The Streets that Lead Home

Hilltop View of San Francisco

Hilltop View of San Francisco

Touring so far with Dancing with Dynamite has brought me to nearly twenty different towns, cities, classrooms, basements and living rooms across the US. After meeting so many people and having discussions around the themes in the book of revolution, power and social change, I’m convinced that the following passage taken from toward the end of Dancing with Dynamite is truer now than ever:

“The similarities between people of different nations and societies are often stronger than the differences. The structures of power that centralize wealth and exploit people and the environment all benefit from a division and disconnect between people across the world. When connections are made across borders to identify both the systems of oppression and the strategies to overcome them, a better world will indeed be possible.”

This is about globalizing revolution and learning from each other. As Tarak Barkawi writes in a recent op-ed in Al Jazeera, discussing the recent revolts in North Africa and the Middle East, “Defeats provide lessons, and victories give hope. These revolutions need not be on satellite TV to effect their instruction. Revolutionaries in France and Haiti in the 1790s received news of one another’s activities by the regular packet ship that plied between Jamaica and London.”

Perhaps this book operates as a kind of modern day version of such a ship – or at least a rowboat… But for now, I’m happy that the ship, train, bus, subway and plane have stopped, and I can just walk home.

As the late poet Robert Creeley wrote in the poem “Return” upon returning home from India in 1945:

“Enough for now to be here, and
To know my door is one of these.”

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