Musings

#NoFuture?

<May 15/19>

I just walked by some kids out in a park with their classmates, playing baseball, & thought

“These kids have no future!”

 (‘cos this I do firmly believe. I believe firmly in the non-existent future … & have for some time.)

 & then I thought

“But so what??”

They don’t care about the future.

Why would they?

They’re kids!

They’re out having fun!

They’re busy & happy …

Right here, right now.


& while there may indeed not be a future.

There is most assuredly a “now.”

Right now!!

 

& you know, “the future” never actually has existed!

(It is only ever a concept in our minds.)

 It’s always only ever been Now

… always!

 

Heck.

We can only be alive now.

There has never been a time when we could be alive in the past – or the future.

So…

So big deal that there is “no future,” I say!

There never was!

(& this, too: you can’t cheat somebody out of something that is only a concept in your, or their, mind. So let’s never mind saying our children have been “cheated out of a future.” Though admittedly, those words do come into my mind sometimes. Okay, well here’s the thing, Reader: I write this stuff for me as much as for you. So, I am now lecturing myself about this too …. okay?)

Of course, one can wish our species had conducted itself differently. Not trashed everything here to smithereens – air, water, Earth, sky, our bodies/our selves

By waging war

For millennia

On the Earth

On ourselves

On each other

(on all the other species too, of course)

But … sadly, we did do all that.

(Grief, btw, is an entirely appropriate response to all this. Let it out!)

 

And of course too, a lot of us tried (really-really hard) to stop the runaway train.

But that train got out of the gate too darn long ago.

Our efforts were surely “doomed” from the start.

Those of us who did all this work? I doubt many of us regret our efforts.

I certainly don’t!

 

& I do believe

That since we can almost all see, now

That our species has put the kibosh on any prospects of long-term survival

(Do not all thinking people now feel this, on some visceral level??)

 

& please, no need to take my word on this.

We are all just speculating – some of us with more research behind us than others, of course.

But there are certainly very serious grounds on which to believe

That we are well & truly f***ed, now, as a species.

Bear in mind, I’ve been an environmental activist for 30 years now, so I have kinda been keeping a close eye on things, hmmm?

Okay. Anyway.

 

It’s likely a good idea to take a step back for a moment

… take a breath

… take a pause

 

& say to ourselves

“Hmmmmm.

What shall I do now, then?”

 

I’ve done this a number of times, over the years.

I sorta got the memo on all this maybe a little earlier than most.

 

Life morphs!

The world morphs…

Our purpose, too, can morph.

 

It really can’t hurt to take a pause, now,

I think, & say

“Hmmmmm. What now, then?”

Janet

p.s.  The amazing journalist Dahr Jamail has written recently that the Climate Crisis Forces Us to Ask: To What Do We Devote Ourselves? <May 6/19>. His 2018 lecture here ‘Update on the State of the Planet: How Then Shall We Live?’ is soooooo worth watching/hearing.

p.p.s. Jamail advises that we ask ourselves, “How can I be of service to humanity & the planet?”

Service is the only possible response.jpg

Seems like pretty sensible advice. He makes clear he is not a fan of just kind of hanging around hoping.

Hope Screenshot Dahr Jamail.png

I get that. I’ve long felt much more of a preference for action than hope anyway. (**Action quotes here)

p.p.p.s. there are a lot of musings about NTE (near-term extinction) here, in the Collections section of this site. That collection also includes musings on grief (since learning about NTE – or heck, even just paying attention to what’s going on, on the planet! – tends to induce grief & heartbreak), as well as links to many other resources. &, inevitably, quotations about both grief & NTE (since I’ve long been obsessed with sharing inspiring quotations).

p.p.p.p.s. It occurs to me that maybe not everyone is connecting the dots about how/why things are liable to go so badly sideways (maybe soon). It’s fairly simple, really. For one thing, there’s climate change. & that changes everything … even if you don’t “believe in” it!

** You can read a “monster” humdinger of a climate change essay here.

Let’s face it: we can all see & feel the climate changing around us. More & bigger storms. Torrential flooding, forest fires, rising water levels. Late Springs, like the very rainy & cold one we just had (here in Ontario). There will be difficulties & challenges growing food to feed us all. (I believe this will start soon. Some of that flooding in the U.S.? Not sure how far-reaching the impacts will be. You could check it out, of course! Even here, in Ontario. So much rain. Wet fields. Challenges to growing crops.) The equation is a simple one. Humans need food (& habitat) to survive. Climate impacts are going to hit both of these hard. We need food to eat. Food is going to become (is already becoming) more & more challenging to grow. That’s all. It’s simple. It’s not rocket science; not at all. Just requires connecting a few dots, is all. (This posting mentions a # of other things that are involved. It isn’t “just” climate change – although frankly, climate change alone is bad enough even without the other stuff!? But it’s about synergies, right? Unpredictable synergies that we cannot control. Unintended consequences. The history of our species, hmmm? Sooooooo many unintended consequences.)

p.s. # 5: this item is a real gem! So what if we’re doomed? It’s long. It takes you on a bit of a roller coaster ride. But it’s wise & inspiring, with not a single wasted word!

p.s. # 6: I just like cardinals. That’s why there’s one at the top of this posting.

#ILoveCardinals!

🙂🙂🙂🙂

They don’t seem to be worrying about the future, do they? They’re just busy singing their little hearts out. The most beautiful song…

Control

I’ve long been interested in the obsession our species seems to have with control.

(An obsession both species-wide, I would say, & also clearly very much present in many individuals – manifesting, I suppose, in a variety of ways, & for different reasons.)

I’ve written about it here:

& recently posted this photo from my very beloved Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much book.

Meditation on Control.JPG

&, just ran across another great entry in the book:

2nd item on Control from Meditations.JPG

I could go on & on here, about how little control we actually really have over our lives.

And how unpleasant control freakism is for everyone. 🙁

(Seems to me life is a lot more fun without it.)

And the role of patriarchy, & religion, & governments/bureaucracies, & militaries, & so many corporations/advertisers/propaganda purveyors – on who controls what, & whom, & for what purposes…

But you know?

I think it’s time for a beer.

🙂

I’ll just throw in some maybe-semi-relevant quotations, instead.

Janet

p.s. as regards the patriarchy & governments, corporations, etc., it is generally helpful to always go down the questioning road, being sure to always #FollowTheMoney & #QuestionEverything

A Few Relevant Quotations

Voltaire on who you cannot criticize.jpg

“When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.” – Tuli Kupferberg

“…the goal of all spiritual life is to get your ego out of the way – outwit the sucker; dissolve it; shoot it; kill it. Silence the incessant planning, organizing, running, manipulating, possessing, and processing”… “because these activities preclude awareness of the Divine.” – Rabbi Lawrence Kushner in his book I’m God, You’re Not

“Planning is not part of our culture. You just get up in the morning and do what you need to do for the day.” – Marilyn Wallace of the Kuku Nyungka ‘mob’ (aboriginal nation) in northern Queensland, Australia. Quoted in Steve Leahy article ‘Indigenous Peoples Needed to Meet the Challenge of Climate Change’ 

“We are not lacking in the dynamic forces needed to create the future. We live immersed in a sea of energy beyond all comprehension. But this energy, in an ultimate sense, is ours not by domination but by invocation.” – Thomas Berry in The Great Work – Our Way into the Future, page 175

“It’s antithetical to the definition of power in this culture that a person might derive power by service rather than control, but that’s the essence of midwifery.” – Elizabeth Davis, Heart & Hands: A Midwife’s Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, quoted in Brezsny’s Pronoia

“Energy always flows either toward hope, community, love, generosity, mutual recognition, and spiritual aliveness or it flows toward despair, cynicism, fear that there is not enough, paranoia about the intentions of others, and a desire to control.” ~ Michael Lerner, quoted in The Great Turning – From Empire to Earth Community, by David Korten

“Our best hope for going forward is learning to let go, and part of that is letting go of anger and delusion. Much of the current finger-pointing is fundamentally conservative as it seeks to maintain an impossible status quo, even if it waves a radical banner. But the big conversations we need to have are with each other. And for that we’re more in need of wounded healers (grateful, uncertain, compassionate, complicit) than raging prophets.” – David Korowicz

“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning of life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re really seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.” – Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell, US folklorist & expert on mythology (1904 - 1987)

“I know what the greatest cure is: it is to give up, to relinquish, to surrender, so that our little hearts may beat in unison with the great heart of the world.” – Henry Miller

“If those in charge of our society - politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television - can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves.” – Howard Zinn

“A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.” – John F. Kennedy

“Alice Walker says ‘Resistance is the secret of joy’ and I don’t know if it’s the secret of joy, but I know it is definitely the secret of staving off depression. The reality we’re facing is very grave, so how do you not get depressed about it? Well – one way you don’t get depressed is by work.” – Dr. Naomi Oreskes, History of Science professor, Harvard, in ‘Climate Disruption’

“The cure for states is feelings. As I discovered that day in the shower, unlike states, which tend to congeal, feelings will run their own course in due time. Despite the often expressed male fear that if one were to let oneself cry, one would never stop, tears, in fact, eventually taper off if one lets them. Feelings are not endless, but our numbing attempts to avoid them can last a lifetime.” – Terrence Real in I Don’t Want to Talk About It – Overcoming The Secret Legacy of Male Depression

RELAX - nothing is under control.jpg

My Life Story (so far)

I was the 4th child born into a pretty dysfunctional family in the early 1950s. Pretty interesting parents! Dad a bomber for the RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) during WWII (& later a pilot for Trans Canada Airlines, which eventually became Air Canada). & who, btw, took part in the bombing of the amazing & beautiful city of Dresden during the war. Yikes. Holy cow & holy shit (to put it mildly!). Mom meanwhile an R.N. (Registered Nurse) who grew up in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan - trained as a nurse with the Grey Nuns in Regina (Sask.) Both became alcoholics along the way. Bless them both! Life is complicated…….. isn’t it??? (It really, really is.)

Turns out my three siblings & I are pretty much a classic example of the offspring of alcoholics. I read a book about this – The Opposite of Everything is True – Reflections on Denial in Alcoholic Families, by William H. Crisman. It’s actually pretty amazing how textbook we are!) ** I can’t find a review that really does this book justice. For me, it was super-enlightening.

My parents divorced (not soon enough for me! It was kind of a mess, to put it mildly). I went off to university. Met a nice man. Got married. Did “career” stuff for a few years. Then, a long pause from “career” to have two children, stay home with them (a very sort of frowned-upon thing to do, in that particular era), & launch gradually into what became a pretty wide-ranging variety of community work leading ultimately to a career of environmental activism … with time in there for the marriage to break down & come to a pretty abrupt end.

Oops!! That was definitely NOT what I’d had in mind for my life!!

I was pretty much ass-over-teakettle for a while there – devastated, gobsmacked & heartbroken. It felt as though I’d been put through a freaking meat-grinder! Truthfully, this life development was my personal “This changes everything” moment. It changed me not just as a person, but as a mother. It knocked me sideways, & given the joint custody deal that was decided upon, threw me off-centre – a loss of equilibrium (as a mother, I mean) that from my point of view, has never really sorted itself out.

My ex-husband & I were not ever, I suppose, destined to remain together for the long-term. (We are not just not from the same planet, I’ve come to think, but from opposite ends of different galaxies! Though this was clearly not always the case.) Still. It blew apart so fast that I don’t think we really gave it much of a shot (& all this with two young teen-agers who were utterly unprepared for the bomb that went off in my/their lives).

But hey!! Life moves inexorably forward, not back.

Much growth ensued for me. My wholesale plunge into environmental activism led me not just to “jobs,” but really, a life.

Other relationships happened. (Quite a bit of drama in there at times, along with quite a bit of fun!) Nothing lasting. Different living arrangements & locations & a surprising return to city life kind of late in the game.

& that’s about it!

All of it a simply marvellous crop of fertilizer for personal growth. Both big picture & little picture bits of it. (“The personal is political,” as “they” always say, hmmmm??)

The mixed-up family (& inevitable attendant neuroses). The growth of feminism. Dawning insights about patriarchy … for me, for so many. About capitalism, & the corporations that rape, pillage, & never-ever-ever have to say they’re sorry (or take responsibility … or make amends … pay reparations, etc. Although hey! Lately we’re seeing Monsanto get raked over the coals in the courts, & isn’t THAT a very fine thing to see!)

All along the way for me, the growth of so many wonderful friendships/relationships.

It’s all been quite a slice!

It’s still quite a slice!

Throughout, for me personally, has been much love – passion for justice – & for sanity – for protecting the Earth & all us critters in that great big Earth family to which we belong. Lots of work. Lots of friendships. Many protests, a ton of work (& even a couple of arrests). Lots & lots of fun & solidarity. Tons of writing. Never quite as many canoe trips as I’d like!!!

Red canoe.jpeg

Truly?

#NeverADullMoment

Not a freaking one!

Janet

p.s. this is my story. On a different day, in a different mood, I’d likely tell it quite differently. It might morph (quite) a bit. I guess stories are like that.

p.p.s. oh my goodness how much I have left out! OMG. This is sooooo bare bones……….

p.p.p.s. here is my dill pickle story!

p.p.p.p.s. what’s your story?