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xxvi. in which the rastaman gives a sermon

The rastaman says: to get to Zion you must begin with a heartbless, a small tilt of the head, a nod, thumbs and index fingers meeting to take the shape of I

blood, then raised like a badge to I chest, then you say it: Heartbless. A simple word that don’t cost nothing to give but is plenty to receive – like sometimes you meet an I-dren at your door who come not only with a gift from his own acreage but also a word: how well you look, how prosperous, how beautiful the likkle children, or the house, how well appointed – an I-dren with whom hours pass too quickly and who upon leaving offers yet another word: how good it was to see you and for bredrens and sistrens to sit in the simple of each other’s love, so that it strike you how both his coming and his going were announced by blessings.

My bredda, a man like that is already well on his way to Zion. So begin like that – a heartbless, the old rastaman’s chanting up of goodness and rightness and, of course, upfullness – how excellent is that word –

upfullness – as if it was a thing that could be stored in the tank of somebody’s heart, so that on mornings when salt was weighing you down, when you feel you can’t even rise to face Babylon’s numbing work,

you would know, at least, that should the day wring your heart out like the chamois towels of streetboys,

then out of it would spring this stored portion of upfullness, and so anointed by your own storage,

you would able to face the road which is forever inclining hardward. Know then that every heartbless given is collected by Jah like mickle and muckle, or like a basketful of cocoa, and comes back to you like a dividend. You find your feet at last straying off the marl roads, the bauxite roads, the slaving roads and the marooning roads, and you would be


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