The clear & crisp air is stark against the mildly warm train. At least the sun shines bright today. I’m thankful for the warm rays shining on my face. Thinking about the idea of “being used for a purpose”. We humans seem to serve a purpose regardless of our awareness of it. We may aspire to serve some higher good yet our actions, choices, beliefs have us inadvertently serving a purpose that we do without full intention. I aim to serve a world that works for all yet I may be serving the military industrial complex with my mortgage or some other consumer choice i make that has no obvious connection to the arms trade. Digging into the current economic apparatus that appears to hold up our society can get ugly. This is not where I want to focus my energy. It is important to be aware of the reality and equally important to cast our eyes forward. To focus on what we want to create, bringing vision and hope to a future free of the templates of the past. Toward the highest purpose of humanity and the planet we live on with full intention. Our challenge is to live consistent with our values to the best of our ability, striving further to serve the greater good, being used for a purpose that aligns with our visions for a healthy & safe existence for our great grandchildren’s great grandchildren.
I just watched a 3 bedroom terrace house sell for $985K looked half decent from the front but a woman I spoke with who had been inside said it needed some work. Insanity! This gnaws at my hope for owning a home. I long for a place to put rain water tanks, a lawn-free yard, big garden fed by gray water…don’t get me started!
Then hearing about the sub-prime mortgage fiasco with the sex-scandal red herring and tent cities of newly homeless, victims of a greed-mongering economic system … Leaves me far from wanting to partake in the property game. But renting isn’t going to get me closer to my desire, and ranting ain’t gona change the system! The economy continues on it’s sucicidal path only because the collective “we” participate in it.
I’ve started to imagine what it might be like if we began to voluntarily scale back our consumption, how we could create it in a workable way that is grounded in love & generosity, ensuring all in our communities had what they needed. I was inspired by a colleague who has significantly reduced her families consumption as a response to the dredging of Port Phillip Bay. That kind of link is vital in these times of blind & conspicuous excess. I was so glad to hear of it! Bring it on! It could be the start of something audacious and innovative. but where does it leave my hope for a home of my own? wafting in the creative responses and new ways of being, living, co-habitating…
Reading the articles in response to the Garnaut report has me a lil fired up. Here’s a big reality check, and people don’t want to face it, calling it a case of “Global Shock Therapy“. I suppose it’s not surprising that people don’t want to face up to the reality, have faith in science, embrace the paradox and accept uncertainty. But i wonder what it will take, how many people need to die before people wake up? Is it naive to hope that us humans will use our smarts to face the global crisis?
What will it take to have us responding from love instead of reacting in fear? The Boxing Day Tsunami gave us a glimpse of that, clearly we are capable. If Homer Simpson can realize that it’s about community, not individual self-interest in the Simpson’s Movie, then surely the rest of us can come on board and get into being Global Citizens!
Garnaut called for a response “beyond Kyoto”, this was characterized in the “Global Shock Therapy” article as calling for a new mindset. DUH! How many times does it need to be said? Ok, I remind myself that the paradigm shift is happening, the Great Turning is upon us, yet doubt seeps in. Will we make it? Will the shift accelerate in time to prevent catastrophe? This is the greatest uncertainty i must accept, i can’t know, i can only act on my faith and hope that it will, and come from my love for this planet, my larger eco-self, including all who see no need for the shift, all who adhere to the status quo, those holding to “that’s just the way it is”.
It’s not been easy to step outside my comfort zone and look at different perspectives to face this crisis from, so it’s time for compassion, for patience, for trust. Time to balance my feeling of being compelled, obliged to take action to move the paradigm shift along, with trusting that it will happen at the speed it’s meant to, that others are working on it as well, as part of this global eco-system, this global movement toward harmony, instead of focusing just on those who appear as obstacles. It’s not “us and them” it’s all US, WE are all in this together, and to find space in my acceptance and compassion, is vital. Oh grant me the patience!
Stay tuned: A global response to the global crisis is coming to a community near you. We can only hope, well, i guess we could also work toward it, oh, yeah, i already am! Me doing my bit ain’t gona cut it. We are all responsible. Global citizens, stand up & be heard!
A spring morning, withering bottle brush flowers no longer the bright red spectacle of urbanized flora. I wait for the tram among the fumes of commuter traffic. Power tools draw my attention to the new convenience store opening on the corner. Despite my ambivilence about the role of convenience in our culture I hold a small candle of hope that this shop may help foster some semblance of community in this motorized neighborhood. The only other grocery store is a medium sized mall with two supermarkets and lots of cheap crappy boutiques full of stuff made in china. In my disdain I try to recall my connection, my connectedness. Interbeing. To remember the part of myself that is the factory worker in china, the joyous bottle brush flower calling in spring, the disaffected shut-in on my street afraid to answer the door. The joy and the pain is all there, a solid continuum, among vast false dichotomies. The yin and the yang. I need not turn my face away from the impact of the fashionable opulence, it would only deny me access to the reponses that may lead to insight for dismantling economic racism or to laughter offering healing. Gather my strength and courage to face up, to share the responsibility for each shade of gray and of green. Even the black history and the vibrant new growth emerging after a bush fire. Being the green among the charred landscape I can acknowledge my complicity in the shadow of scarcity, to boldly stand in sufficiency and abundance despite all the mass media telling me otherwise. To remember that I have choice and I can choose to stand in the face of the absurdly suicidal culture and hold optimism, dare to have faith in humanity to come thru this great unravelling and to come out the other side. I have no idea what it will look like, how many humans survive if any but I know in my heart that life will go on and i’ll do everything in my power to get there.
(disclaimer: this was written as a catharsis of my feelings of despair at the time, i have not imposed political correctness on my imagination and some judgemental sentiments arose. forgive me, i am human.)
Thousands of Melbournians flocked to Albert Park to witness the excitement as kilogram after kilogram of carbon dioxide was shamelessly pumped into the overcast skies by the super fuel burning formula one racing machines who sped around the track, in circles, over and over and over… The Grand Prix is big business in Melbourne and Australia, used to sell everything from motor oil to ice cream. Scores of race fans sold thier bodies and souls to the worship of car culture, speed and ultimately and unknowlingly, human and ecological demise. Ferarri hats, jakets, t-shirts and bags made for a sea of red and white as i took the train home from a celebration of international womens’ day at CERES environment park. The rest of the world rushed in painfully as we left the park property. As i changed trains i became innundated by the fossil fuel fanatics returning from the big race.
I saw a young man in his twenties carrying a large toy car, all new and shiny in it’s box. The look of dismay and disapproval on my face must have been evidant as he began to look less proud of his big boy toy. Could he recapture the dream and excitement of the race by playing with his remote controlled car in the parking lot of his housing complex? Will he continue to pump gas for minimum wage and continue to fantasize about the ferarri he’ll never be able to afford? At least he’ll continue to use public transport while he wishes he didn’t have to but because it’s the form of transport that’s most accesible to him.
I’m not sure why i felt so deeply sad as i got home, was it a crying jag born of loneliness, or hopelessness? Was it from the display of people so bent on harming our global ecological system, our air, our life? The masses of ignorant asses finding joy in something i find so abhorent? Or maybe the feeling of isolation, of being such an invisible dissident, the frustration of knowing i cant’ change thier minds, that they’re just gona continue to sit infront of thier TVs and be fed the dream that has put us in such peril. Will i be saying “see! i told you!” when the storms become so frequent that more time will be spent catching upand cleaning up from the disastrous down time than making money from so called ‘progress’? When earthquakes and disease, the wrath of mother nature, begin to curb our population when we couldn’t achieve sustainability our selves will we begin to revere the life on the planet as integral to our own survival, realizing we are not separate or better than the other life forms, and that we have soiled our nest, and the nests of every other living being. Will we wake up when it’s too late? This i fear is the deep seated pain that sprung to the surface today when i got home.