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Dear Amazonia

Dear Amazonia

Muriwai trees

Dear Amazonia,

I apologise on behalf of humanity. Unlike your mother, nature, who acts in response to natural rhythms, we humans have replaced cycles with unnatural greed that ironically threatens our own long-term survival more than it does your own.

We have replaced give and take, with only take, and we have confused destruction with progress. The needs of the children from our seventh-generation have been ignored by those who think only about short-term gains, and the need for short-sighted growth.

Our indigenous guardians remember what you have shown them, and they are fighting on your behalf. But their numbers are tiny, compared with those who have forgotten.

Show us how to help more people to remember.

Bring us back to ourselves enough that we understand that we are part of you and that you are the best part of us.

Amazonia you are the lungs of our world. And what spectacular lungs you are. You have evolved with grace for the past 55 million years and hold in the treasure trove of your habitat, magical life forms that we are destroying before we have had the time to discover, let alone understand.

And that is what hurts the most, the ignorance and wilful greed that is driving us forward and seems to be unstoppable.

We have simply elected the wrong people, but implicit in this is our lack of humility and understanding. We live and breathe and have our being only because of the thin layer of topsoil beneath our feet, and the hospitality of our great mother.

We do not deserve the mantle of leadership we have given ourselves, and we need to find improved representation. Even better we need to stand up, each and every one of us and speak out on behalf of the mother beneath our feet.

The time for privileged reticence is gone. We need to dig deep. We need to look at our allergy to earnestness because at this time earnest passion and true community is all that can save us.

Despite it all, I believe in humanity. I believe we are being held hostage by the worst of us, by the 1% that are delusional, that have been denied access to their own hearts, that are so damaged they cannot see the harm they are doing to their very own mother.

Please, Amazonia show us the way.

Help us to use our lives properly so that we are able to look our grandchildren in the eyes without guilt.

This is not a dress rehearsal. We are heading towards the sixth extinction where humanity will be a casualty of a planet that can no longer support the very specific needs of human life.

And we have brought it on ourselves.

Will our mother breathe a sigh of relief when she has finally been able to shrug us off?

Perhaps….

But I believe we are better than this.

We have love, we have compassion, we have connections, we have community. We can prove ourselves worthy of our great mother.

We can win back the trust she once had in us.

And to do this we must look to the indigenous guardians on our planet who have not forgotten what so many of us have.

We need their sacred knowledge and the rituals that have evolved since our earliest days to keep us in balance, to keep us honest, to keep us close to the mother that provides so unconditionally for our every need.

Can we empower each other to stand and speak on behalf of our planet, on behalf of our mother, on behalf of the one who continues to give her all so that we might have a life?

Amazonia we are sorry.

We have much work to do.

Amazonia Image - Muriwai

the soul desires expression

the soul desires expression

Soul expression

we are all broken

each one of us

not just those who so generously

let us let it witness it,

but every human being

tied to her human family

with the pain, strife, war and famine

that have lived before us

and so live IN us also

 

we are here 

to learn to live in the unique joy

and the excruciating pain

of our humanity

 

we are here to acknowledge

our vulnerabilities,

to encounter

our shadows

 

we are here to be humbled

by the depth of our ancestral pain,

to walk into our shadowlands

accompanied by

the compassionate witness

who waits and watches

and comforts,

who knows

that this baptism of fire

is the first step

towards our next evolution.

 

we have survived

that is true

but now we must learn to heal,

to spend time

giving to our ancestors

that compassion

which they didn't

have the luxury 

to gift themselves.

 

we must make room for each other's suffering

we must not look away from each other's agony

or hide from our own.

 

we are survivors,

but that which we ignored

in order to move forward

must now be brought

tenderly

into the light.

 

only the strong have survived

and so we are terrified

of our weaknesses

our damage

our despair

our defeat

our sensitivity

our hearts

broken beyond repair

 

but these precious defeats

live inside us

alongside our stories

of survival,

 they are silenced.

 so that the strong

can continue to inherit our earth

 

these rejects

ignored and shunned,

hold knowledge

we can no longer

afford to do without

they call out from within us,

they are desperate,

sending the best of us

to graves dug by our very own hands

 

these untouchables

 

 

connect us

with the ground beneath of feet

teach us the necessity of humility,

open doors

that have been locked

for the millennium.

 

they wait to guide us

gently

back

to our wholeness

both the darkness and the light

acknowledged at last.

 

our brokenness

is our way forward,

may we embrace it

may we acknowledge it

may we make room

for our greatest teacher.

 

Trump, Tom and Freedom Song

Trump, Tom and Freedom Song

This week a dear friend shared with me that a brilliant young man we both know (let's call him Tom) has recently become radicalised to alt right philosophies and was keen to attend speaking tour of Canadian alt-right speakers Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux in Auckland recently.

I was shocked to hear this, as the young man in question is sweet, smart, savvy and very polite. Not that this means he is immune to hate speech and the philosophies that go with it, but because I finally knew a real person who believed these ideas and he didn't fit the bill of my preconceptions one bit.

There is lots of anger out there in the world and according to my 14 year old son there are lots of young, white men who feel threatened by feminism, immigration, government interference and many other things. And there is a concerted campaign on social media to gather and harness this anger and hate and make young people passionate about changing things in all the wrong ways.

WhenI was at University it was all about the Women's Room, and fighting for Palestinian human rights, and listening to ever more alternative bands in the quad and local pubs.

We were free to think what we wanted and to form our own opinions while the government paid our fees.

Things are so very different now. University is a business decision and kids are making choices based on what will buy them their first house, rather than an ideological ideas about what the world actually needs in order to move forward.

I've no doubt that kids are much smarter than we were at the same age and in the long run I have great faith in the way the way our society will grow, change and evolve over the next few generations.

But thinking of lovely Tom becoming passionate about such hateful ways of seeing the world broke my heart a little. It's so easy to live in our own little bubbles of those who think the same way as we do, and who echo back our own views of the world.

But to make a difference and to counteract the tribalism and "us and them" mentality that is growing globally we have to be prepared to really listen to those on the "other side" and understand where they are coming as much as we possibly can.

Judgment is easy, but what is not easy is to really open up a compassionate dialogue with someone whose views are polar opposites of our own. There must be valid reasons why Tom feels the way he does and if I can understand them, and then help him understand them then I have hope that we can bring more true compassion into our world.

We live in uncertain and volatile times and perhaps Tom just wants to put his trust in something, to rely on something that will not keep changing and will give him a sense of purpose in the world. Perhaps he has been wounded by a woman, or by his mother, who was wounded herself and so he is threatened by feminism and all that represents.

All the things that separate us come from a lack of love. When love is present we can embrace each other and find our common ground. When we are lacking in love we see this lack all around us, we are angry and we want to bring justice to the world and to make others pay for the wrong that has been done to us.

And it doesn't matter whether we are left of left, or alt right, this lack of love and the wrong decisions that it leads us to, take us further away from each other and from a world that is kind and free and sustainable.

My new book Freedom Song embodies my hopes for the future in exactly this way. It is all about the strange, disconnected times we are living in, and asserts that if we can drop our judgments of one another we will see that we are all fundamentally the same.

Love is not some esoteric, romantic word, it is the strongest and most difficult and powerful word in any language. It is also our only option, our only way forward, our only way back to ourselves and each other.

I truly believe that love and compassion can work magic. I want so much to gift Tom a copy of Freedom Song, and then ask him to let me know his thoughts.

I think I'll do just that and let you know how it goes.