eathweal weekly challenge by Sherry Marr
May I live in a way
to be worthy
of my own light.
On the bus, riding home from the city, I had time to reflect on the world in which we find ourselves living. More of us are awake than asleep now. We see clearly the many ways in which the human experiment has failed. The signs are all around us. But we need to remember: we are meant to be beings of light.
I feel the dark forces ascending and, drunk with unleashed power, and encouraged by deranged and deluded minds, it may feel like they are winning. Yet the human spirit is amazing; it is still alive and well. In every disaster we see it: humans reaching out to help one another, not seeing the “Other” that cause so many to behave badly – just seeing fellow humans, struggling. Poets, singers and dreamers are still envisioning a brighter world.
It feels like there is a war going on on this planet between darkness and light. I have to believe there are more light beings than dark, and that they will endure. I waited most of my lifetime for the transformation of consciousness to occur. Just maybe that is what is happening now? It feels like everything is falling apart. But maybe this is consciousness, transforming and rearranging?
Reptilian consciousness feeds off fear. This way of thinking emerged from the shadows during trump’s reign, which encouraged the dark hearted, misguided human to come into its own. Impossible to put that genie back in the bottle. We saw it on January 6 in full fury and it was chilling. We see it in Afghanistan, where fierce men holding assault weapons stand in front of a sign saying “your government”. (The fear of the Afghani populace is how we would have felt if the January 6 people took over, which they attempted to do, and said “We are now your government.”)
It feels sometimes like we are fighting for the soul of our country – the soul of our world.
You know how deeply the battle for Fairy Creek has been impacting me. Clearly the forces of dark and light are confronting one another on the blockade lines.
On Saturday, August 21, the “police” displayed reptilian consciousness more blatantly than ever before. Protestors linked arms to protect people behind them who were chained to a metal gate. Police began pushing against them and then drew out spray cans of pepper spray and sprayed at point blank range into the protestors’ faces. One man said a policeman pulled open the wide leg of his shorts and sprayed his genitals. Another said a policeman pulled his jaw down and sprayed directly into his mouth. A policeman on the edge lost his balance and fell. Police, to excuse their behaviour, said protestors pushed him – but their arms were linked; the police were doing all the pushing. The video shows he lost his balance. And the pepper spraying was already going on.
The video shows people being dragged along the gravel roadway – this violent behaviour has been going on all summer. But the pepper spraying incident finally hitting the news finally got the mainstream public’s attention.
Who do people being brutalized call when it is the police doing the brutalizing?
Media has been oddly silent about Fairy Creek. They likely have been told to downplay it. Plus police will not allow journalists their legal right to observe, witness and report. They keep them outside “exclusion zones” and do their dirty work out of sight. (RCMP pension funds are linked to industry. Not much conflict of interest there.)
But protestors have phones, and this bit of film, along with many others, exists. I have a media friend who called up Global News and asked why they were not reporting it. He forwarded the video, and it hit the evening news. People are outraged and MLA’s are speaking up. Finally. Over 90 complaints have been made to the police Watchdog about their violent behaviour. [After this video hit the news, police made a new rule: no one but police were allowed to video what was taking place. That will make things nice and fair and transparent!]
But. As I watched this video, I wondered: what kind of new human is this? This is no human being I recognize. They have drunk the Kool Aid, gone to the dark side. You would almost wonder if some alien species has assumed human guise to destroy us from within.
The face of consciousness rising.
But not all of them. On August 27, I watched another video of police brutally sprawling people face down on the dirt roadway to handcuff them. An indigenous elder woman was crying and pleading with them: “Where is your soul? Bring it back into your body! Please!”
One tall policeman, standing in front of the pleading elder, struggled to not break down in tears. His face showed his deep discomfort at the scene in which he found himself. Perhaps it was his first time there. It was good to see conscience and humanity in at least one policeman, who did not engage in any violent behaviour. But in the village today, I passed a policeman on the Post Office steps, and I had to look away, could not meet his eye. My trust is broken; maybe it has been for a long time – a few police shootings back of young indigenous folk in my community. I do not view them as serving and protecting any more – they serve industry.
In this video, at the side of the road, a young woman played guitar and sang about the birds and the trees and her soul, determined to hold onto nature and beauty in the midst of cruelty and injustice. The land defenders’ message is positive: “Our community is filled with love, and together we are strong.” They are fighting to save the last of the ancient forest, the very last of the Old Ones. An irreplaceable ecosystem that holds more magic than humankind yet understands.
I worry. Someone could lose their life at Fairy Creek, while the government remains unbelievably silent.
(If you wish to add your concern, an email protesting the logging of old-growth to Premier Horgan from other countries would carry weight. email@example.com )
And covid is on the rise again. Now there is a new Delta Plus One variant. Like the human virus, covid is once again ascending, gaining power. I have a double vaxxed relative who is recovering from covid. Kids are getting it. Babies.
Out of control violent police, conspiracy theorists, anti-vaxxers, the Personal Freedom Over Personal Responsibility anti-mask folks, right wing white supremacists – the picture isn’t pretty when it comes to how advanced or evolved we are as a species.
But let’s not give up. When things are this dark, we need to shine our light even brighter. When you shine light on cockroaches, they scatter.
The old power structure isn’t working. It got us here. It holds on tight when it is threatened. It fights for its life. But it has to go. For survival, we have to transition to a new way of being on the earth – which is actually the Old Way. This will happen either with or without us.
I recall something I read in 2016, when our hearts were stupefied and broken at the election of one of the darkest hearts on the planet. In Kali Takes America, Vera de Chalambert said “Donald Trump became the President of the United States. But make no mistake, it is really holy darkness that won this election……. it is the Dark Mother, the destroyer of worlds, oracle of holy change, the tenderhearted be-header, that won this country. Kali has brought down our house in a shocking blow; all the illusions of America, stripped in a single night. We are not who we thought we were. Now we must get ready to stand in her fires of transmutation. We need them.”
An oracle of holy change and the fires of transmutation – I like the sound of that. Perhaps that is what we are living now. It is prophesied that in the dark days of floods and fire, the Rainbow Race will rise, all over the earth. (I see these warriors of the rainbow at Fairy Creek, and I love them with all my heart. They are fighting to save us all.) It is prophesied that in dark times, Shambhala warriors, armed with compassion and insight, will walk the halls of power. (I think Barack Obama was one of them, and it freaked out the extreme right so much they lost their grip on reality.) They say we ourselves were born at this time because we are the ones who will help make this evolutionary shift. That feels hopeful to me.
All this time I told myself we were born from war– but I was wrong. We were born from beauty. Let no one mistake us for the fruit of violence—but, rather, that violence, having passed through the fruit, failed to spoil it.― Ocean Vuong, from On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous
These evolved and tuned-in beings are at Fairy Creek, linking arms and singing for the trees, putting their bodies between the heavy equipment and the last of the Ancient Ones. I see them in the hot dog vendor who once a week feeds the homeless. I see them in front line workers who help the sick, fight the fires, resuscitate the addicted. I see them rescuing animals from the wildfires, desperately saving lives from the flames. I see them in the response in our hearts – we poets across the planet – as we sing our sorrowful/hopeful songs, longing for that better life – the life we were meant to have here in the garden.
We can never give up. The transformation of consciousness begins with individuals. When the light goes on for – and in – conscious beings, we understand our place, our connection, on this finite planet in our care. The choices we make personally do have impact, even though we may feel they are a drop in the bucket: recycling, reducing consumption of meat (and everything else), using public transit, avoiding plane travel, withdrawing support from corporate offenders, demanding change from our supposed leaders, becoming activists for the world we want to see, for whatever cause stirs our hearts the most.
People are already out there, cleaning oceans, repairing streams, planting trees, protecting trees. Some advanced countries have already made the switch from dirty to clean energy. Some have banned fish farms from their waters; others make roads from recycled tires or plastic. Some are growing bamboo and hemp, more quickly renewable than trees, giving forests a chance to mature and become the biodiverse ecosystems they are meant to be. (Remember the best carbon storer on the planet is a mature tree. It is insanity, in ever-increasing drought, to be cutting them down.)
Time for us to shine our lights, boys and girls, as brightly as we can, into every dark corner.
Your challenge: In the midst of everything going topsy-turvy, in a dark-hearted world, let’s pick up our pens and direct our faltering hope, our vision – OUR LIGHT – in what may very well be our last gasp at the brink of the abyss. With our Shambhala warrior pens, let’s expose what is wrong on the way to making it right. Let’s keep shining some light into this broken world, which remains so heartbreakingly beautiful, in spite of everything.
Hello poet friends. I hope you are well, in your various spots on the planet. Fairy Creek, covid, floods, storms, wildfires, rolling back women’s rights by 50 years – hard to muster light in deranged darkness, but we can try. I encourage you to find a video titled Ada’itsx / Fairy Creek, if you can find it on facebook. We werent able to include it here. It shows the love , commitment and compassion of the land defenders, countered by the increasing frustration and violence of the police. Sigh. Darkness and light…….may we topple over into enlightenment and change. Change is happening, one way or the other. I am glad of this forum, where we bear the weight together.
Thank you for this challenge, Sherry, and for all that you do. I hope you don’t mind my linking up an older poem which I felt fit the bill.
I am pleased you are linking it, Ingrid. I sometimes have to resort to an older poem, myself,; sometimes we have already said it as well as we can.
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Thank you Sherry 🙏
I was so distressed to read of about what’s happening at Fairy Creek. The police are getting bad here too but nothing like that. It’s appalling to read of their behaviour and the way news about the protest is being silenced.
My poem written in response to this challenge is inconclusive but I feel we are still very much in a transitional phase. We can’t know the conclusions yet.
Thanks for adding your voice to the conversation, Suzanne. With what is happening globally, I worry world leaders are being way too slow. I love the word transitional, but I worry what we are transitioning to.
The future is uncertain, that’s for sure.
I am glad to know you Sherry and to read your powerful writing. You raise my consciousness with your truthful words. I am grateful to you, to your passion and commitment.
Myrna, it is lovely to see you here. Welcome! I feel like I have been screaming into the wind for 40 years. But I cant stop because I care too much.
Kali is the entrancing figure for me here. What does she tell us about our hubris?
I LOVED the essay on Kali at that particular moment. Holy change. Tear down the way that is not working. So strange that leaders still think they are in control, when the planet has obviously decided differently. Thank you for this forum, Brendan. It gives me somewhere to put my angst. The pepper spraying just blew my mind – that police can do that and have no concern about it, knowing they can get away with it. It is not protect and serve any more.
Hi. How are you guys? As I was reading last night, I came upon an article that talked about our carbon footprint and immediately took to crafting something on the topic to share here at earthweal, but then I couldn’t find the original post with that prompt to link back to. Still, last night I scheduled my post to go out tonight (my time) figuring I’d have time to look for that CO2 footprint post. Couldn’t locate. Therefore, I’ve added my link to the Mr. Linky on this blogpost. Hope no one minds. Or if I’m out of line here, let me know and I’ll remove the pingback. Thanks, once I find my way around here, I’ll do better. Let’s keep our belief in each other alive. Thanks for all you do, earthweal.
Selma, we are MORE than happy to have you join the conversation. So happy to see you here. Off to read your poem. Thank you for being here.
Selma, your site is not posting my comments. Maybe check your spam folder…….I left two. Thanks for sharing your poem with us. I am with you – clean Green energy all the way. Can you imagine all the wonderful jobs there would be if leaders and industry started making the transition? We live in hope.
Wonderful prompt – important conversation. Thank you Sherry.
Lindi, thanks for adding your beautiful poem to the conversation. A truly gorgeous read.
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