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Disasters Are Meaningful
Advice in the Sixth Mass Extinction
A Meaningful Reality
I can’t throw this empty feeling. My life is drifting toward the disaster that, I know it - is taking me toward suffering and early death, and so my life is just waiting, hopelessly waiting. I know I can't change this.
The natural disasters are being political and we are not. The cyclones and droughts and floods all have a reason to live. Nature is feelingful, and the Earth knows the sensation of world-wide tragedy, the feeling of extinction.
When I attach human personalities to natural phenomenon - like Greek mythology or indigenous storytelling, it might seem like a desperate entertainment. And modern people don’t take this leap anymore. None of our public talk takes that leap, not in op-eds, on teleprompters, in movies….
None of our public talk will permit the Earth and its radical symphonies of wind and waves and fire - to have feelings or purpose. But we need to be in nature in a way that we haven’t been. Something needs to motivate us to value life again. Why are we unable to feel sorrow, or emergency, or the reality of pain that the Earth is going through?
The tornado is kicked into gear by some imbalance in the clouds. Lance, a tornado is a seeker, looking for something around the corner. Disasters are meaningful.
Run With Mystery
I’m trying to be honest with myself. I’m afraid of death. I cling to the people I love because the love they offer seems like it has the magic that resists death, so I put a burden on them. I can’t imagine saying goodbye.
Too clingy, Severine
This is what ordinary living has become, in the middle classes of the West. We live in the human corral, an enclosure inside the fence of little screens.
We treat death as something we can escape from. That’s our old marriage of religion and capitalism. Death becomes data, growth becomes trending, birth becomes another consumer. That’s why the investor class never believes in climate change. Deep down, they believe they can monetize everything in the natural world, and we'll buy our way out!
But Severine - we can escape the dazzling corral - with the help of the Earth. We can walk out into the natural world, under our own power, which is the gift of the Earth. It begins with admitting that we can’t control it. Life operates without us. And, nature operates IN us. For instance, creation provided for our dreaming. If you let yourself dream, Severine, dream your way out of the fear. Relax into the mystery of it all.
To cooperate with the Earth in this time of the Sixth Extinction, we have got to make a run for it. Time for a radical break. Let’s immerse in the forces we can’t understand, before birth and after death and right now. A new kind of power is offered to us.
These heat-waves are like science fiction. What we feared is finally happening. Is there a way out of this or is it too late? What do we do now?
Donna in New Jersey
At the end of the world all logic is reversed. I find myself encouraged now by a flood of disasters, heatwaves and downpours and storms the size of countries. The long-awaited surprise is entering our bodies, a shock wave. like a double-take spreading across humanity. The corporations are freaking out. Now the great fossil banks, JPMorgan Chase, Royal Bank of Canada, HSBC - spend millions shooting out climate rhetoric.
We're going into Chase Banks in New York City to sing and preach. That is because people are rising from a long sleep. The wind and the waves are doing this. Activists are only agents of the Earth. Before we die we will all know that the Earth is alive.
There is a kind of thinking within these thoughtful disasters. This is not just a mis-firing machine. The Earth is fighting to save itself. How would we join the Earth in the struggle? She might welcome a storm from us. What form would that take, then? An act of mass psychedelic civic disobedience? A human revolution like a super storm? It will be a new form of extreme love.
Listen To The Wind
I don’t read much commentary about the earth’s troubles. All the unprecedented terrible stuff. But I still am roused from my complacency at odd moments, by the thunder coming closer in a storm. Mostly I’m bored by the environmental movement. Every once in a while the planet gets me. Any advice?
Sharon, in Kentucky
Just a few minutes ago, it’s 4 AM, my sleeping daughter whimpered in the next room from a dream. I got up to get her a glass of water. I stayed up and listened at the window, checking the clarity of the tree across the street to see if the Canadian smoke had arrived. The night is peaceful here. Then suddenly I heard a train whistle, as if there was a railroad track nearby. Impossible.
The sound of a Mockingbird, singing sounds of the construction from a neighbor putting in a new porch…. I thought I heard the jackhammer used on the old brick in the song of this bird. The wind turned and carried the air brakes of a truck over to us, making a duet with the echoes in the bird.
At night the animal shrieks and ambulance sirens come close and then go away as if I am turning a radio dial at my window. There is a hidden world out there. This reminds me that a kind of cultural noise, the chattering classes and all the advertising, seem to cover up the language that would come to us from the Earth in its crisis.
There seems to be a distancing that is forced on us, Sharon, we are isolated from the Earth’s constant sounds, which are a kind of language. I believe that the Earth is speaking to us but we don’t let the message through.
Tonight on this night wind full of messages I feel an urgent cry. Will I ever know what the Earth wants me to do? I feel like praying. Tell me how to carry your message. Earth - I sense there is a message in the moans and sighs of this wind.
Sharon, can you hear it?
WE WILL BEAR WITNESS to this moment in history. This media project features stories from earth's citizens, recording climate destruction, devastation, resilience and hope. Tell your story.
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