Dedicated to a dear friend and compañero, Mission District activist Eric Quezada, who passed away in July 2011 after a seven-year struggle with cancer. You can read a short piece about Eric’s revolutionary humility here.
The image in the background is the Mayan World Tree, the wakah-chan, the giant ceibo with its roots in the underworld and its branches holding the raised-up sky. The wakah-chan is also the Milky Way, the axis of creation and the road of awe, xibal be. He has entered the road: och bih.
The text is from a poem by Eric’s countryman, Guatemalan revolutionary poet Otto René Castillo, who also died young, tortured and killed by the military dictatorship:
The most beautiful thing
for those who have fought a whole life
is to come to the end and say:
we believed in people and life,
and life and the people
never let us down…
And when these lives come to an end
the people open their deepest rivers
and they enter those waters forever.
And so they become distant fires,
alive, creating the heart of example.