Many people are currently searching for the pressure valve—our minds racing from one crises to the next until the apparent futility of the situation leaves us shaking our heads in disgust and defeat. Some of us are distracting ourselves into empty oblivion, the overly sensitive ones, the ones without tools in the tool box, or the next plan. I really feel for these people. That type of suffering is unbearable to me. I would rather be acutely aware, aching from the realization that we have wandered from the dream, have strayed too far to reconcile our actions, than live in perpetual numbness.
Today is the March for Climate, and although I cannot claim I believe marches are the best use of our time, I also know they serve a purpose; being with like-minded creative rebels, admiring one another’s clever signs is a fairly effective pressure release. But it cannot stop there. The euphoria has an expiration date. There are as many schools of thought on how to respond to the current neoliberal driven crises, the madmen at the top, but that a response is necessary seems true for everyone. What is yours? Are you determined that the democratic party has the answers and most effective resistance tactic? Do you believe that the more weed you smoke, repeating that bliss you found on 4/20 is the solution? Are you striving to raise consciousness to magically transmute the present moment, leaping in quantum fashion with your “besties?” Have you thrown in the towel? Are you building a sustainable community hoping that climate change won’t reach you and your idyllic gardens? The tone here, in case it is misinterpreted, is one of sincerity, curiosity and compassion. I have considered all of these options, am still considering them. My steady mantra has been, “work hard, pray harder.” It could seem as effective as a march, but so far this has carried me past the suffering and disillusionment to effectiveness and action. I truly don’t think we will make it out of this and we know for certain no one gets out alive anyway, but what to do with that realization. What to do when you are a parent, watching your two year old learn to scamper in the grass. What to do when you lead a community of disenfranchised, totally dependent humans or animals? This kind of intense feeling has to be channeled into some action/intention, otherwise it ends up like tar in the belly, chest, and throat, thick and unmovable.
Daily, I ask myself three questions. They are like turpentine to tar. “Who am I?”, “What am I meant to do?” “What are my highest desires?” In the asking is the alchemy, the pace setter at the race track, redirecting the energy, steady, steady, GO! They disallow compromise. Here’s an example: The book I’ve recently finished received a glowing approbation from not only an established author, but someone who teaches the craft at Columbia University, someone who has made a life of dissecting voice, narrative architecture, and succinct, captivating language. For me another level of achievement had been reached; the accolades coming from someone other than my mom. He likes it so much he wished I had talked to him before self-publishing, a decision which is deeply stigmatized. Oh, how I’d love to accept the invitation, to let someone professional take over and get the book in every airport, or whatever. But I can’t. Unless the agent/publisher buys into my eco-affair, I am committed to letting this story speak for the trees, no matter how many copies I sell. The three questions keep me on course when the tempting carrot dangles.
Let’s keep the conversation going and seek leaders amongst us who have been preparing for the worst. Work hard for your vision, but pray harder. The prayer simply means to stay connected to our higher nature, our divine wisdom, as we toil on this beautiful Earth. In Benedictine terms, this is Ora et Labora, which they believe is one pathway to God/dess.
In the meantime, visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/282222367/keepers-of-the-story-a-tree-friendly-african-love?ref=nav_search and do something for the climate, as well as your heart.