I’ve been thinking a lot about Time, lately. If time can be experienced as a river moving towards the sea in a linear way, it can also be experienced as cyclic. In my life the year’s passage is marked by the seasonal changes in nature. I ritualize these eight spokes of the wheel honoring each subtle shift. I notice internally how dream and day cycles repeat with different sets of thoughts and feelings that surface with with each seasonal turn.
I also sense that Time is a lake, and that it’s possible at any time to throw over a hook to catch a fish-like memory or feeling from the deep past, from a present moment, or even from the future. The fish don’t care – or do they? Perhaps some fish are closer to the surface waiting to be hooked.
These still months usually allow me to sleep long hours and awaken refreshed. Normally my eyes appreciate the low light, the bare trees coated with snow, the forest green – spruce, cedar pine – the tangle of bare deciduous branches outside my window. These days I sleep poorly. I do continue to take refuge in the moment. I especially look forward to a pale gold orb that I can glimpse through cracks between pale branches an hour after first light. When the sun star appears over the trees I stand at the window watching what the light will do – reflect on the still open water of the brook, or turn night frozen branches into star-like crystals. Some days the sun will have to climb out of the hooded clouds to rise into blue. Amazingly this star at the center of our solar system literally transforms parts of its body into light every second, an astonishing thought that speaks more to sun as process than to an actual entity and a corresponding event called sunrise…
Winter Light paused briefly and now the sun has begun its return. Even though it’s not yet the 20th of January light streams into the house with more warmth for longer hours. My dove Lily b is already making morning flyways into the living room… In heartbreak I returned Blue, my broken chickadee, to the forest his home. Tomorrow I will once again remember and mourn my brother’s death, so long ago, and yet so present still.
Because inner and outer, the personal and the collective are always connected I see the raging storm that destroyed so many trees around here and the general chaos induced by Climate Change being mirrored by the political chaos in our country and the eruption of human evil. I firmly believe that evil is a purely human construct and that it has been swimming just under the surface of our American waters for the last four years with more and more fish schooling together rippling once still waters.
During this period no one has either named or attempted to hold accountable the man who hooked the fish of power and galvanized evil for his own egregious purposes. Four years of a madman’s actions brought only mild complaint and massive addiction to a cult leader that was supposedly the president of these ever dividing American states. History demonstrates that human evil erupts out of the splits our nation has allowed to occur. (The Civil War is another example). People have been eerily addicted to this man’s actions or behaving with total indifference. As more and more fish gathered near the surface of the lake I was forced to drop out of politics for my own survival. As I witnessed the continual denial/addiction/the rising of unholy darkness a terrible loneliness overcame me as I shrunk away from even more of the American people than ever before.
Even endurance has limits and as I reached the end of my personal rope I came home to land that I belong to and an abandoned cabin, desperately in need of repair. And then Nature brought me new friends – dare I use the word? – two of which I began to feel were adopting me into their lives as kin.
Covid, the virus that the president ignored and denied even after it started killing people continues to escalate. At present four hundred thousand people are dead in this country and this man still refuses to wear a mask. The president is indirectly responsible for every single one of these deaths because he has encouraged the spread of the virus with his attitude of indifference, his continued refusal to wear a mask and by holding huge rallies to incite his cult followers to express more rage and engender further gun violence at the expense of human lives.
When this mentally deranged president lost the Presidential election to sanity, we remained fearful of what would come next. Mob takeover on January 6th – “epiphany”- shocked so many. My young friend (21 years old) said that for him the worst part was that it was not a surprise. His response mirrored my own.
What we didn’t know then we know now says Robin Morgan:
“…what looked at first to be a rowdy protest now comes into focus as a planned, organized, deliberately murderous, attempted coup. This nation was moments, seconds, away from assassinations of the vice president and speaker of the house, and a likely massacre of public officials in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate.”
The day of the riot a refusal to wear masks resulted in more people becoming ill with Covid. Deaths from the virus continue to skyrocket; attempts to roll out a vaccine that may or may not have long-term issues may make some folks reluctant to vaccinate. The latest news is that an immunization protects a person for approximately three months.
Worst of all with regard to the virus, the American people have yet to acknowledge that we allowed this virus to erupt because of our callous indifference to nature – we continue to support a wet market and an illegal animal trade that is rife with viruses. No one even mentions this fact.
We are now two days away from a sane man’s Presidential Inauguration. The threat of violence continues to grow keeping most people on edge. I listen to news that informs me that there will be riots in every capitol of the United States. Two days ago public radio replayed the tape taken of the Capitol’s takeover on January 6th, and the explosive hatred of so many flooded my body with almost intolerable grief as I erupted into tears (I have no television and restrict news input so I hadn’t heard this tape before).
Do we have any idea of the edge that we are on? Can we comprehend that hatred will destroy all of us? That hatred was unleashed by a president addicted to power at any cost, one incapable of feeling any emotion except hatred and the need for revenge seems not to have penetrated the haze of collective denial. Regardless of what happens now the American people as a whole have allowed one man to unleash terror on a level never experienced before in this country. Evil does not exist in nature but is a human construction as already stated, and I am forced to confront the reality that most people still refuse to name evil even as it stares them in the face. Trump must be held accountable.
Our socially constructed culture is collapsing not just on the outside, but on some level inside each one of us. The horrific violence and destruction that we have deliberately enacted on nature using our precious Earth as a disposable resource has fractured her wholeness, and because on one level we do live in a circle of time it is not surprising that the horrors we have enacted on the rest of nature are circling back to us; just as it is no surprise that all the ‘evil’ fish are jumping out of the water at once..
However, I refuse to let the story end here. I still believe it is possible to begin to fish in that deep blue lake for ways that will allow us to return to a way of being in the world that honors kinship and community first (individual rights are less important). Acting on personal integrity, honesty, a willingness to be accountable allows us to pick up the threads we have lost: our humanity. Ultimately we can retrieve our once respectful relationship with the human world and the rest of nature in order to heal what has been broken…
There is hope.
We will soon have a new self responsible President, a genuine leader and an honest, compassionate man who has made it abundantly clear that the lives of the people come first.
We can learn from our mistakes. Please, let’s try.