If I receive one more email or see one more advertisement about how I can live the life I've been dreaming of or become healthier or more empowered or successful or attract more clients I will have to run to the window like Peter Finch did in the film Network and scream. The difference though is that I'm not going to yell "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore". No I'm not going to say that. Instead I will remember Antionio Machado's words, "What have we done with the garden that was entrusted to us?" And then I will weep. Because I am part of that "we", because I was born into that "we" and it hurts to know it.
What does it mean I wonder to live the life I've been dreaming of with all its accoutrements, to feel "healthy" or "empowered" or "successful" or attract more clients if the world around me is quietly and even sometimes not so quietly crumbling? Surely this is the epitome of self-interest. What deep love, sobriety and humility might we invite to our doors? So that we refuse the seductions and make sure we don't blink for one second?
I recently wrote a post to my facebook page which stuck many readers:
Dominant culture has been admitted to palliative care. Tis a sobering thing. And there are many crowded in the ward, some struggling with the news, others praying for a miracle, some angry that preventative measures weren't taken sooner, some researching the latest cures for death, some running for office, others remembering the old stories, some dancing in the hallway because what else can you do .. and others given to making beauty in gardens and weaving cloth at their looms because people still need to eat and be clothed and there are small children just learning about the world who are asking .. what's happening mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, neighbor .. responsible citizens .. what's happening? Everything my child .. all the best and all the worst is what’s happening.
Deep love, sobriety and humility .. it's time for us to get to work.
The wind, one brilliant day
The wind, one brilliant day, called
to my soul with an odor of jasmine.
'In return for the odor of my jasmine,
I'd like all the odor of your roses.'
'I have no roses; all the flowers
in my garden are dead.'
'Well then, I'll take the withered petals
and the yellow leaves and the waters of the fountain.'
the wind left. And I wept. And I said to myself:
‘What have you done with the garden that was entrusted to you?'
Anyone interested in learning more about the insanity of our culture owes it to themselves and the land where they live to listen to Derrick Jensen.