Now What?

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I need to be alone. I need to ponder my shame and my despair in seclusion; I need the sunshine and the paving stones of the streets without companions, without conversation, face to face with myself, with only the music of my heart for company.”
~ Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

I have no words nor answers…I’ve read and read and tried to argue compassionately with those around me who see this outcome as a good change. I don’t. But I also know that neither result would have been good for the planet and for all what’s being at stake right now: beyond social and economic/political well-being, I’m even more concerned about the continuation of life as we have learned to know it…life for the trees in the forests and the birds in the skies, life for the worms in the soils and the fish in the rivers…life for entire ecosystems that sustain the rest of life, including our human life.

More than ever before, I wonder what world would this be when my sons start their adults’ lives? What world would this be for me in my elder years?  I ache so much for all life in Nature that my entire body gets ill and saddens.

I have read the calls from all corners to be together and continue our community resilience work more than ever. I have read and listened to the calls for compassion and active regeneration from people I follow and admire such as Richard Heinberg , Carolyn Baker and Starhawk to name just a few.  An experienced life coach posted a moving video today about our roles as life coaches and guides in this moment of shock (for some, celebration, for others, confusion, sadness, fear, even panic…and not only in US)

And I believe they are right…but I can’t make myself commit any further. All in my body, heart and mind are asking for me to retreat, to take time and focus on me and on nature.

I forced myself to read the republican platform today. I encourage all those who care to read it, as their lives and the future generations’ lives as well as the wellbeing and even the survival of many species and places depend on what’s written there, if enacted as such.

I couldn’t help but cry when I reached the “Agriculture, Energy and Environment” part…

The complete ignorance on ecological science and the spiritual connection with the land and other begins is overwhelmingly painful. The story behind this document is “we own the world”…jobs and businesses and the American dream (whatever that is now) are more important than real life.

The mention of GMOs as safe (with complete disregard on their effect on biodiversity loss, soil and water pollution and people’s food sovereignty; the plan to open federal and public land to hunting, fishing, farming, grazing and recreational shooting as a “right”; the plan to reject Paris and Kyoto protocols around emissions reductions; the plan and vision to get every single inch of fossil fuels and minerals from any land, including public land; the idea that extinction of species can be sanctioned by regular local people and that jobs and prosperity are above and beyond ecosystem’s life…

My lowest point came when I read that they think protecting the gray wolves shouldn’t be priority if they are doing OK elsewhere or in another country…”To upset the economic viability of an area with an unneeded designation costs jobs and hurts local communities.” (Referring to the Endangered Species Act  designation of gray wolves and other species as endangered and in need of protection)

No matter how friendly this is presented, I can’t see a silver line…

Against something like this, what the common citizen or even a small community group can do? What actions and behaviours are worth and which ones are futile? What can we do, those of us who don’t live or vote in US but are affected by the above policies as all the species, peoples and future generations will be?

I have to confess that I don’t know…

I keep asking Gaia, Mother Earth, plants, animals, fungi, waters and lands, clouds, moon and sun, and the answer that I keep receiving is: look inside. See the signs your body is sharing, listen to the call…

All lives are limited in length and impact. There is a time for engagement and action and a time for retreat and deep reflection.

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As in ecosystems, or permaculture guilds, not each one of us’ functions are the same: some of us came here to be dynamic accumulators (such as clover) and some are diggers or miners (such as worms), some are groundcovers (such as mulch) and some are climbers (climbing beans) or supporters (trees). Sometimes our functions and needs change through life and depending on where and with whom we are at a given time.

I can’t say what this time may be right for on others’ cases, but for me is time to stay home and listen to what the Earth is telling me.

Wherever forests have not been mowed down, wherever the animal is recessed in their quiet protection, wherever the earth is not bereft of four-footed life – that to the white man is an ‘unbroken wilderness.’
But for us there was no wilderness, nature was not dangerous but hospitable, not forbidding but friendly. Our faith sought the harmony of man with his surroundings; the other sought the dominance of surroundings.
For us, the world was full of beauty; for the other, it was a place to be endured until he went to another world.
But we were wise. We knew that man’s heart, away from nature, becomes hard
.”
~ Chief Luther Standing Bear

Our evolution depends on our memory. If we keep forgetting the mistakes of the past, only to keep repeating them, then we will never change. And if we keep recycling through the exact same kind of leaders— the kind who do not propel us forward, but only hold us back—then perhaps what we really need now is a completely different style of leadership altogether. We need heart-driven leaders, not strictly mind-driven ones. We need compassionate humanitarians, not greedy businessmen. Peacemakers, not war instigators. We need unity, not division. Angels, not devils.”
~ Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

 

 

5 thoughts on “Now What?

    1. Beautiful words, thank you for sharing that link…I’m struggling myself to find the strength and the right path…I find this to be an expected outcome as many have forgotten to listen to people’s struggles, including many “liberals” and “left-wings” as well as a good amount of permaculturists and community activists…

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  1. I’m still holding hope, but then, my community was lucky. All of the local candidates elected here are progressive. I have friends who are beginning to strategize out-of-the-system approaches for building grassroots community solutions for issues we are likely to face in the future. We’ll be figuring out how to use classes we teach (for now) to engage students to help us plan. And, I’m avoiding people, places, media, blogs that focus on negatives.

    I also realized that I’ve been using my blog recently to remember how to stand with integrity and hope in times of difficulty. Those of us on the margins, like you and I, have had to do this to survive in the past and have learned many valuable skills that “privileged” classes haven’t had to develop. So I’ll take each day as it comes, doing what I can to breathe compassion, humor, hope, and inclusive possibilities into my small realm of influence. And taking time to re-balance in nature and by setting limits on my exposure to negativity.

    I have seen the power focused love can have, I sometimes feel it flow through me. I witnessed my daughter transform hate as a child when she held her focus on joy. The enemies are not people with different ideologies, as I know you know, but our own despair, fear, resignation, or anger. Dear sister, although I have never had the privilege to meet you in person, I know you carry compassion, wisdom, and practical knowledge that so many will need in the coming years. I’m sending you loving thoughts in these most difficult of times, Silvia. ❤

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    1. Yes Carol, I feel the same, that we need to focus on those who may be more impacted, and we need to be strong and stay healthy so we don’t allow despair to get us…These are really tough times but they are just starting. None of us has yet experienced what’s coming, although I do have some memories from Argentina and Venezuela. We are privileged because we know, because we have been preparing ourselves for this with compassion, studies, sharing and listening. We are not yet a target but we might if things become really dark. I also want to have hope, but not the hope on magical stuff but the hope that’s active, the hope we build slowly and by little steps. My suffering is for those who don’t have a voice (they do, but only a few can understand what’s said), and for those who are terribly confused. This happened because people were not listened, engaged. It also happened because we continue enacting a story of separation and power. I know I need to focus on myself for a while to regain energy. I also need to listen carefully to know what’s my path from now on. Canada is not insulated from something similar, in fact, it is slowly cooking a very similar response. Stay strong and compassionate.

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