Flaming Out

Every once in a while I have to take a complete break from “reality.” Just had me one of those times! I think of it as “going down a rabbit hole,” or being in a Very Deep Pit(!) for a day or two. I’m very very lucky on 2 counts here: first of all, that I can get away with doing this. Secondly, that my Very Deep Pit days are usually just one day long. I’m very fortunate on that score!

I’m never really quite sure what sets this off in me. All of a sudden my energy for shit-disturbing – for anything, really! – just drains right out of me. About all I am able to make myself do is lie in bed & read a junky novel (or two).

It may not have helped my spirits too much that the other night I watched CBC’s ‘The Nature of Things’ 2-hour special “Tipping Point: The Age of the Oil Sands” (due to be repeated, btw, on Saturday, Feb. 5th).

I’d say it’s utterly essential viewing. Powerful…sobering…illuminating…shocking. I think ALL Canadians have a duty to watch this documentary! To learn what is now driving the Canadian economy. And the price that is being paid – in terms of the truly appalling environmental damage & the horrendous social & health impacts on those who live “downstream” in Alberta. And our governments’ shocking complicity in this scandal (both Alberta’s provincial government, & our federal one).

Don’t we all have a duty to learn about this???

Maybe if we did all watch it, & allow it to really hit home, we’d finally get off our butts & get really serious about conserving energy & consuming less & driving less & not hopping on planes every 25 seconds just because we feel like it.

Shoot – Americans really need to watch it!! Apparently, it is the U.S. that is consuming most of what comes out of the Alberta tar/oil sands.

Well, anyway, as I say, I went into a bit of a pit afterward. I ignored the phone & my email & my work for a day.

Today I seem to be back to “normal.” Had a long walk, did some errands. Will play catch-up today for what didn’t get done while I was down the rabbit hole.

In World as Lover, World as Self Courage for Global Justice and Ecological Renewal Joanna Macy says, “It is good to realize that falling apart is not such a bad thing. Indeed, it is as essential to evolutionary and psychological transformation as the cracking of outgrown shells.” Spiritual leader J. Krishnamurti said “It is not a sign of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society.”

So I’m not ashamed of my occasional “down the rabbit hole” days, & I’m not going to apologize for them.

This is such a stunning & beautiful world, this Planet Earth we have been given, & our lifestyles & our endless wants & rapacious technologies are trashing it. I reckon an occasional bout of despair is really only to be expected.


P.S. Joanna Macy is quite brilliant on the subject of despair, actually – despair and empowerment. Another wonderful thing she once said is that “Grace happens when we act with others on behalf of our world.” It’s true…

(1) The “Very Deep Pit” is a phrase borrowed from Winnie-the-Pooh. Winnie-the-Pooh & Piglet…well – read the book! It’s in Chapter V, ‘In Which Piglet Meets a Heffalump.’ It was during the immediately-post-marriage-break-up phase of my life that I began borrowing the Very Deep Pit phrase. I used to joke that I was living in a Very Deep Pit – VDP for short. I still get a big kick out of the phrase…