Blessed Unrest

Cutting the Cord

I was yakking with some women friends recently (one of my very favourite things to do!), & the phrase “Cut the cord” came up. Said with considerable emphasis, I might add.

I got wondering if we might all have something we need to “cut the cord” from:

  • Parents who abuse/d us in any one of a myriad possible ways
  • Relationships that have exceeded their shelf life
  • Interfering in-laws, family members, or friends
  • Obsession with memories – both “good” & “bad”
  • Our former lives
  • Wallowing in self-pity & an “I’m a victim” or “Oh poor me” mentality
  • Our many “mistakes” in life
  • Guilt…shame…regrets...resentments
  • Expectations (of others, of ourselves)
  • Bad/unfulfilling jobs
  • Male entitlement / old patriarchal ways
  • Too much judgment about this, that & the other thing

Well, I had no idea where this little essay was going to go when I sat down to write it. All I had was the phrase “Cut the cord” (& a pen & some paper, of course).

& the list of things to cut the cord from just keeps coming out!

  • materialistic lifestyles / obsession with money & things
  • an Everything is all about ME mentality
  • keeping up with the Joneses
  • venal politicians
  • rapacious corporations
  • apathy
  • nuclear energy
  • attitudes of entitlement & privilege
  • complacency & greed
  • women who gossip & whine endlessly    (Oops!! I’m in a coffee place & being forced to hear more of a conversation than I’d really care to.)

Okay, okay, okay.

Of course, it does take energy to “cut the cord.”

Energy & intention.

So. What have you got planned for the rest of your life? Staying stuck in the same darn old swamp??

Janet

‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “Life engenders life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.” ~ Sarah Bernhardt, actress (1844-1923)

Runners-up: “The inner fire is the most important thing mankind possesses.” – Edith Sodergran, Scandinavian poet

“What distinguishes one life from another is intention, the one thing that we can control. Rosa Parks’s intentions were deep and unswerving, as were King’s, Thoreau’s, and Gandhi’s … While the events of the world were out of their control, their resolve was not. … How do we sow our seeds when large, well-intentioned institutions and intolerant ideologies that purport to be our salvation cause so much damage? One sure way is through smallness, grace, and locality. Individuals start where they stand and, in Antonio Machado’s poetic dictum, make the road by walking. Thoreau insisted in Civil Disobedience that if only one man withdrew his support from an unjust government, it would begin a cycle that would reverberate and grow. For him there were no inconsequential acts, only consequential inaction: “For it matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever.” – Paul Hawken in Blessed Unrest – How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – poet Mary Oliver

Inside Job – The Film

** please please please check out the Don Henley CD by the same name! Awesome lyrics, wonderful music. It is a must-listen! (one of my favourites on that CD is the song "Goodbye to a River.")

Note on March 13th: This is now available on DVD.

Last week a friend whose opinions I greatly value sent out an email message promoting the film “Inside Job” (narrated by Matt Damon). Trailer here Reviews here

So I went to see it last night, here in Toronto.

I’m now recommending that anyone & everyone go & see this film (thanks, Sandra!!)

Just Google it to see if it’s on in your city or town.

I’ve always been extraordinarily dense about how financial matters work – perhaps mostly because they have never interested me much. I know I’m smart enough that if I really wanted to understand them, I could. But I’m kind of busy with a variety of other issues, so… this one just doesn’t usually get onto my radar screen.

But I reckon we all need to understand the fallout from the insane financial shenanigans of the folks in the U.S. whose insane greed is so over the top that it occurs to me this morning that they are actually downright demented! (The blog post ‘The Inmates & The Asylum’ may be of some relevance here.) These sick puppies are running the whole show. Heaven help us all!?!?!?

Greed is a common enough human phenomenon, of course. Many of us suffer from the more-more-more disease, & the fallacy that if we buy & have lots more “stuff,” it will make us feel better inside. It all traces back to those not-very-affirming or wonderful (& usually highly neurotic) childhoods so many of us experienced. Of course patriarchy plays into it too. & our vastly mixed up culture. It’s complicated, eh? (Well, hmmm, it’s not really all that complicated to understand. To deal with it, though, is time-consuming & challenging. And yet, is there really any other game in town???)

Well. This film is about the financial world colluding in its indescribable & insatiable greed – with, of course, full cooperation from the folks in the White House – to line their own pockets with so much money & leave the rest of us in the dust (“let them eat cake,” more or less, eh?) to the point that millions were left unemployed & losing homes – & on & on this sick, horrid saga goes, to this very day – with the Obama administration’s stamp of approval, unfortunately…& no end in sight.

On the up side? People of integrity made this film. People of integrity within the economic/financial world were interviewed for the film, & they tell us the truth. These people of integrity probably hope other people of integrity will become impassioned about this sorry state of affairs & become involved in trying to change things.

Author/entrepreneur/environmental activist Paul Hawken once said “You can blame people who knock things over in the dark, or you can begin to light candles. You’re only at fault if you know about the problem and choose to do nothing.”

I put it to everyone that, as an old saying goes, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

Janet

P.S. And I recommend that folks in the U.S. look into the very awesome group, the Network of Spiritual Progressives, & learn about their principles, conferences, Tikkun Magazine, etc. This group is run by & is chockfull of people of tremendous integrity, with oodles of great ideas for change. They could use your help & support (& you can use theirs!)

P.P.S. Happiness is another thing that’s an “inside job,” hmmm?

‘Quote of the day’ w. this post: “The miracle is this the more we share, the more we have.” ~ Leonard Nimoy

Closest runner-up for ‘Quote of the day’: “The secret of happiness is to admire without desiring.” ~ F.H. Bradley

Other runners-up: “These are the days when men of all social disciplines and all political faiths seek the comfortable and the accepted; when the man of controversy is looked upon as a disturbing influence; when originality is taken to be a mark of instability; and when, in minor modification of the original parable, the bland lead the bland.” – Economist John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006) in The Affluent Society.

“One of the things I argue in my book [A Journey Through Economic Time] is the extent to which people go to avoid rational decisions – the very large role of mental deficiency in economic history.Generally, people have been very resistant to attributing a causal role in history to stupidity.” ~ John Kenneth Galbraith, Economist

“The modern conservative…is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy. That is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” – John Kenneth Galbraith quoted in Blessed Unrest – How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being & Why No One Saw it Coming, by Paul Hawken <Pg. 115>

 

 

“The Earth is not dying – it is being killed. And the people who are killing it have names and addresses.” U. Utah Phillips quoted in Blessed Unrest – How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being & Why No One Saw it Coming, by Paul Hawken <Pg. 115>

 

 

 

Plan B - Mobilizing to Save Civilization

The phrase “Plan B” already resonated for me, being a big fan of the writer Anne Lamott & her book Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith (& any & all of her other books, btw). Lamott is a delight! Smart, self-deprecating, compassionate…& funny!

However, in this context I’m speaking of Lester Brown (President of the Earth Policy Institute) & his book Plan B 4.0 – Mobilizing to Save Civilization.

I had the great privilege of hearing Lester Brown speak at the recent Network of Spiritual Progressives conference in Washington, D.C. (Actually I drafted this blog post while riding the bus back to Toronto from Washington, post-conference. Handy thing, I suppose, not being able to sleep well on buses…)

Some of us have already given up on the human race. Written our obituary, as it were.

Not Lester Brown.

His book Plan B summarizes first of all the serious & dauntingly challenging problems our civilization faces with respect to climate change & then lays out a book’s worth of solutions.

One of the testimonials for the book calls it “The best single volume on saving the earth, period.”

Brown paraphrases Paul Hawken in his preface. Hawken is a former businessman Lester Brown describes as an environmentalist (truth: Hawken’s book Blessed Unrest is an absolute treasure!!).

Hawken, paraphrased by Lester Brown: “First we need to decide what needs to be done. Then we do it. And then we ask if it is possible.”

Plan B points out how previous civilizations have collapsed (in a word, a food shortage crisis is always the precipitating factor), shows the parallels with the situation of today, & recommends several excellent books that spell out how previous civilizations have crashed (& how similar our situation now is to those times.)

He lays out the elements for moving to a carbon-free economy (tax-shifting, carbon taxes) & points out that “the Plan B energy economy is much more labor-intensive than the fossil-fuel-based economy it is replacing” (i.e., it involves the creation of plenty of jobs).

World War II showed us that the U.S. economy can be very quickly restructured in a time of crisis.

Perhaps most importantly, Plan B tells us what we ALL need to do.

Personal lifestyle changes; sure.

But more: we MUST become politically active.

“We now need to restructure the global economy, and quickly. It means becoming politically active, working for the needed changes.

Saving civilization is not a spectator sport.”

I can’t put it any better than that.

Janet

P.S. You can download the book, as well as additional data & graphs, at no charge at the Earth Policy Institute Web site.

P.P.S. Guy Dauncey is another person to check out when it comes to global warming solutions. His book The Climate Challenge: 101 Solutions to Global Warming comes with the highest recommendation. Check out the blog post about this, OK?

Anarchy, Fairy Tales & Freedom

<March 16/10>

I actually wanted to call this essay “Communism, Fairy Tales, Anarchy & Freedom,” but I know how afraid of communism most people are, so I left out that word.

I became interested in communism in my late teens, after a privileged & pretty mixed-up childhood. Money held no fascination for me whatsoever – but the idea of communities & sharing needs & abilities definitely did.

But then I got caught up in what I now look back on as the fairy tale phase of my life, & my interest in communism (politics of any kind, really) just kind of fell away.

At first during that “happily ever after” phase, I had a job in which I told myself I was “helping” people (& who knows, maybe I did even somehow sort of help one or two individuals), but the prince & princess living “happily ever after,” for me, consisted mostly of marriage & family life – which, admittedly, was pretty darn wonderful for quite a few years there. My prince & I “made one another happy” for quite a while – just not “ever after,” alas…

15 or so years into the fairy tale, a passion for environmental work overtook me (to my own great surprise) & this has led to a great many unintended consequences (a phrase I now just love; it covers such a lot of territory, doesn’t it?).

So here I sit, today, writing this on a sun-warmed rock in a lovely outcropping on a pretty hillside in southern Ontario, where I’m living for a while in this current nomadic phase of my life. No set “home” – a “foot in three camps” as I like to joke (‘though I still have only two legs!) – not knowing what may come next, nor where I am likely to land.

The marriage ultimately didn’t work out (though 20 years & two great kids are certainly nothing to sneeze at), & relationships since don’t seem to have, either. Given my own personal life/childhood history, the 5000-year run of patriarchy & its far-reaching & not necessarily well-understood impacts, women & men’s current confusions over relationships & who we are & what we want – & the state of the world in general – this is not so surprising, really.

The solitary streak in me has grown very wide. Years of living alone have made me…ever more solitary. A bit anxious when around other people’s company & routines for long stretches of time. (For some reason too, I have a positive horror of being “in the way” – some weird holdover from that … difficult childhood, I reckon. I’ll do almost anything to avoid feeling I am in the way…)

I live on a teeny-tiny income no one else I know could begin to survive on (or even want to get by on), and since money & things don’t interest me much, I don’t “have” to “work” right now. This seems to really rattle some people. (I wonder, do they resent/envy my freedom? My choices?)

I adore my current freedom – but it has & does come at some cost. Everything always does, doesn’t it? Biologist Barry Commoner(1) articulated “4 Laws of Ecology: Everything is connected to everything else. Everything must go somewhere. Nature knows best. There is no such thing as a free lunch.”

Note that last one, hmm? No free lunch. We do always pay for what we get. I pay for my freedom in several ways, trust me. (We all pay for our choices, hmmm?)

Well, for the past few years I’ve begun thinking of myself as a bit of an anarchist. Like communist, the word “anarchist” seems to frighten people. (Imagine grown-ups being afraid of mere words & concepts; a bit silly, isn’t it?)

The Collins dictionary available to me here defines an anarchist as 1. A person who advocates the abolition of government and a social system based on voluntary cooperation. 2. A person who causes disorder or upheaval. Kurt Vonnegut has a character in his novel Jailbird say “Anarchists are people who believe with all their hearts that governments are enemies of their own people.”(2)

Works for me!

Anarchism-Abbey

All I know is, things on Planet Earth don’t seem to be working too very well. Ya think? Our air is foul, our waters polluted, & much of our Earth now toxic. As the planet sickens, so do we. (Know anyone with cancer? I rest my case.)

A clever quotation I’ve run across goes “There isn’t a problem with the system. The system is the problem.”

Capitalism & “democracy” don’t quite seem to be doing the trick, do they? (Like Christianity, real democracy remains mostly un-tried. (3))

I keep meaning to write an essay called “What is Missing?” & maybe I will finally get to it.

What is missing, in my view, are 2 things:

  1. Deep, deep gratitude for this unbelievably awesome, generous wondrous Earth we’ve been given;
  2. Community. Tribe. Belonging

If we all begin working on these two big pieces of the puzzle that you might call Earth Falling Apart in 2010, I think a lot of pretty cool stuff would start happening. (Of course, lots of cool stuff is already happening!! There are tons of people working away on this stuff as we speak.(4))

Of course, I do not possess a crystal ball. Seems to me this whole shebang could “blow” at any time. Of course, that’s an excellent argument for practicing gratitude, living fully in the present moment, & building community. We might as well keep our focus on what really matters in life, since there are no guarantees about what will happen around the next bend. I have a suspicion that the less we focus now on what really matters, the nastier it’s liable to be.

So sayeth I, your friendly local anarchist. One who is trying hard to bring us all back to the really, really simple things: gratitude, community and circles.

Janet

p.s. There are many essays about gratitude on this blog. Only because it’s the primo, most important & perhaps most left-out thing going on Planet Earth. And because it’s free & wonderfully rewarding & liable to lead, when practiced faithfully, to much happier lives & communities & families – & even a healthier planet… No kidding!!

‘Quote of the day’  with this post: “…as the Buddha told his cousin Ananda, the whole of the holy life is good friends. Our relationships – and our love – are ultimately what give depth and meaning to our lives.” – Joan Halifax in Being with Dying – Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death.

My first idea for ‘Quote of the Day: “The aesthetic indictment of industrialism is perhaps the least serious. A much more serious feature is the way in which it forces men, women and children to live a life against instinct, unnatural, unspontaneous, artificial. Where industry is thoroughly developed, men are deprived of the sight of green fields and the smell of earth after rain; they are cooped together in irksome proximity, surrounded by noise and dirt, compelled to spend many hours a day performing some utterly uninteresting and monotonous mechanical task. Women are, for the most part obliged to work in factories, and to leave to others the care of their children. The children themselves, if they are preserved from work in the factories, are kept at work in school, with an intensity that is especially damaging to the best brains. The result of this life against instinct is that industrial populations tend to be listless and trivial, in constant search of excitement, delighted by a murder, and still more delighted by a war.” [Ouch!] Bertrand Russell – June 1921 issue of The Atlantic Monthly.


(1) From the Center for Biological Systems & author of Making Peace with the Planet

(2) Jailbird, by Kurt Vonnegut, Dell, 1979. Page 216.

(3) If you think Canada is a democracy, then I think you are not really paying attention! And if you think dumping Harper – the best prime minister oil money can buy – for Ignatieff would make a whole lot of difference, you are REALLY not paying attention… ***** Lots of great quotes about politics & democracy here.

(4) Paul Hawken’s wonderful book Blessed Unrest is very eloquent & inspiring on this score.

Change … or Die?

This may not be my most popular blog post ever, given the title I’m insisting on putting on it.

I’m usually pretty darn polite, & I generally hope to inspire readers with positive sentiments & a cheerful tone.

Today I am feeling pretty discouraged; not gonna lie to you.

A quick tour of some Copenhagen-related news items shows me that “the old boys’ club” is still firmly in charge – of the planet, of the meetings & of our (never-more-precarious) future.

Okay, I’ll qualify that. There are oodles of awesome inspiring, intelligent activist men working their butts off to make the world change. I know personally a few who are doing their very utmost, & I feel proud to know such inspiring individuals for doing their own very considerable best to change the world.

I guess, then, what I will call the people who are firmly in charge is “the old poops club.”

These are the people with their heads in the sand & their hands on the reins – of the banks, of the industries that are helping to destroy the Earth; of the tar sands & the oil industry, in Canada, in particular.

Meanwhile, millions of people all over this brilliant beautiful planet of ours are writing letters, occupying offices, hanging banners, demonstrating in the streets (& getting their heads busted) because they love this planet & Life itself. Doing hunger strikes! Shedding clothes in the streets to draw attention to the climate crisis. Ringing church bells to shout out the need for change.

The sheer passion, energy & creativity of the human spirit that infuses all these activists is a wonder to behold. I’m so proud of us!! It’s exhilarating, it’s inspiring & it's wonderful.

& then there are those darn “old poops.”

Leading us right over the cliff like a flock of lemmings, bent & intent on our own destruction.

What is a person to do???

I sure have no quick or easy answers, dear Reader.

I like to think I’m not one of the old poops, although I’m now closer to 60 than 50.

I’ve recently occupied a federal (Canadian) politician’s office & been arrested, & you never know what I may get up to next. At this point, I have nothing to lose. I’ve had my kids, I’ve had my “career,” & I have no great faith that “life as we know it” will continue to look the way it looks now, with comfortable salaries, pensions & “security.” There is no security in a world gone mad. No jobs/pensions/or healthy people on a ravaged planet, hmmm?

So.

I’ll keep on writing, agitating & trying to share some key ideas here on this blog & in my other writings.

Frugality, “living more with less” & being an activist are ideas/ideals I’ll continue to live by.

I think if more of us choose to do the same, the world will change. It is changing…

I’ll continue to work mostly on behalf of the young people I meet. The ones who are putting their hearts where their ideals are, inspiring us all with their energy, passion, idealism & a deep, deep love of Planet Earth & the glorious privilege of life – Life! – here.

I encourage you to do the same!

Janet

P.S. You might want to consider reading the brilliant Derrick Jensen essay ‘Beyond Hope.’ You can find it here

P.P.S. There is a 6-minute CBC documentary about the sit-in that 7 of us did in Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's office on Nov. 30th. You can find it here You may have to scroll thru the list of climate-related items on the right-hand side in order to find the one entitled "Climate Sit-in." Lots of good viewing there!!

P.P.P.S. If you haven't already read Paul Hawken's brilliant, inspiring book Blessed Unrest – How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw it Coming (Viking, 2007), get thee to a bookstore or library, and get reading!!

We Make the Road by Walking

I am addicted to walking – one of those really good addictions. I got this going during a really, really bad patch in my life – when I felt as though my life had for all intents & purposes ended. I was learning on the fly how to get by, not just one day at a time, but 15 minutes at a time.

Walking saved my butt, you might say. (There were several other things that helped: my children, friends, music, volunteer work, & then later on, an active gratitude practice.) My sister totally “gets” this walking addiction, because she has it too. She says, “If I’m sane at all, it’s because I walk” (& no, let’s not go there, alright?).

I’ve long been convinced that walking is basically rather magical. An example of what I call “everyday magic.” It’s good for one’s body, of course – but it also works magic on one’s soul & spirit as we go along – one foot in front of the other &, hopefully, anyway, also tuning in to Nature & quieting a little at least that “drunken monkey” that’s always chattering so very, very noisily inside our head…

But there’s more to this “making the road by walking” business than that.

Kind of by “accident,” I came across Antonio Machado’s poem “We make the road by walking.” It goes like this:

“Wanderer, your footsteps are

the road, and nothing more;

wanderer, there is no road,

the road is made by walking.

By walking one makes the road,

and upon glancing behind

one sees the path

that never will be trod again.

Wanderer, there is no road--

Only wakes upon the sea.” (1)

I find these words in my head a lot.

It’s a very, very challenging time here on Planet Earth, lately, hmm? I really don’t think it’s going to become un-challenging any time soon.

How are we to deal with these countless, enormous, seemingly endless, intractable problems?

For many, perhaps most even, denial & ostrich-like head-in-sand-burying appear to be the strategy of choice. Head-burying isn’t likely to take us very far, though, I don’t think, so it’s not the course I’d recommend.

I don’t have a road map to or for the future, that’s for sure.

I just do what I personally feel called to do – what I have to do. I ain’t got no crystal ball (as Dolly Parton has said, “The magic is inside you. There ain’t no crystal ball”), so can offer no guarantees that anything I do or recommend is going to have any sort of predictable positive result.

But I think that may be mostly because a lot more of us have to get ourselves out there & make that road by walking.

At least, that’s how I think it is…

Janet

p.s. What I’ve discovered in my own life is this: first of all, I learned the hard way that having a road map of plans wasn’t always going to be much use (so much I don’t plan seems to happen, hmm?). I learned that I pretty much have to do the step I’m doing & plan my next step. I no longer really plan any more than that. Not 3 steps out, for sure. Just the step I’m on, which will lead me to the next one. And that one will lead to the one after that. So I’m not really at all sure where I’m going to wind up (who is??) – but I do have a very strong sense that I am at least headed in the right direction. I suspect that may be about as good as it gets.

p.p.s. A few quotes on walking here


(1) I first encountered mention of Machado in Paul Hawken’s wonderful book Blessed Unrest – How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being & Why No One Saw it Coming. I Googled ‘Antonio Machado’ to find out more, and this poem came up.

 

Control Freaks Anonymous

<June 2008>

Are you – or should you be – a member of Control Freaks Anonymous? I think the membership would be rather large, if such a group existed (as far as I know, it doesn’t as yet…).

I’m hoping more & more of us are heading into recovery from being control freaks, since I think the all-too-prevalent human impulse to try & control things/people/circumstances/the weather/everyone around us/everything around us is at the very centre of human destructiveness.

I’ve long been convinced the genesis of our control freak-ism goes back about 10,000 years. I’ve written about this elsewhere & I’ve also done some fantastic reading that helped me grasp it in the first place. (1)

But what I want to talk about right now isn’t the 10,000-year deal.

All I really want to say about control, here, now is this:

There is really very little we as individuals can “control.” Well, except for our own happiness – which is a pretty darn big enchilada, wouldn’t you say?

Heck, I can’t control what’s going to happen to me 3 minutes from now – let alone the rest of the day, the week or my life.

This is a terrifying idea, I suppose, to a major control freak, but I put it to you that the option is wide, wide open to be liberated by it – broken open by it, even.

We can each only do what we are doing – one action, one step at a time – & then figure out, as we roll along, where to put our feet down next.

As Spanish poet Antonio Machado said

“Wanderer, your footsteps are

the road, and nothing more;

wanderer, there is no road,

the road is made by walking.

By walking one makes the road,

and upon glancing behind

one sees the path

that never will be trod again.

Wanderer, there is no road--

Only wakes upon the sea.” (2)

This world – this crazy, mixed-up, messed-up world we human beings have been carelessly tinkering with for at least the past 10,000 years (i.e., the era of our control freak-ism) is reeling from our various & multitudinous assorted assaults. The messes we’ve created are now so numerous, so complex, so extreme & so bewildering, it can be pretty goshdarn overwhelming even to contemplate; is it not so??

Well. Let’s simplify our lives, then. Let’s begin creating a path out of the morass, one step at a time. If we do our best to do this with care, sincerity, humility, courage, generosity, openness, selflessness, compassion, love & consideration for all our fellow creatures (including ourselves), Hey! somehow, it will all work out – one way or another…

Janet

p.s. Hot tip: “Your wealth is where your friends are.” So said Plato a very, very long time ago, & it is still and always true. This does not mean, as a young person I met recently mistakenly interpreted me to mean, that I lean on my friends for loans & money & stuff like that. It means that it is the people in our lives who give it (& us) meaning, & who help us get through. We need community…not more money, material possessions, expensive gadgets & exotic vacations.

p.p.s. Some dude named Matthew Arnold said “If ever there comes a time when the women of the world come together purely and simply for the benefit of [hu]mankind, it will be a force such as the world has never seen.” I’d say, any women who haven’t yet become heavily involved in world-changing are needed – giddy up, girls!!

p.p.p.s. Later blog posting of relevance: 'Why we are control freaks....I think.'

p.s. # 4 - in late Nov. 2011 - about 4 1/2 years after I wrote this. You know what I failed to mention?? Control freaks are not very much fun! (I'm betting it's not very much fun in-side them, when they're doing their control freak thing... Just a guess!)


(1) In the Absence of the Sacred – The Failure of Technology & the Survival of the Indian Nations, Jerry Mander, Sierra Club Books, 1992; Ishmael – An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit, Daniel Quinn, Bantam/Turner, 1992; My Name is Chellis & I’m in Recovery from Western Civilization, Chellis Glendinning, Shambhala, 1994; all 3 are highly recommended.

(2) I first encountered mention of Machado in Paul Hawken’s wonderful book Blessed Unrest – How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being & Why No One Saw it Coming. I Googled ‘Antonio Machado’ to find out more, & this poem came up.