazor wire is terrible stuff. It's so fine and sharp that it slices into the wings or feet of birds who either don't see it or see it and try to settle on it. People, though, can always find a way over, under, or through. Everyone brought Mrs. Sims things after the robbery, in spite of the way she is. Food, clothing, money. We took up collections for her at church.
The thieves had tied her up and left her-after one of them raped her. An old lady like that! They grabbed all her food, her jewelry that had once belonged to her mother, her clothes, and worst of all, her supply of cash. It turns out she kept that-- all of it-- in a blue plastic mixing bowl high up in her kitchen cabinet. Poor, crazy old lady. She came to my father, crying and carrying on after the robbery because now she couldn't buy the extra food she needed to supplement what she grew.
She couldn't pay her utility bills or her upcoming property taxes. She would be thrown out of her house into the street! She would starve! Dad told her over and over that the church would never let that happen, but she didn't believe him. She talked on and on about having to be a beggar now, while Dad and Cory tried to reassure her. The funny thing is, she didn't like us either because Dad had gone and married "that Mexican woman Cory-ah-zan.
Most people just call her Cory or Mrs. Cory never let on that she was offended. She and Mrs. Sims were sugary sweet to one another.
Parable of the Talents
A little more hypocrisy to keep the peace. Last week Mrs. Sims's son, his five kids, his wife, her brother, and her brother's three kids all died in a house fire-- an arson fire.
The son's house had been in an unwalled area north and east of us, closer to the foothills. It wasn't a bad area, but it was poor. One night someone torched the house. Maybe it was a vengeance fire set by some enemy of a family member or maybe some crazy just set it for fun. I've heard there's a new illegal drug that makes people want to set fires.
No one saw anything, of course. And no one got out of the house. Odd, that. Eleven people, and no one got out. So about three days ago, Mrs.
Sims shot herself. Dad said he'd heard from the cops that it was about three days ago. That would have been just two days after she heard about her son's death. Dad went to see her this morning because she missed church yesterday.
Cory forced herself to go along because she thought she should. I wish she hadn't. To me, dead bodies are disgusting. They stink, and if they're old enough, there are maggots. But what the hell? They're dead. They aren't suffering, and if you didn't like them when they were alive, why get so upset about their being dead? Cory gets upset. She jumps on me for sharing pain with the living, but she tries to share it with the dead.
I began writing this about Mrs. Sims because she killed herself. That's what's upset me. She believed, like Dad, that if you kill yourself, you go to hell and burn forever. She believed in a literal acceptance of everything in the Bible.
Yet, when things got to be too much for her, she decided to trade pain now for eternal pain in the hereafter. How could she do that? Did she really believe in anything at all? Was it all hypocrisy? Or maybe she just went crazy because her God was demanding too much of her.
She was no Job. In real life, how many people are? Sims out of my mind. Somehow, she and her suicide have gotten tangled up with the astronaut and her death and her expulsion from heaven. I need to write about what I believe. I need to begin to put together the scattered verses that I've been writing about God since I was twelve. Most of them aren't much good. They say what I need to say, but they don't say it very well.
A few are the way they should be. They press on me, too, like the two deaths. I try to hide in all the work there is to do here for the household, for my father's church, and for the school Cory keeps to teach the neighborhood kids. The truth is, I don't care about any of those things, but they keep me busy and make me tired, and most of the time, I sleep without dreaming. And Dad beams when people tell him how smart and industrious I am.
I love him. He's the best person I know, and I care what he thinks. I wish I didn't, but I do. For whatever it's worth, here's what I believe. It took me a lot of time to understand it, then a lot more time with a dictionary and a thesaurus to say it just right-just the way it has to be.
In the past year, it's gone through twenty-five or thirty lumpy, incoherent rewrites. This is the right one, the true one. God exists to be shaped. God is Change. This is the literal truth. God can't be resisted or stopped, but can be shaped and focused. This means God is not to be prayed to. Prayers only help the person doing the praying, and then, only if they strengthen and focus that person's resolve.
If they're used that way, they can help us in our only real relationship with God. They help us to shape God and to accept and work with the shapes that God imposes on us. God is power, and in the end, God prevails. But we can rig the game in our own favor if we understand that God exists to be shaped, and will be shaped, with or without our forethought, with or without our intent. That's what I know. That's some of it anyway. I'm not like Mrs. I'm not some kind of potential Job, long suffering, stiff necked, then, at last, either humble before an all-knowing almighty, or destroyed.
My God doesn't love me or hate me or watch over me or know me at all, and I feel no love for or loyalty to my God. My God just is.
Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
Maybe I'll be more like Alicia Leal, the astronaut. Like her, I believe in something that I think my dying, denying, backward-looking people need. I don't have all of it yet. I don't even know how to pass on what I do have. I've got to learn to do that. It scares me how many things I've got to learn. How will I learn them?
Is any of this real? Dangerous question. Sometimes I don't know the answer. I doubt myself. I doubt what I think I know.
I try to forget about it. After all, if it's real, why doesn't anyone else know about it. Everyone knows that change is inevitable. From the second law of thermodynamics to Darwinian evolution, from Buddhism's insistence that nothing is permanent and all suffering results from our delusions of permanence to the third chapter of Ecclesiastes "To everything there is a season.
But I don't believe we're dealing with all that that means. We haven't even begun to deal with it. We give lip service to acceptance, as though acceptance were enough. Then we go on to create super-people-- super-parents, super-kings and queens, super-cops-- to be our gods and to look after us-- to stand between us and God.
Yet God has been here all along, shaping us and being shaped by us in no particular way or in too many ways at once like an amoeba-- or like a cancer. Even so, why can't I do what others have done-ignore the obvious. Live a normal life. It's hard enough just to do that in this world.
But this thing This idea? New religion? Maybe it's like my sharing: One more weirdness; one more crazy, deep-rooted delusion that I'm stuck with. I am stuck with it. And in time, I'll have to do something about it. In spite of what my father will say or do to me, in spite of the poisonous rottenness outside the wall where I might be exiled, I'll have to do something about it.
That reality scares me to death. So what are we in for?
Find a copy in the library
Donner has already said that as soon as possible after his inauguration next year, he'll begin to dismantle the "wasteful, pointless, unnecessary" moon and Mars programs. Near space programs dealing with communications and experimentation will be privatized-- sold off. Also, Donner has a plan for putting people back to work. He hopes to get laws changed, suspend "overly restrictive" minimum wage, environmental, and worker protection laws for those employers willing to take on homeless employees and provide them with training and adequate room and board.
What's adequate, I wonder: A house or apartment? A room? A bed in a shared room? A barracks bed? Space on a floor? Space on the ground? And what about people with big families? Won't they be seen as bad investments? Won't it make much more sense for companies to hire single people, childless couples, or, at most, people with only one or two kids?
I wonder. And what about those suspended laws? Will it be legal to poison, mutilate, or infect people-- as long as you provide them with food, water, and space to die? Dad decided not to vote for Donner after all. He didn't vote for anyone. He said politicians turned his stomach. Adaptations that an intelligent species may make in a singe generation, other species make over many generations of selective breeding and selective dying.
Yet intelligence is demanding. If it is misdirected by accident or by intent, it can foster its own orgies of breeding and dying. A victim of God may, Through forethought and planning, Become a shaper of God.
People worry so much about fire, but the little kids will play with it if they can. We were lucky with this fire. Amy Dunn, three years old, managed to start it in her family's garage.
Once the fire began to crawl up the wall, Amy got scared and ran into the house. She knew she had done something bad, so she didn't tell anyone. She hid under her grandmother's bed. Out back, the dry wood of the garage burned fast and hot. Robin Balter saw the smoke and rang the emergency bell on the island in our street. Robin's only ten, but she's a bright little kid-- one of my stepmother's star students.
She keeps her head. If she hadn't alerted people as soon as she saw the smoke, the fire could have spread.
I heard the bell and ran out like everyone else to see what was wrong. The Dunns live across the street from us, so I couldn't miss the smoke. The fire plan worked the way it was supposed to. The adult men and women put the fire out with garden hoses, shovels, wet towels and blankets. Those without hoses beat at the edges of the fire and smothered them with dirt.
Kids my age helped out where we were needed and put out any new fires started by flying embers. We brought buckets to fill with water, and shovels, blankets, and towels of our own. There were a lot of us, and we kept our eyes open. The very old people watched the little kids and kept them out of the way and out of trouble.
No one missed Amy. No one had seen her in the Dunn back yard, so no one thought about her. Her grandmother found her much later and got the truth out of her. The garage was a total loss. Edwin Dunn salvaged some of his garden and carpentry equipment, but not much. The grapefruit tree next to the garage and the two peach trees behind it were half-burned, too, but they might survive.
The carrot, squash, collard, and potato plants were a trampled mess. Of course, no one called the fire department. No one would take on fire service fees just to save an unoccupied garage.
Most of our households couldn't afford another big bill, anyway. The water wasted on putting out the fire was going to be hard enough to pay for. What will happen, I wonder, to poor little Amy Dunn. No one cares about her. Her family feeds her and, now and then, cleans her up, but they don't love her or even like her. Her mother Tracy is only a year older than I am. She was 13 when Amy was born. She was 12 when her year-old uncle who had been raping her for years managed to make her pregnant.
Problem: Uncle Derek was a big, blond, handsome guy, funny and bright and well-liked. Tracy was, is, dull and homely, sulky and dirty-looking. Even when she's clean, she looks splotchy, dirty. Some of her problems might have come from being raped by Uncle Derek for years. Uncle Derek was Tracy's mother's youngest brother, her favorite brother, but when people realized what he had been doing, the neighborhood men got together and suggested he go live somewhere else.
People didn't want him around their daughters. Irrational as usual, Tracy's mother blamed Tracy for his exile, and for her own embarrassment. Not many girls in the neighborhood have babies before they drag some boy to my father and have him unite them in holy matrimony.
But there was no one to marry Tracy, and no money for prenatal care or an abortion. And poor Amy, as she grew, looked more and more like Tracy: scrawny and splochy with sparse, stringy hair. I don't think she'll ever be pretty.
Tracy's maternal instincts didn't kick in, and I doubt that her mother Christmas Dunn has any. The Dunn family has a reputation for craziness. There are sixteen of them living in the Dunn house, and at least a third are nuts. Amy isn't crazy, though. Not yet. She's neglected and lonely, and like any little kid left on her own too much, she finds ways to amuse herself.
I've never seen anyone hit Amy or curse her or anything like that. The Dunns do care what people think of them. But no one pays any attention to her, either.
She spends most of her time playing alone in the dirt. She also eats the dirt and whatever she finds in it, including bugs. But not long ago, just out of curiosity, I took her to our house, sponged her off, taught her the alphabet, and showed her how to write her name. She loved it. She's got a hungry, able little mind, and she loves attention. Tonight I asked Cory if Amy could start school early. Cory doesn't take kids until they're five or close to five, but she said she'd let Amy in if I would take charge of her.
I expected that, though I don't like it. I help with the five and six year olds, anyway.
I've been taking care of little kids since I was one, and I'm tired of it. I think, though, that if someone doesn't help Amy now, someday she'll do something a lot worse than burning down her family's garage.
Sims have inherited her house. They're lucky there's still a house to inherit. If it weren't for our wall, the house would have been gutted, taken over by squatters, or torched as soon as it was empty. As it was, all people did was take back things they had given to Mrs. Sims after she was robbed, and take whatever food she had in the house.
No sense letting it rot. We didn't take her furniture or her rugs or her appliances. We could have, but we didn't.
We aren't thieves. Wardell Parrish and Rosalee Payne think otherwise. They're both small, rust-brown, sour-looking people like Mrs. They're the children of a first cousin that Mrs. Sims had managed to keep contact and good relations with. He's a widower twice over, no kids, and she's been widowed once, seven kids. They're not only brother and sister, but twins. Maybe that helps them get along with each other.
They damn sure won't get along with anyone else. They're moving in today. They've been here a couple of times before to look the place over, and I guess they must have liked it better than their parents' house. They shared that with 18 other people. I was busy in the den with my class of younger school kids, so I didn't meet them until today, though I've heard Dad talking to them-- heard them sit in our living room and insinuate that we had cleaned out Mrs.
Sims's house before they arrived. Dad kept his temper. Since then the community has protected the house. We haven't used it or stripped it. If you choose to live among us, you should understand that. We help each other, and we don't steal. His sister jumped in before he could say more. We knew Cousin Marjorie had some nice things-- jewelry that she inherited from her mother.
Very valuable. We depend on each other. Perhaps the twins were getting the message. I liked them even less when I met them. They look at us as though we smell and they don't. Of course, it doesn't matter whether I like them or not. There are other people in the neighborhood whom I don't like.
But I don't trust the Payne-Parrishes. The kids seem all right, but the adults. I wouldn't want to have to depend on them. Not even for little things.
Butler, Octavia - Parable of the Sower
Payne and Parrish. What perfect names they have. We went to the hills today for target practice-- me, my father, Joanne Garfield, her cousin and boyfriend Harold-Harry-- Balter, my boyfriend Curtis Talcott, his brother Michael, Aura Moss and her brother Peter. Our other adult guardian was Joanne's father Jay. He's a good guy and a good shot. Dad likes to work with him, although sometimes there are problems. The Garfields and the Balters are white, and the rest of us are black.
That can be dangerous these days. On the street, people are expected to fear and hate everyone but their own kind, but with all of us armed and watchful, people stared, but they let us alone. Our neighborhood is too small for us to play those kinds of games. Everything went as usual at first.
Read Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler for online ebook
The Talcotts got into an argument first with each other, then with the Mosses. The Mosses are always blaming other people for whatever they do wrong, so they tend to have disputes outstanding with most of us.
Peter Moss is the worst because he's always trying to be like his father, and his father is a total shit. His father has three wives. All at once. Karen, Natalie, and Zahra. They've all got kids by him, though so far, Zahra, the youngest and prettiest, only has one. Karen is the one with the marriage license, but she let him get away with bringing in first one, then another new woman into the house and calling them his wives.
I guess the way things are, she didn't think she could make it on her own with three kids when he brought in Natalie and five by the time he found Zahra. The Mosses don't come to church. Richard Moss has put together his own religion-- a combination of the Old Testament and historical West African practices. He claims that God wants men to be patriarchs, rulers and protectors of women, and fathers of as many children as possible. He's an engineer for one of the big commercial water companies, so he can afford to pick up beautiful, young homeless women and live with them in polygynous relationships.
He could pick up twenty women like that if he could afford to feed them. I hear there's a lot of that kind of thing going on in other neighborhoods. Some middle class men prove they're men by having a lot of wives in temporary or permanent relationships.
Some upper class men prove they're men by having one wife and a lot of beautiful, disposable young servant girls. When the girls get pregnant, if their rich employers won't protect them, the employers' wives throw them out to starve.
Is that the way it's going to be, I wonder? She learns and gathers information on everything that that interests her. Especially in the end, when they are building Acorn, their new community. Thanks to her studies she has agricultural knowledge for developing their farm.
Spend time reading books, researching and studying all that your heart and brain leads you towards. Gain as much knowledge as you can about anything no matter how silly it might know that the knowledge you acquire will never got to waste. There is no such thing as knowing too much about a thing. The beauty of this is we get to learn from her via first hand accounts as she is experiencing them. It is through her journal in Parable of the Talents that her daughter Asha learns about her life.
It is through her journal that she tracks her developing philosophy around Earthseed.
The sweet practice of journaling and not only affirms your humanity, it keeps you grounded in reality. It keeps you present and in the now. It reminds you of your ability to express and create. Getting it all out and then going back and reading what you wrote, can give you some potent insight and perspective. It can also teach those who have access to your writing about your deeds, your mistakes, your losses and wins. Your writing can be a teaching tool not just for you but for your community as well.
She does not beat around the bush or play any games. She states her true thoughts and feelings in a way that makes sense and works for. She leaves zero room for ambiguity so that when you are dealing with her you know exactly where you stand.
She chooses her words carefully and makes every attempt to make sure she is understood. She says what needs too be said and lets the listener decide how they want to receive it. Notice how she tells each new person she meets about her vision for a new world and Earthseed, and lets them know if you want to roll with her, you are committing to her cause and her team. Everyone who lives in Acorn must abide by the rules and contribute to the greater good of the whole.
Lauren lets folks know very clearly and plainly what her expectations are, she doesn't sugar coat in her sharing. Her boundaries are clear. She does not drop hints or communicate in a way that is passive aggressive, she is direct and honest.
She ALSO recognizes the stone cold fact that words carry weight. Every word is a prayer given life. Words carry fire and manifest. They can soothe and inspire. Shape Self. We are flesh - self aware , questing, problem-solving flesh. Trust your Intuition We are all born with an inner knowing, an inherent understanding of best practices and purposeful ideas but society can make us doubt ourselves.
Whether you want to call it your gut, ESP, second sight, spider sense, 3rd eye or whatever else, fact is we have a guiding system within us that can place us in space of being comfortable and confident in our choices and abilities. Lauren trusts herself, and her intuition guides her to a place of finding, love, home, family, and friendship again and again.
Unfortunately the world can have you unsure about your knowledge and ability, but it's possible to conquer that doubt. I recommend breathing exercises and meditation as two ways to sharpen your intuition.
Imagine it as a blade that carves away fear and self-doubt. The beauty of breathing exercises is that when we take long slow deep breaths they inspire a sense of confidence in our ability. This is science and not abstract as intentional breathing balances cortisol levels in the body, and sends messages of safety and comfort to the brain. Stress levels go down, and the heart beats stronger.
Its one of the easiest most self-loving things you can do for yourself. Take time to listen to your breath every day, start with increments of 5 minutes and work your way up by 5 to 15, 20, 30 minutes, and notice your inhales and exhales and the spaces in between them. In between them is where truths and ideas are revealed. It's where the best decisions are made. Give it at least 15 minutes each day most especially upon rising. Listen to what your mind is saying; listen to what your heart is saying.
Pay attention and don't judge yourself. Contrary to popular belief meditation does not mean you are turning your mind off, it means listening to yourself with patience and compassion. Your intuition is the most powerful thing you have in your spiritual tool kit.
Keep it handy and sharp. Respect Nature Repeat after me - Nature is a temple. Nature Is a temple. Nature is a Temple. In both Parables, Lauren and her band of refugees have a deep appreciation, respect and love for nature. They work with the earth, never in spite of or against.
They move through cities and the countryside. They walk through fire and thick smoke guided by the wind. They are working in tandem with the mountains, rivers, and trees. In nature they find safety and comfort.
Within this love for the land, they build a life and are systemic and caring in their approach. The people of Acorn literally co-create their small society, they work with the land they occupy.
They not only understand the importance of planting trees, but they also know that it matters what type of trees you are planting and where to place them. They know where to plant their seeds and bury their dead. They work with nature to create a safety barrier, between themselves and the outside world.
They know and use herbs, roots and produce as medicine and food. I personally love how they plant trees to honor their dead, as the spirits of trees are so gentle and strong, they feel like a perfect symbol to recognize our ancestors. It's also important to remember that we are a reflection of nature, interdependent, we are earth and the earth is us.
We are as expansive as the airy sky, as malleable as water, as hot and passionate as water, as fertile as the earth, capable of growth for all time. The fact is we are nothing without this planet. I believe Octavia was saying that if we make it a point to love ad respect nature as a reflection of ourselves we are increasing our potential and our chance at surviving.
Love for the Earth by Lisete Alcade 12 Build Community We know Lauren is an absolute fierce bad ass hero, but she wouldn't be much without her posse. Part of what helps her stay alive is her willingness to work with others. Even when they get on her nerves She knows she can't survive and life her full and best life on her lonesome.
She is a human being and like all of us she needs help, support and companionship. There are times where she puts her own personal feelings aside, to work with others in building Acorn and Earthseed. She shares her message, recruiting people for her team at every turn.
Lauren is a community builder, asking you if you are down or nah? Friend or Foe, Active ally on a mission to build a brand new world. Let's Go!! She recognizes that everyone has something unique to offer and every life is worth saving. She pays close attention to the things they say and do, and can even tell when she meets another empath like herself. She makes sure every one feels involved and connected.
She provides attention and intimacy. She shares her skills and knowledge freely; she teaches folks how to read, grow food, use weapons. She shares her goals and asks for input. She is open to critique and believes in the power of the collective. They are not related by blood but the bond of community binds them. They are her tribe. Even when her sexy lover, Bankole tries to convince her to leave them and move to a safer easier place to live, she refuses, because she is fully committed to her community squadgolas She knows they are her prize.
None of us are meant to be alone, we are social beings who need interaction. Now I say difficult because I know like me there are tons of folks out there who often feel different, lonely, isolated, misunderstood, or invisible.
We find the work of staying in community challenging, or even triggering. We might feel like a flowing circle moving through a land of sharp cornered squares. Once while sharing this very idea at a workshop this gorgeous sister raised her hand and said to me, "What if you have been looking for community and can't find it? What then? I know I have looked but I still find myself alone" Her eyes were wet and so were mine because I could relate.
I said trust me I am feeling you because I have felt like the circle in a sea of squares for most of my life. My answer was we need to keep looking, and stay open, continue to do us and take a lesson from Lauren by putting ourselves out there, expressing our dreams and interests.She turned, gasped, and jerked her gun up to aim at the dog.
Her grandmother found her much later and got the truth out of her. Let's get out of here. I don't like him much, but he's my stepmother's favorite. Unfortunately the world can have you unsure about your knowledge and ability, but it's possible to conquer that doubt.
Books on growing food, making clothes, traveling, self defense, geography, history, social studies and anything else that she can lay her hands on.
We saw it moving. Then I do begin to move, as though to slide on the air drifting a few feet above the floor, caught between terror and joy.
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