HELPED are those who love the Earth, their Mother, and who willingly suffer that she may not die; in their grief over her pain they will weep rivers of blood, and in their joy in her lively response to love, they will converse with the trees.
~from The Gospel According to Shug, in The Temple of my Familiar by Alice Walker
Sadly, this is only the second book by Alice Walker I've ever read, the first being her wildly famous The Color Purple. A couple of the same characters show up in this book from that one. I am not finished with it yet, but I am close, and I find it wholly stunning and sometimes heavy to read. It's taken me a long time to get through over half, but it's well worth it, to me - even if just for the three pages that make up "Shug's Gospel." I feel it would be some kind of stealing to type the whole thing out here, but I am far more moved by her beatitudes than any in the christian bible. In such a short space, spiritual, human truths about love, humanity, the Earth and cosmos, are made poetic and relevant to this world now.
One last quote - the very end of her Gospel.
HELPED are those who know.