The Police and the Dance of Life

police, safety, protest, black lives matter, dance of life, Earth Woman Tree Woman, Deep Hum

Part Three of The Police Controversy:

This is my third post on the role of police in our towns and cities, states and nation.

In the first post, The Police Controversy, I laid out the problem and a little of the discourse around policing.

In the second, Police Officers or Peace Keepers, I presented some of my ideas of how to practically make the changes I think we need. 

In this post I’m going to give you a passage from my book The Earth Woman Tree Woman Quartet where the main character addresses the police lining the street at a protest march.

The Earth Woman Tree Woman Quartet is a metaphysical fantasy. The main quest is to bring homo sapiens back into the Tsin Twei, the dance of life, where all species come together to create the grand compromise that keeps life going on Earth. The characters can shape change into their Tla Twein, mythological animals or characters who represent the strengths the characters wish to acquire.

In this passage the main character, Giselle, becomes her Tla Twei, the Earth Woman Tree Woman:

Police lined the streets, protecting the skyscrapers that loomed above them, helmets on their heads with opaque plastic covering their faces, and plastic body shields held in front of them.

As they reached the starting point, … Monica and Rod made their way over to Giselle. “I don’t like the looks of the police,” muttered Rod.

Giselle turned around in a circle. “They look like robots. They’re dressed so they don’t look human.”

She turned to Rod. “But they are human. We need to remember they’re human, and we need them, just like we need everyone else if we’re to regain our grandsoul – if we’re to become a part of the Tsin Twei.”

She walked over in front of a line of officers, staring at the smoky gray of their helmets, and couldn’t tell if they were looking at her or not.

She smiled as her feet bored deep below the asphalt, reaching into the water and nutrients hidden below. Her arms stretched up, branching, moving higher and higher above the police, above the crowd. The cat, crouching on a thick branch, stared at them and the dogs sat at the base of her trunk.

With a rustling of leaves and a creaking of limbs, she spoke. “You are one of us.”
Her voice cut like a knife through the sounds of the crowd; her branches danced above their heads. The police line faltered a little, and then held still.

She continued, her words resounding off the walls of the skyscrapers that edged the street. “I know you’re afraid for your jobs. I know you believe you’re privileged – a part of the corporate strong men, rather than one of us. But they will sacrifice you, and your families, just as quickly as they sacrifice us, the poor, and the quality of the air and the water.”

She turned swinging her branches down the line of officers. “Your families will not be spared the cancers that come from pollution, or the illnesses that come from poorly inspected food.”

Some of the officers began to shift their feet restlessly.

“When global warming pushes more and more people toward famine and homelessness, your families will also face famine and homelessness.”

She looked at the crowd as her words bounced back and forth in the urban canyon, and then back to the police. “You hide behind these plastic masks trying not to look human, not to look like people who love, and hurt, and care about this world. But I know otherwise. I know that you are people of love, just as we are. You’re one of us.”

The crowd took up the phrase and repeated it over, and over again. “You’re people of love. You’re one of us. You are one of us!”

The Tree Woman took a deep breath. “If you haven’t the courage to take off your masks, lay down your shields, and join us, at least refrain from hurting us,” and she grew taller and taller as she spoke.

“When the orders come to shoot us, or beat us, don’t. Just don’t follow those orders.”
“Don’t follow those orders,” echoed the crowd. “Don’t follow those orders.”

The Earth Woman Tree Woman began to sing:
Remember, we are your family,
Your family!
We are you, and you are us.

The song echoed off the buildings, climbing higher and higher into the sky, reaching even the helicopters that hovered high above.
We are you, and you are us.
We are you, and you are us.

Amen, sang Ayoabia*, her voice deep and resonant. So be it, amen.

This we need to remember as we talk about the role of the police, or of anyone in the conflicts we face today.

All people, police, politicians, CEO’s, are humans. If we are to survive, we must win them to the cause of compassion – we must find ways to show them that we are human, that all people are human regardless of color or ethnicity, regardless of religion, of able-bodiedness, of IQ, of sexual orientation. This means educating “them” until they all are “us,” – until they all understand the need for the power of love in our world.

*We will see more of Ayoabia, who has become my favorite character, in later posts.

 

Helpful references:

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/law-enforcement-changing-role-974558  https://amp.burlingtonfreepress.com/amp/1668183002?__twitter_impression=true

Black kids get harsher sentences:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/black-boys-discrimination-teenagers-children-white-racial-bias-prison-a8466606.html
https://blackamericaweb.com/2018/06/01/black-teenager-sentenced-to-5-years-in-prison-over-sneakers/ *https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/17/opinion/sunday/unequal-sentences-for-blacks-and-whites.html

The original meaning of the word “police” was “policy.”  How did it move from “policy” to meaning “the regulation and control of a community”?  https://www.etymonline.com/word/police

https://www.berkeleyside.com/2018/12/20/as-staffing-crisis-continues-for-berkeley-police-officers-who-left-reveal-why?utm_source=Berkeleyside+master+list&utm_campaign=73506c7899-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_BRIEFING&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_aad4b5ee64-73506c7899-323108229&goal=0_aad4b5ee64-73506c7899-323108229

In my novel, The Earth Woman Tree Woman Quartet, there is a world wide protest movement.  At one of the marches the Earth Woman Tree Woman challenges the police to become a part of the movement.  In this mystical fantasy, humans are trying to rejoin the Tsin Twei, the dance of life, where all the species on earth (except one…) dance together in order to have a compassionate understanding of all their needs.

You can order print versions from Powell’s Books or your local independent bookstore, or purchase print and ebook versions at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Quartet EbookCover

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