“Do not summon me if you are not also willing to leave behind your own garden of comfort …”

by on June 21, 2011 · 5 comments

in American Empire, Organizing, San Diego

Editor: Last night Activist San Diego held the annual election to its Board of Directors. One of those nominated was Jeeni Criscenzo. Her nomination speech to the assembled crew of activists was remarkable and I asked her if we could re-print it. Here it is:

Speech by Jeeni Criscenzo to ASD on June 20, 2011, regarding her nomination to be on the Board of Directors

Please don’t ask me to do this.
I only want to be a homemaker,
cooking up fabulous feasts to share with family and friends,
working in my garden,
exchanging secrets with the neighbors for controlling aphids and gophers,
writing poems of the adventures I’ve had, the challenges I’ve overcome,
the love I’ve known.
I want to lay in a hammock, in the shade of an old tree, reading classic novels,
speaking to no one for days.

Do not, I implore you, summon me to help in this critical endeavor.
Do not show me your wretched poverty,
your broken schools,
your dying oceans,
your indentured servitude,
your overflowing prisons,
your poisoned skies,
your collapsed economy,
your brutal imperialistic wars,
your bullied and bruised masses.
I am nearly deaf, and getting old and weary.
I just want to retire,
and live American Dream we were promised.

Leave me alone.
Why do you want me?
Don’t you know that I am obstinate and relentless?
I have no tolerance for the intolerant and bombastic.
I have no patience to listen to blowhards
who always seem to dominate our discussions.
I hate meetings. I am an Act-ivist, not a Meeting-ist.

Please don’t ask me for solutions to this catastrophe we find ourselves in.
It’s not of my doing.
Nothing that has been tried before, has worked,
whether you call it socialism or capitalism or any other “ism”.
We can’t build anything worthwhile on this crumbled foundation,
It’s time to throw the whole damn thing out.

Please don’t ask me to organize your revolution.
I see no political solutions.
Violent rebellion against an amoral beast would simply be their justification for our annihilation.
I don’t like rules unless I helped to make them.
I don’t take orders.
I don’t obey laws unless they were written
in the blood of martyrs for human justice,
all others are the chains the elite use to keep us submissive.

Do not summon me if you are not also willing
to leave behind your own garden of comfort,
your own fears,
your own petty wounds,
your own archaic beliefs,
your own failed politics,
your own personal safety and security.

Your checkmark next to my name is not a vote for me,
it is your own commitment to join in this magnificent surge of ACT-ivism.
It is your vow to ACT in our common interest,
as we imagine, invent, innovate
and transform EVERYTHING.

Oh, and BTW, she was elected to the Board.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

annagrace June 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Jeeni- an amazing call to action!


Sunshine June 21, 2011 at 3:43 pm

truer words have rarely been spoken


unwashedwalmartThong June 21, 2011 at 3:51 pm

ASD–hey, don’t they march to the thrum bumpity thrum of a different drummer?


barbara June 21, 2011 at 4:08 pm

I wish I had been there to see your beautiful face as you delivered these most touching and truthful words. You have worked so hard for so long and had such an impact on so many of us, all I can add is BRAVO, my friend. As with the”bagpipe” man, I’ll be there when you really need a friend.


unwashedwalmartThong June 21, 2011 at 6:06 pm

I long for the days when we called “Brava!”


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