Life Goes On

Fall                                                                          Harvest Moon

landscape_Kingsnorthweb-PieterBruegelTheElder-768x563

When the September issue of High Country News came, the poem below was in the Letters to the Editor section. As a result of reading Calvert’s article in the July HCN, I found the dark ecology movement, focused on how to survive the ecocide. I found something liberating in its grim acceptance of a future ready to come for us no matter what some of us believe. (see the post Ecocide)

Then I read this letter, this poem. It’s been on my mind since then. Specifically, I find Vedovi-Rinker’s perspective challenging: “deep thinkers…make laments…And the world goes on.”

Lost-WaysShe’s right, of course. Here’s another and I think similar response at its root, from the website Lost Ways:

THE CRISIS WE SHOULD ALL PREP FOR

is what folks 150 years ago called daily life:

…no electrical power, no refrigerators, no Internet, no computers, no TV, no hyperactive law enforcement, and no Safeway or Walmart. 
They got things done or else we wouldn’t be here

Thrive

Thrive

 

 

On a similar vein, perhaps probing deeper into the collective psyche, Costco announced today a one-year survival food pack for $999.00 called Thrive. Only $3,999.00 for a family of four! I say probing deeper because Costco seems to be moving survivalist prep into the regular commercial sector.

I sense a movement in the force, a darkening of our view toward the future, even toward hope. What would change, if we followed Vedovi-Rinker’s advice? What if, to paraphrase her: We got in touch with our planet. Listened deep. Were silent. What then?

from HCN September 4th, 2017

A Response to Brian Calvert’s article  “Down the Dark Mountain” (HCN, 7/24/17):

Yes, all these famous men
these deep thinkers
we revere
make laments
in beautiful words
while the world goes on.

While women give birth, nurse babies
care for sick and dying parents.
While nuns shelter the poor,
teach in ghettos, visit death row prisoners,
quietly, without fanfare
loving castaways.

And the world goes on.

Our Gaia soul, our planet,
what we are made of,
cannot be killed.

The feminine
in men and women
gives birth
takes care of life
no matter what.

My advice to these despairing men
is to get in touch
with our planet.
listen deep. Be silent.

Then and only then,
do what you can.

 

Onorina Vedovi-Rinker
Colorado Springs, Colorado

 

Weary

Fall                                                                    Harvest Moon

einstein-einstein-quotesWe’ve had a bit of snow today, lonely heavy flakes mixed in amongst cold rain. Still, for September 25th, it was, in fact, snow. The first snow of the season for us. Loveland Ski Area got four inches yesterday. We’ve had a lot of rain over the last three days and temperatures have hit the high 30′s.

Life at 8,800 feet in the arid west is different than sea level in the humid east. When rain comes like this, it’s unusual, noteworthy and downright helpful. Not ordinary or taken for granted. Thanks, sky.

Climate change has invaded the mountains, too, with more frost free days and hotter daytime temperatures in the summer. We do not, of course, face the sort of high profile danger hurricanes or tornadoes bring, though the fire threat is real and potentially as damaging. Drier summers, occasioned by shifting weather patterns, though not unusual here, are becoming more of a threat. Nowhere is safe when the atmosphere itself begins to heat up.

I admit to a certain weariness with climate change awareness, Trump watch fatigue, the increasing markers of social inequity like income gaps, degree gaps and gender gaps. Perhaps the next few months will find some surcease for me, not because these problems will attenuate, but because I’m taking a break. I’m glad not everyone is, but I need a rest from these matters right now.

A season or two with fires in the fireplace, a white mantle over the yard, some lights and holidays sound good to me.

 

Change

Lughnasa                                                           Eclipse Moon

20150927_073243The fall change has quickened. More and more gold on the mountains, aspens along the road have gone yellow. The air is cool and the sunlight changed by its more acute angle. Elk, moose and mule deer bucks have scraped off the velvet and gone into battle to promote their genetics. As temperatures go down, bears know the time to gather calories before hibernation wanes.

Fall has a certain purity here. It doesn’t mix its colors, green and gold dominate, a bit of yellow here and there, but none of the splashy palette of the humid east’s deciduous forests. At first I missed it, the sudden brilliance of a Minnesota fall, now I find the more restrained colors have their own beauty. It’s a different aesthetic here, more abstract, less cluttered.

I can’t imagine a world without fall and winter. If climate change ushers in such a world, I hope I’ve left already. This feeds my soul. That would weaken it.

 

Lunacy

Lughnasa                                                            Eclipse Moon

alpine glow during totality, Tetonia, Id.

alpine glow during totality, Tetonia, Id.

Fire. Wind and rain. Earth shaking. All under the Eclipse Moon, just after totality. Could this be the havoc wreaked by the black sun? As inferences go, it may show correlation, not causation, true, but in the long history of humanity this inference has been noted many times. “We’re all gonna die!” something like that.

Well, maybe not all of us, but a surprisingly large number have succumbed to natural disasters just here in North America over this lunar month. And, the month’s not over yet. Not to mention the billions of dollars in damage to homes, businesses, roadways, other public infrastructure.

n263470Climate change doesn’t affect earthquakes. But, it does turbocharge wildfire seasons, heat up ocean water and increase the amount of available moisture in the atmosphere. These changes are happening at a level of climate change still considered very modest and not at all as severe as the level already “baked in” by both increased carbon emissions, now above the problematic 400 threshold, and the trapped heat in the world’s oceans.

We’ll learn, eventually, to live with the most dire of these changes through adaptation. Moving cities further inland, developing better fire management regimes, moving crops as the seasons change.

Without drastic carbon emissions reduction though, to near 100% by 2100, these impacts will be looked back on wistfully as the good old days. It’s no wonder that the Kingsnorth’s of the world have come up with dark ecology, how to brace for the ecocide. The odds against dramatic alterations to the climate have gone down as resistance to necessary changes has gone up.

The month of the Eclipse Moon is a harbinger. What will our world be like in 2024 when the next total eclipse crosses U.S. soil? Comparing those two months may lead to more inference like this month’s.

 

Ecocide

Lughnasa                                                            Kate’s Moon

86Dark ecology. I discovered it when reading this article, How to Survive the Ecocide, by Brian Calvert, editor-in-chief of High Country News. It led me to this article in Orion, the thinking person’s environmental magazine, Dark Ecology, by Paul Kingsnorth and this website, The Dark Mountain Project

Dark ecology looks the worsening climate change reality in the face and says, “We’re not going to change our ways fast enough.” Thus, ecocide. Driven by an aesthetic need to be honest, to say what is, not what we wish could be, dark ecology takes us away from the politics of fear-mongering toward a grim acceptance.

Politics is driven by hope, even when also motivated by fear. The situation is this-expensive health insurance, crumbling roads, a tyrannical regime (yes, I’m talking about D.C. and Pyongyang)-and we want to do something about it. Just raising this possibility means our hope, our expectation, is that we can effect real change.

Abandon all attachment to the results of action and attain supreme peaceThus, to eschew hope is to cut the political nerve, to mute its messages. Losing hope, attacking hope runs against the human spirit, yet it is built in to our finitude. None of us escape death. In that sense, bracket all the hoohah about life after death, life is hopeless. Yet. Acknowledging this ultimate element of hopelessness vivifies life, gives our lives color, piquancy, drive. Of course, yes, it can also lead to despair, a sense of futility. Which attitude colors our days depends on how we absorb the reality of death into our life.

My suspicion is that Dark Ecology is the planetary equivalent of acknowledging our own death. There is no question about the fate of the earth as a planet. It will die in the fusion driven expansion of our very source of life, the sun. Yes, it’s billions of years away, but this end is no less certain than our individual deaths. So the planet will not be saved, anymore than anyone of us will be saved. Note that this is not a moral issue, death itself is neither bad nor good, like life itself, it just is.

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 presetClimate change itself may bring about the demise of the human species, along with thousands, millions of other species, but the planet itself will survive our folly. For a while. Facing the possible death of the human race might vivify us, might inspire us in the same way our own death can. Or, it might drive us to despair and futility, as our own death can.

My sense today is that I will follow the dark ecology path, owning the probability of our capitalist driven lemming like behavior resulting in our extinction. The question, then, is what comes next? Read the articles. They have some ideas. Not sure any of them are for me, right now anyhow. Gotta come up with my own. A later project.

 

 

Aarrgghhh

Midsommar                                                          New (Kate’s) Moon

Struggling with the reimagining project. It doesn’t seem to have any fire, any passion behind it right now. I’ve decided to keep at it until fall just to see if the usual bump I get in September/October will make a difference. If it continues to lag in terms of motivation, I’m going to jettison it as a project and focus on reconstructionist Judaism.

There is a conflict that may be at the heart of this: should I keep my political fire alive or should I let it fade? The argument for letting it fade is a focus on novels, Judaism and learning the west. They will inform my legacy, too, and perhaps at this point in life they deserve my full attention. Yet. Politics =’s responsibility in my inner world. Perhaps there is a new way to engage, one that still involves the sort of thinking I’ve been doing on Reimagining. This line of thinking will occupy me, too, as the days tick over through Samhain. On the Celtic New Year I’ll make up my mind.

Aside

Midsommar                                                             Most Heat Moon

Last week was mostly a loss. Not much done, either here on Reimagining or much else. More to come.

Working on the Book

Midsommar                                                  Most Heat Moon

finger-moon-hoteiStill figuring out how to go about writing a non-fiction book. As a next step, I combed through some material, including the post below and came up with categories. Then, I created file folders for each category. I know, pretty obvious, right? Well, not till it came to me. Now I have to fill them up. My idea is to use the folders as the source material for chapters. Again, pretty obvious. But, again. Not until I thought of it. Reinventing the wheel. Reimagining faith.

Here are the categories:

Great Wheel, Sacred Calendars, Iroquois-seventh generation thinking, Seasonal Rituals, Time, Paleoastronomy

Emergence, Becoming Native to This Place, How a Forest Thinks, Great Work, Original Relation, Beyond the Boundary, Nature Writers, Shinrin Yoku, Wild, Wilderness

Mysticism, Symbolism, Romanticism, Self