JUDY HOGAN : This Sacred Way - 5 October 19, 2008
SARA CLAYTOR : Dancing Towards the Sun
RAY FOREMAN : Bapu
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This Sacred Way  - 5 October 19, 2008 Dancing Towards the Sun Bapu


JUDY HOGAN
This Sacred Way  - 5 October 19, 2008
Oak leaves litter the dog's water, stand like sentinels among the late summer grasses and resurging chickweed. The leaves' descent into their beds warms zinnia, cosmos, and Impatiens. I clear the surface of the woodstove, unload firewood, set out kindling. I see better when my spirit engages with the task at hand, whether it's the young Hispanic woman suffering injustice, turning the hard, dry soil to plant garlic, or reorganizing my boxes to create space for visitors. When the North wind shakes reluctant leaves from their anchor twigs, I, too, must venture into new depths, take my chance on the broad back of the restive, unpredictable sea. Living well does not permit taking one's ease. Forgetting is not a choice. The buds on the tallest cosmos won't open until Sun leans closer, whispers: "There's still time to bloom, make seed." I learn daily who I am by how these flower suns turn toward me in happy recognition: "You see us, trust us, speak truth, convey no fear." Is it that simple? Yes.
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This Sacred Way  - 5 October 19, 2008 Dancing Towards the Sun Bapu


SARA CLAYTOR 
Dancing Towards the Sun 
If you dance under clouds like gray fish scales, you may fall under a spell. If you dance beneath a salamander moon, you may find intense love. But if you dance on the edge of imagination, you can hear the tinkle of oriental wind chimes on a calm day, perceive drops of water on magnolia leaves like spattered wet paint. As our minds stretch and grope, side-stepping into creative bogs, somewhere caterpillars sprout wings, spiders swish through dried leaves, ravens extend talons into bitter winds; extraordinary, universal statements. We ordinary ones waltz and shuffle on our thin, ethereal railings, pining to shatter the sky, fling words into its vortex, scratch messages on eternity's dome.
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This Sacred Way  - 5 October 19, 2008 Dancing Towards the Sun Bapu


RAY FOREMAN
Bapu
Beaten, starved into learning and producing, small boys work until they grow too large for the cramped dirt wells behind the looms. Years later, their remains, minus their childhood, will be returned to their families. Bapu, sitting shirtless on a wooden plank, along with three other small boys bought or stolen from their parents, pokes his small slim fingers through the warp and pulls snippets of yarn which he knots in a blur with fingers worn pink, to make the famous hand-made carpets, the pride of the weavers of India. The looms, strung with yarn like harp strings tower over the young boys who drudge at the bottom of the pits everyday for 12, 14, often, 16 hours. "2000 rupees is a good price for an eight year old boy," Bapu's father says to his mother who nods as tears well in her eyes. "The family will eat better and we can even buy a small radio. Bapu will come back someday, but now, he must go on the bus with the other boys to Badhoi where the loom owners will teach him a trade. Bapu, be good and do as they tell you." At the edge of the sun dried plain the village barely breathes. Water buffaloes, tethered to wooden stakes, move nervously. Inside the mud-walled hut a family is tethered to a life of constant poverty. From the adobe hut that has been his prison for two years, Bapu creeps into the night and scurries across the parched wheat field. Rarely do the children escape; too young, too far from home, afraid, they are sealed to their loom by the stare and the lash. Bapu, terrified, runs down the road until he feels the warmth of the rising sun. He knows it is time to hide himself. The older boys warned him, a small boy with pink fingers stands out in the daylight. Bapu, hungry, lies down and waits for dark. As the sun breaks, Bapu awakens screaming, the sting of a willow branch bites hungrily into his back. Strong hands grip him vise-like; his feet are tied with rough hemp. At the hut the ritual is performed in front of the other boys as a lesson. The hands are not touched, only the soles of the feet meet the bamboo. Bapu will not run for a month; later today he will tie knots, and tomorrow, the next day, and until one day someone will hear his tears as they fall to the ground.
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JUDY HOGAN : This Sacred Way - 5 October 19, 2008
SARA CLAYTOR : Dancing Towards the Sun
RAY FOREMAN : Bapu

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