For thousands of years, civilizations have seen: when the forests are clearcut, the climate changes. The temperature rises, rainfall decreases, catastrophic weather events increase, deserts spread across the land.
The indigenous peoples of the Amazon know this – and they are fighting to save their sacred lands, not only for the sake of their cultures but also for the sake of life on Earth. The U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples protects them in theory from forcible relocation, but this protection is being overridden with coerced, sham agreements, military evictions, and the kidnapping, torture, and assassination of their activists. And the destruction of the rainforest continues.
I first heard of the radical theologian Matthew Fox when I was in college…at the time, he was the visionary founder of the Institute of Culture and Creation Spirtuality in Chicago, shaking up the Catholic theological world with his teachings of joy, embodied-ness, ecology, activism and contemplation in prayer. I remember feeling intrigued, attracted to a Christian theology that honored creation as sacred…I didn’t know then that Dr. Fox’s work would eventually be the key to a new direction in my life.
There’s been a lot written about September as Suicide Prevention Month. There are walks scheduled, grassroots support movements growing…in particular Project Semicolon, a brilliant step toward reframing the question in a way that warms this grammarian’s heart…
It’s been a passionate topic for me for a long time: I’ve seen friends teeter on the edge and – thankfully – pull themselves back, or allow themselves to be pulled back. Other classmates, sadly, were not so fortunate.
Phoenix Rising full post
(1464 words, 1 image, estimated 5:51 mins reading time)
I’ve been circling around this topic for months?…years?….decades?…and finally I think it’s time to square my shoulders and confront it, crazy and apocalyptic as it may sound.
The topic is…well, The Big One. The big earthquake, financial crash, climate-change climax, the perfect catastrophic convergence of all the razors’ edges we’ve been walking as a planetary society. The Big One, or cascade of Big Ones, that nobody wants to talk about, that we are excising from our consciousness like Florida Governor Rick Scott excising the words and concept of “climate change” from state policy.
What To Do During the 11th Hour full post
(1010 words, 1 image, estimated 4:02 mins reading time)
Blues night…Dar Williams on Spotify as I de-clutter the kitchen fordonation runs tomorrow. Maybe it’s the rain, maybe it’s the last of Mom and Dad’s odds and ends on the front porch of the old house to go to the dump…fraying carpets, ancient air conditioners, mattresses…the last push of transition.
My son’s old bedroom is packed with stored energy, memory-weighted artifacts to sort, keep, donate or gift. I look at these things and see them as Mom displayed them, hear her reading her writing to me for feedback, see Dad jerry-rigging his unique creations from bits and snips…
Birthing Past to Future full post
(215 words, 1 image, estimated 52 secs reading time)
Moving through the process of clearing my parents’ house yesterday…next up, the audiotape collection, from classical to easy-listening to my mother’s conservative political tapes: Oliver North’s “My Dream for America”; a titleless Pat Robertson tape; home recordings of Nixon’s resignation speech; Ronald Reagan’s acceptance speech; a birthday honoring of William F. Buckley with a talk by Leo Buscaglia on Love on the other side (perfect representation of the paradox that was my mother).
Feeling her presence so clearly, I ask: what should I be doing with these? A quick answer: keep the ones that resonate, Freecycle the rest.
My Mother’s Paradox full post
(240 words, estimated 58 secs reading time)
One of my favorite bumper stickers reads: Don’t Believe Everything You Think. It’s one of my rules for living…most of the time. Stop, look, and reconsider: what interpretations am I taking for granted?
And then there are the times when I am sliding down the scree slope into despair over the inaction of People (read: me) in responseto the state of the world. The numbing-out habits of Our Culture (read: me). The indecision, time-frittering, distractedness, deflection, inessential activities, etc., etc., of Others (read: me).
The Other Side of Reality Bites full post
(653 words, 2 images, estimated 2:37 mins reading time)
In a prior post I shared a question that keeps arising for me in meditation: What would you do if you really believed Arvol Looking Horse’s words: “Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of humankind. Did you think the Creator would create unnecessary people in a time of such terrible danger?”
Some months ago, I read Belief Without Borders by Linda Mercadante…a deep analysis of the growing groundswell of spiritual “Nones” – a.k.a. the “spiritual but not religious.” I could find much to resonate with…but one glaring absence left me flummoxed.
Personally Deciding the Future of Humankind full post
(1038 words, 2 images, estimated 4:09 mins reading time)
As we sink deeper into darkness approaching winter solstice, poet-playwright, actor, director & author David Sparenberg offers this breathtaking video “inviting all Sufis, Gypsies, poets, alchemists, mystics and lovers to come and have a look. This is an alternative to violence video, to the cult and culture…”
Permanent link to this post
(49 words, estimated 12 secs reading time)
Questions I’ve been receiving in meditation:
What would you do if you could see that every fumbling step was a lesson, a priceless piece of the mosaic of your life?
What would you do if you knew that the paralysis you feel in the face of greed’s ascendancy is due to your own participation – buying gas for the car, oil for the furnace, etc., etc.?
What would you do if you knew that solutions ultimately won’t come from pointing fingers, blaming self or others, but from sitting in the cosmic dance of interconnected wisdom?
Reality Check full post
(171 words, estimated 41 secs reading time)