I Want to Know (Paulette Meier ©2010, ASCAP)
“I met Raama (pseudonym) while doing refugee resettlement work in 1987; my memory of her grieving the loss of her homeland is unforgettable. She experienced people in the U.S. as being so disconnected from each other and from everything around them. Holding up the handkerchief in her hand, she cried, ‘In my country, we know even where this comes from!‘ While going back to completely local economies may not be realistic, the reality of climate change calls for us to see the wisdom in Raama’s grief. -- Paulette
I Want to Know
by Paulette Meier © 2010 (ASCAP)
I want to know where all the things that I use come from.
I want to know whose hands produced them all and brought them.
I want to see the faces of the ones who labored,
So I can know to whom I owe my gratitude.
1. Sitting in the kitchen of her daughter’s suburban home,
Tears pouring down her cheeks, Reema tells me her heart’s woes.
She aches with longing for the life she’d left in Iran,
The connecting ways of her village life, seem forever gone.
2. Now stranded in the U.S.A., where her children want to be,
The neighbors all stay locked inside;
are they really free?
No outdoor markets filled with food,
the farmers brought with pride,
No people gathered trading goods, with hearts all open wide.
3. Reema goes to work each day, sewing hats in a factory.
Her hopes for more community are dashed with every seam.
She asks me why no one knows the fabric of their lives,
the web that holds us all together, from which we all survive.
Sometimes in life you meet someone who opens up your eyes.
Now I see how much we’ve lost by severing the ties,
That link us to the source and truth of everything we use.
Instead we live in veiled deceit; is this the world we choose?
from Just Earth
released January 1, 2017
Paulette Meier: words, music, lead vocals, Jamie Fota: harmony vocals, guitar, Leonard Webb: harmonica, percussion
all rights reserved