Are we there yet?
Seriously, I’m asking: Have we arrived at the Tipping Point?
How much more can the planet take, can we people endure, before it’s bad enough that we
STOP in our tracks,
LOOK at each other,
LISTEN to what Earth is telling us and
ASK, sincerely, “What’s the next chapter in our human story? How do we want to live?”
I think there’s a song. I can hear the melody and these words in my head anyway.
“I’ve been waiting, waiting, waiting. I’ve been waiting so long…”
Well, I’m tired of waiting …
Please oh please humans, let Corona Virus be our tipping point. I’ve been waiting since I was a kid back in the 1940’s, seriously. When WWII ended, five weeks shy of my sixth birthday, despite my parents’ jubilation, I knew that victory was complicated and that death/atrocities/and bombs beyond-our-wildest-imaginings were co-conspirators with “winning”. How could I be happy ‘midst so much suffering?
I’m tired of wars that inspire retribution. I’m tired of injustices – all kinds – everywhere. I’m tired of treating all other life forms – even the dead ones like coal and oil – as if their only reason for being is to provide for us humans. I’m so tired of feeling the anguish of the wild creatures who have no refuge. I’m tired of seeing the beauty of our world destroyed by fracking and mountain top removal and destruction of wetlands and dumping our waste in the ocean and industries’ effluent in the rivers. I’m tired of fouling our air with toxins, even radioactive debris, I’m tired tired tired of hearing the forests cry out in agony as yet another old growth stand is lopped down and another salmon stream degraded.
You do remember that our breathing depends on trees, along with vast, healthy expanses of plankton in the ocean. You do remember that don’t you?
I’m tired of hearing about another glacier disappearing. Have you ever been in an ice cave in the belly of a glacier? I have and the memory of awe courses through me, bringing a sparkle to my eye even now as I type to you in this moment. I’m tired of beauty being destroyed in a matter of minutes, when life itself took 4 billion years to create this beauty on this small planet in this universe populated by huge numbers of galaxies other than our own.
I’m tired of hearing that yet another friend has cancer, that the war on cancer is closer to finding a vaccine or a more precise chemotherapy. Why are we not looking at the causes? Hasn’t it occurred to anyone that a toxic world cannot support healthy bodies? Why are we not targeting the pesticides, the fertilizers, the degraded nutritional value of our mass produced food?
Why why why.
I’m tired. So tired.
I am tired of death dealing being our way of living – at least in the culture called the USA. I am tired of the loss of reverence for the miracle that is life on this planet, the billions of years of spontaneous, complexifying, creation that brought us here to this moment.
Please humanity, let Corona virus be our wake up call, the alarm clock jangling us out of torpor and drugged sleep.
Despite technology, we are NOT in control of life. Something more mysterious, more spontaneous, more complex than we can imagine is in charge here. Technology is a great gift when used with grace and wisdom. But do we really want to clone life? Do we really want artificial intelligence thinking for itself? Do we really want to live in plastic bubbles with capsules for food?
Don’t you love being in a body? If not, why not? Don’t you love the sensuousness of tasting real food while immersed in stimulating conversation? Laughing so hard with friends or family that tears stream down your cheeks? Smelling the perfumes of gardens and forests? Feeling the wind ruffle your hair and your body heat up on a cold day when you’re running a few miles? Singing, dancing, creating, sexing, learning, exploring, challenging, living your passionate purpose, hearing the peal of kids’ laughter, soothing a friend in tears – this list could be much longer, but I’m curious what’s in yours?
What makes you love being alive in a body?
Have you ever experienced awe? If not, why not?
Have you ever experienced ecstasy, and I don’t mean the drug? If not, why not? Where have you been?
How about wonder – that jaw dropping exhilaration of being confronted by the mystery in which our lives are embedded, of witnessing the birth of a child, of seeing beauty beyond human capacity to create. If you haven’t gasped with wonder, why not? What have you been doing instead?
One of my favorite philosophers, sad to say he’s died, Bruce Wilshire, wrote a powerful book: Wild Hunger – Primal Roots of Modern Addiction. He concluded his book with these three words repeated twice!
Awe undermines addiction.
Awe undermines addiction!
Corona’s power awes me! The virus has stopped life as we have known it, giving us time to choose a new story for how we want to live, and suddenly, I’m wide awake with possibility!