House of Earth Question #19 - The Vision

by Woody Guthrie

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House of Earth Question #19 - The Vision

Unread postby Liz » Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:23 pm

From Pg. 151-153:

But in these few short seconds Ella May took a woolly brown shawl from a nail on the wall, threw it around her shoulders, hugged her stomach in her hands, and walked across the floor to the door. With each step she gritted her teeth and spoke with a hiss of a snake, “No. No no. No. No no no.” Her right hand held the weight of her stomach and her left hand took hold of the doorknob. She wallowed hard to try to keep down the thousand miseries that were eating at her. As her hand turned the knob she saw a vision, a picture before her of several million people all going and coming in and through and inside one another. It was a message, she thought, and as she thought, the vision came clearer, and she heard words that said, “Here are the people in this room going and coming. They go and they come in and through, in and through one another. And the people of the farms and the ranches around, they go and they come in and through, in and through one another. Like the weeds, the stems, the hay, straws and lints, like the powders, chalks, dusts arise and fall and pass in and through, in and through one another in the winds, the suns. And the people are all one, like you and your baby are one, like you and your husband, both of you are one. And all of the upper north plains are one big body being born and reborn in and through one another, and those also of the lower south plains. All of those of Cap Rock. This is the greatest one single truth of life and takes in all other books of knowing. This is the only one truth of life that takes in all of the other works. And there are a few people that work to hurt, to hold down, to deny, to take form, to cheat, the rest of us. And these few are the thieves of the body, the germs of the disease of greed, they are few but they are loud and strong and your baby must be born well to help kill these few out.”

And nobody in the little room heard these words except Ella May. And she did not hear these words in these very words, but in words that showed her even plainer, much plainer, what her vision had meant. Her vision showed her that all of the people live and move in and through each other exactly like her baby lived and moved in and through her. And all of the words that she would hear in her life would make the picture plainer.


What did the vision mean?

Why did Woody choose for Ella May to have this vision?

You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: House of Earth Question #19 - The Vision

Unread postby nebraska » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:50 am

For several years I followed a Native American band in my region. The leader was a Lakota man who had been adopted by a white family as an infant and didn't know of his Native blood until he was a middle aged adult, at which time he returned to the reservation. In a way, he was now caught between two worlds which he sought to bring together. In his performances he often talked about the phrase "Mitakuye Oyasin" which he translated as "We are all related" . This is a beautiful video that talks about the concept. I think that is what Ella May was seeing, that with the impending birth of her child she realized she and her infant were a part of something much larger than their little shack and their own small family, that they were part of the cycle of life of the entire world. It spoke to her also of the importance of balance in that world, and that goodness and love served to overwhelm greed and cruelty and all the other ills of the world.

I had a moment of revelation the first time I watched the Sandhills Cranes coming to roost for the night on the Platte River in Central Nebraska. I realized in those moments how small I was, observing those migrating birds doing what their ancestors had done for millions of years, and I was overwhelmed and awed. It is hard to explain what I felt that evening but I think Ella May was having a similar moment of clarity.

Sometimes we call a father "the giver of life" but in reality I think the pregnant woman was the logical one to have the vision.

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Re: House of Earth Question #19 - The Vision

Unread postby fireflydances » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:56 am

nebraska wrote:For several years I followed a Native American band in my region. The leader was a Lakota man who had been adopted by a white family as an infant and didn't know of his Native blood until he was a middle aged adult, at which time he returned to the reservation. In a way, he was now caught between two worlds which he sought to bring together. In his performances he often talked about the phrase "Mitakuye Oyasin" which he translated as "We are all related" . This is a beautiful video that talks about the concept. I think that is what Ella May was seeing, that with the impending birth of her child she realized she and her infant were a part of something much larger than their little shack and their own small family, that they were part of the cycle of life of the entire world. It spoke to her also of the importance of balance in that world, and that goodness and love served to overwhelm greed and cruelty and all the other ills of the world.

I had a moment of revelation the first time I watched the Sandhills Cranes coming to roost for the night on the Platte River in Central Nebraska. I realized in those moments how small I was, observing those migrating birds doing what their ancestors had done for millions of years, and I was overwhelmed and awed. It is hard to explain what I felt that evening but I think Ella May was having a similar moment of clarity.

Sometimes we call a father "the giver of life" but in reality I think the pregnant woman was the logical one to have the vision.


nebraska, beautiful post! I am at work and can't respond at the moment. I just wanted you to know your words got me.
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

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Re: House of Earth Question #19 - The Vision

Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:19 pm

I think you have something there Nebraska well put.

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Re: House of Earth Question #19 - The Vision

Unread postby fireflydances » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:53 pm

And the people of the farms and the ranches around, they go and they come in and through, in and through one another. Like the weeds, the stems, the hay, straws and lints, like the powders, chalks, dusts arise and fall and pass in and through, in and through one another in the winds, the suns.


I like the idea of passing through each other from the beginning of time and onward without end. It is a deeper, more soulful imagining of our connection to each other. A generation lives and dies, but passing through implies something unending, eternal re-birth.

I think the closer we are to Nature, the more this idea makes sense. Waves of change that pass through. Days, seasons, the creation and collapse of continents, species arising and vanishing.

The human mind, although excellent for creating things, is a rather isolating phenomenon left to its own devices. If we wanted to, we could spend our entire lives wrapped up in our own thoughts with little awareness of others. Societies could do the same. But I think the mind, if properly harnessed could "see" all the possible connections. Maybe that's our ultimate purpose -- to recognize and act on the reality that we are all one.
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

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Re: House of Earth Question #19 - The Vision

Unread postby Liz » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:16 pm

Thank you so much for sharing that video, nebraska. :cool: :chill:

And what a beautiful way to answer the question!

I specifically like this:

“A combining of traditions, and a reaching out beyond the boundaries of divided faith, will result in a focus on common truth, tolerance, acceptance, and Oneness.”

If only.....

When I was typing out the quote last night, my impression of it was that it was an indication that we are all related to each other. We are all connected…..to those in the past, the present and the future.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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