Each morning,
the old man in the straw
sombrero perches on the low brick
wall at 14th and Park, selling
mango slices
in plastic bags out of a wheeled
cooler. Early hours, he’s out there, as
the air melts down around him,
liquified summer heat
palpable, velvet,
reach-out-and-touch-able, the sky
humming molasses-tongued
lullabies until the usual
late-afternoon storms hit.
Yesterday I drove past my
old school with the windows
down, and sang along to
Fleetwood Mac on
FM radio
as if it were an invocation on
gossamer wings. I’ve learnt
a lot about that sinewy
concept of
gratitude this year, I know.
Lately I wonder, am I taking only
the things I want
from this glovebox, this city?
The platform at
Gallery Place at 6:30 pm suddenly
feels hallowed, the trains
arriving like
sermons. They are sacred
in their vitality. Washington in
midsummer is always that
chemical balance of static and
speed, and
this time around, I think that
I’m taking what I truly need.

Beltway Prayers, by Madeleine B.

I have been astonished by hearing individuals who inherited wealth in childhood warn against sharing resources because people needing help should work for money in order to appreciate its value. Inherited wealth and/or substantial material resources are rarely talked about in the mass media because those who receive it do not wish to validate the idea that money received that is not a reward for hard work is beneficial. Their acceptance and use of this money to strengthen their economic self-sufficiency exposes the reality that working hard is rarely the means by which enough of us can gain enough access to material resources to become wealthy. One of the ironies of the culture of greed is that the people who profit the most from earnings they have not worked to attain are the most eager to insist that the poor and working classes can only value material resources attained through hard work. Of course, they are merely establishing a belief system that protects their class interests and lessens their accountability to those who are without privilege.

bell hooks in All About Love: New Visions (via ethiopienne)

(via compliquees)