<Oct. 24/15> So, I awoke one morning recently hearing the words “We are in times of glory” being spoken inside my head.
& okay, okay: I’ve long known I’m probably some kind of unusual. Not strange, just … unusual. I think. ??
Quite a few years ago, about 10 now I guess? I woke one morning with the word ‘dénouement’ on my lips.
& knew immediately what it meant. That the HR (human race) is in its dénouement phase.
& so we are, so we are.
I’ve “made peace” with this, pretty much. (I call it a “rocky” peace :) :( )
I’m a truth-teller (& activist), you see, & have been for many a year now.
& can see very-very little point in pretending our ending is not coming when so clearly it is barrelling toward us at ever-increasing speed.
In spite of knowing for years – decades to be honest – that we’re on the fast track to extinction, I’ve laboured long & hard & passionately as an activist; devoted decades of my adult life to trying to “save the world” ... though I’ve known that it really wasn’t / isn’t possible to "save" us.
& STILL … no regrets. Well, no regrets … about being an activist, I mean. (Plenty of regret/s about the mess our species is in / has made.)
You see, it turns out that, like virtue, activism is its own reward. Satisfaction (very considerable satisfaction, I might add) comes from doing worthwhile work, and, as one very soon discovers, in the very-very-very finest of company. So … one simply keeps at it! (It’s more fun than it looks like from the outside, okay? You’ll just have to trust me on that. :) )
But … back to times of glory…
The phrase has been sort of nagging at me since that morning 10 days ago when I awoke with it rolling around inside my head.
& today I’m taking a break from “raging against the dying of the light” (different essay) … with my anti-nuclear efforts I mean … & I’m aware there was a horrific typhoon in the Philippines a week ago & that, as we speak, Mexico is being hit by what’s expected to be the biggest hurricane EVER (can you say “Uh-oh; we are into abruptclimate change now?”)
(** remember I wrote this in October, okay?)
& listen, remember, I’ve known for decades we humans have a terminal disease (dis-ease eh?? Yeah, I’ll say. Dis-ease is right. Dis-ease with ourselves, dis-ease with the truth …)
& that glory phrase has been nagging at me
& this morning I think I finally get it!
I think first of my own little life. How, ever since about the age of 14 or so, I wanted so much to figure out how we got into all these horrific stupid awful messes (as a species), & how to navigate our way out of them. I got a lot of stuff figured out a long time ago, you see; I’m not a stupid woman!
& I’ve believed for quite some years now that if we were ever going to yank ourselves off the path of self (& planetary) destruction, we’d need to take a big leap forward in evolution
- beyond conformity
- beyondcontrol freak-ism & power abuse
- beyond religion & patriarchy
- beyond obsession with money & things & appearances
& alas, of course, we have not done so; nosirree, we have certainly certainly certainly not
& even if we started now (there not being any signs that we are, or would, or could)
it’s too late too late too late now anyway
It’s been too late for thousands of years! This run-away train roared out of the station 10,000 years ago already! :(
…but here’s the thing.
Here’s the glory part:
We’ve tried. In recent years/decades, so many of us have done so much.
We’ve pushed the envelope – millions of us have done so
Women busting out of traditional roles & strictures
Aboriginal cultures (the ones that were not violently wiped from the face of the Earth :( :( :( ) emerging from centuries of oppression
Countries throwing off the shackles of authoritarian rule (there are some of these out there, aren’t there?? Please tell me there are… :) )
Homosexuals saying (like me) “Screw you & all your stupid (hypocritical) rules & lies” (that’s basically what I’ve been saying for decades now, you see; “Turn off the lie machine!” [not my phrase; check the link to learn its source!]
Do you see??
The Occupy movement articulating clearly the 99% / 1% deal under which our species has been strangling for centuries, or more likely thousands of years (more was achieved by Occupy than most people realize, btw).
The environmental movement shining a light – a thousand or even 10,000 lights – on the Earth-raping culture our species has been wielding like a wrecking ball for thousands of years now
- Exploitation is Us!
So we didn’t grasp … didn’t realize all this … in time to stop it. Didn’t get smart enough, quick enough
The train was LONG out of the station before we got clever enough / conscious enough to see where it was inevitably heading
But we began to see the light
(well … some of us did; some of us, hmmmm?)
Isn’t that a sort of “glory”?
Think of a flower – a beautiful flower. The way it pushes itself up out of the ground … utterly miraculous, really, when you think about it
& it grows & flowers
& it’s beautiful! Soooooo beautiful.
When we look at the flower, we are not thinking, “Damn … this beautiful flower is going to wither and die!”
“Wow. How gorgeous & miraculous, this flower … this wonderful manifestation of Life!”
(or something like that … assuming we are conscious enough to notice such things, of course, & I suppose many of us are probably not :( ).
We enjoy it
We celebrate it.
So many of us on this lovely, beautiful planet we call home, we call the Earth – we’ve emerged from a claustrophobic cocoon of darkness & fear & oppression & magical, nonsensical beliefs
We’re speaking up!
We’re seeing – realizing – how GORGEOUS it all is
& celebrating that
The Sun alone (not part of our planet, of course, but utterly essential & life-giving to our own utterly amazing earthly home)
is a miracle (slight understatement here, hmmmmm? :) :) )
& so is ALL of it
oceans rivers trees mountains birds creatures growth people the human body
our miraculous ability to generate, co-create, new life …
(wow wow wow wow wow)
Okay okay okay okay okay (as Dave used to say)
Okay. So we poisoned the crap out of it – took a great big gigantic humungous wrecking ball (or thousands of them) & swung them over & over & over & over & over again in a million horrific awful terrible horrible no-good, very bad ways
We committed, are committing, suicide … Earthicide … matricide
We kicked the crap out of all of it
(are still doing so; oh yes; day after day after day after day after day)
In our wild profound horrific inexcusable ignorance selfishness patriarchy-inspired self-absorption & power-mongering greed
But but but but but
We also flowered
We saw ourselves flowering (finally)
We saw … recognized… what a world of sheer stunning beauty & abundance it all is
(or, well, was
No, still is…)
We are in times of glory!
p.s. & I hope we will be as glorious as we can be, on our way out the door … at least as individuals … if not as a species … as humanly possible.
p.p.s. times of glory, times of grief, also, hmmm?
Grief & glory
I guess they go together well
Glory & grief
Grief & glory…
p.p.p.s. yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah; I know. I’m full of nonsense. Stuff & nonsense.
Grasping at straws.
I guess a person, seeing & feeling in her very guts, her so-beloved species on its homicidal way out the door – suicidal, matricidal, homicidal, mad; utterly utterly mad – is permitted a wee little bit of straw-grasping … no?? Indulge me, Reader; do…
‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “Just sit down and be quiet. You are drunk, and this is the edge of the roof.” – Rumi, 13th century Sufi mystic & poet
A few others, just for fun:
“On my 70th birthday, I was asked how I felt about mankind’s prospects. This is my reply: We are behaving like yeasts in a brewer’s vat, multiplying mindlessly while greedily consuming the substance of a finite world. If we continue to imitate the yeasts, we will perish as they perish, having exhausted our resources and poisoned ourselves in the lethal brew of our own wastes. Unlike the yeasts, we have a choice. What will it be?” ~ Farley Mowat, 1991
“We’re under some gross misconception that we’re a good species, going somewhere important, and that at the last minute we’ll correct our errors and God will smile on us. It’s delusion.” – Farley Mowatt, quoted in Guy McPherson SFU lecture here
On the dangers of un-guided technology: “We are aboard a train which is gathering speed, racing down a track on which there are an unknown number of switches leading to unknown destinations. No single scientist is in the engine cab and there may be demons at the switch. Most of society is in the caboose, looking backward.” – Ralph Lapp, scientist-turned-writer
“This may be the last gasp of life on Earth, and what a great last gasp, if we realize we have fallen in love with each other. If you are really in the moment of experiencing our reality, you don’t say “Oh I won’t experience this because it’s not going to last forever!” You’ve got this moment. It’s true for now. We can have a reasoned concern about what is down the track, without necessarily getting hooked on something having to endure.” ~ Joanna Macy, Buddhist scholar & activist & wise woman
“Yes, it looks bleak. But you are still alive now. You are alive with all the others, in this present moment. And because the truth is speaking in the work, it unlocks the heart. And there’s such a feeling and experience of adventure. It’s like a trumpet call to a great adventure. In all great adventures there comes a time when the little band of heroes feels totally outnumbered and bleak, like Frodo in Lord of the Rings or Pilgrim in Pilgrim’s Progress. You learn to say ‘It looks bleak. Big deal, it looks bleak.’” ~ Joanna Macy
“Be joyful, though you have considered the facts.” – Wendell Berry, Christian, farmer, writer, poet