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Exchange of Values

Exchange of Values
acrylic on board 48'X96'

"Structure of Color Perception"

"Structure of Color Perception"
48'X96' acrylic on board

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Poem of the week is form Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos:

"Account of the Events" 

Today, the sixth day of the month of August
of the year nineteen hundred and seventy-nine
as history forewarned
the coffee bitter,
the tobacco running out,
the afternoon declining
and everything in place for
conspiring against the shadows and darkness
which obscure the world and its sun.

Some of you older folk may remember Subcomandante Marcos, the charismatic poet-warrior leader of the Zapatista’s in Chiapas so many of us radical poseurs were infatuated with (and so many others went to visit/vacation with after Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua got himself de-elected by Ronald Reagan’s falangist contras).  Still, they need the money and the media in order to continue to conspire against the “shadows and darkness,” long after our attention has been tweeted elsewhere.  Yet there is still something very inspiring and terrifying about a small community of poor campesinos living, struggling, and caring for one another, whose life together is lived out daily in the simple acts of feeding pigs, grinding corn, hauling water, invoking the Virgin and burying one another’s children.  From the windows of a moving bus heading through such actually existing communities of hope and desperation one can witness *the blessed poor* we so much like to conjure into our intricate and fantastical theologies.  Too much of my own theological ruminations smell more of ivy, new leather, and Starbucks than pigshit, blood, and Ningüijute to be taken seriously by anyone, obligado. 

p.s.  later in the document Subcomandante Marcos goes on to write to his friend Don Fernando: “Greetings from all the zapatista companeros and companeras and from the indigenous communities in resistance. We hope that you, and all of those working alongside you, are in good health and of good cheer. You, as we know, are working alongside other honest men and women in tending to the memory of our people's struggle.”   Then at the end comes this really quite jarring exhortation of commitment to the struggle and to solidarity.  The Subcomandante proposes that his followers sign a contract of sorts that bears a frighteningly amount of similarity to the gospel! 

“First. - That the below signed renounce their homes, work, family and studies and all the comforts which have been accumulated in the hands of the few upon the misery of the many.

Second. - That the below signed renounce a future, paid on time, of individual enjoyment.

Third. - That the below signed also renounce the shield of indifference in the face of the suffering of others and the vainglory of a place among the powerful.

Fourth. - That the below signed are prepared for all the sacrifices necessary in order to fight silently and without rest in order to make me, the patria, free and true.

Fifth. - That the below signed are prepared to suffer persecution, calumny and torture, and even to die if it is necessary, in order to achieve what was noted in the Fourth point.

Sixth. - That I, the patria, will know to keep your place in history and to watch over your memory as they watch over my life.

Seventh. - That the below signed will leave enough space under their names so that all honest men and women may sign this document, and, when the moment comes, the entire people shall sign it.
There being nothing left to be said, and very much to do, the below signed leave their blood as example and their steps as guide.

Valiantly and Respectfully, Subcomandante Marcos.”

I gotta say that this Evangelium hits me pretty hard.  And as you can imagine the list of names of those that signed was pretty short (and always has been).  Hasta la victoria siempre, obligado.

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