Some days I am agast at the twisted myopic dribble that is spread in the name of freedom. People are thumping their chests to state their personal sovereignty yet can’t get out of the weeds if their purely selfish actions and ideological irrationality. Are your personal rights more important than having concerns for others? This bloated narcissistic poisoning of reason is why we have the ICUs filled with covid patients and people resorting to livestock medicine for a cure.
Why in all that is reasonable in the world is mask wearing the gateway to your oppression? Or castrator of your personal freedom? Is it the freedom to to be sick? Freedom to infect others because you don’t care… It’s not your problem? It’s your freedom to choose when you die? It’s your freedom to do whatever you damn well please at whatever cost to others because you are the only thing that matters?
This insane justification of self over others has taken hold across many different groups from spiritual to political. It has infected the public sphere and exploited the poor and empower the privileged to make some of the most egregious choices that we will be paying for in lives and resources for a long time.
We have fed the beast of this lunacy with the memes, social media bias, and the shear glut of misinformation that is churned out to fill every bit of data space in the cyber world. They have vilified the experts and raise to royalty the charlatans of quakery. And all of this noise has consequences… those consequences are the indifference and cavalier way some are willing to dismiss other’s lives for the misidentified notion of freedom.
Freedom is not going to end this. Freedom is not what will save you. Freedom has a cost that requires an ecology that allows for personal liberty and the united actions that bring about that ecology for freedom to exist. Freedom is NOT a personal stand we take because we are the most important. Freedom is the recognition of the true value of our humanity and it right to live in pursuit of meaningful existence through sacrifice and compassion. We don’t have freedom at the expense/oppression of others…. whether we agree with them or not.
This personal sovereignty freedom movement is a march towards extinction. This is the entropy of humanity. The chaos.
Rugged individualism is a myth along with personal freedom if there is no society or world to live in.
It’s been a long time since humanity faced a microbial enemy of such voracious abilities. In my life time AIDS was the the big chiller that stopped the free love of my youth dead in it’s tracks. I stood outside bars with pamphlets and condoms. Some of us tried to educate. There was a lot of loss. Gay men dropped like flies. Those who got got blood infusions died… those who had sex died. It was tragic and scary. Then there was the ignorant violence of those who defend their hate in God’s name. That period of time in my life would shape my thoughts about Covid-19…. I think if you have not experienced catastrophic loss or felt the helplessness of not knowing any where to turn… or even trust… being ostracized. You might not get how quickly a virus can become a social tsunami of the unmanageable and show the weaknesses of a society.
Through out the early period of AIDS there was wildly inaccurate information and speculation. It was cruel and criminal. It brought out the absolute worst in some people. There was also a growing movement to raise awareness and figure out a cure. There were a lot of false hopes, dead ends, and eventually successes. Almost 40 years later AIDS is no longer a death sentence. We have come to a manageable point of social responsibility and medical intervention.
Covid-19 is pushing all the same social buttons of fear, distrust, hate, compassion, etc… It is also an extremely fast evolving virus. Which constantly changes the rules as we try to stay ahead of it. Like AIDS we are going to have to stop blaming/denying/politicizing and commit to a unified focus to stop the viral spread. Unlike AIDS we are not given the grace of time and because it is an air born pathogen it will always have the upper hand in how it moves through people and populations. People resisted wearing condoms to stop AIDS for all kinds of excuses related to ignorance and selfish reasons. Until it affected them directly. All the same kinds of arguments are being made about masks…. social distancing…. this is putting an huge strain on our Healthcare systems. To the point of near collapse. The phobias and resistance surrounding vaccines is discouraging and allowing the virus to get better at mutation in order to survive.
As I’m writing this I feel sad, angry and perplexed a the nature of those who continue to look at the situation and (I’m not including those with medical exceptions, those can’t get the vaccine because of age or other legitimate reasons) have decided to just let others die or get very sick.
Plagues are a social disease. They attack the systems, structures and the social order of things because it has found the weaknesses that will be exploited for their survival.
The way this virus is going we are going to be in this for a long time. To put it bluntly that means getting real about it and stop thinking it going to end and we all go back to our lives. Because we’re not. Plagues are like that they reshape populations and redefine social norms. Look at the Black Plague, leprosy, small pox to name just a few. Our survival depends on it. If we continue to adapt and find the ways to fight this virus then we have options based on the reality of how this virus is.
People didn’t stop having sex because of AIDS they learned how to have safer sex.
I encourage you to get vaccinated. Wear a mask and do what will change the course of this virus. We have done this before. We can do this.
I just saw a picture of Mount Shasta without snow. It look oddly small and not like the majestic peak I remember towering over the landscape. The snow gave it that other worldly presence as it stood above the surrounding mountains. It felt sacred. Mystical.
It’s more than just snow. This is the source of rivers and streams that feed the ground and nourish the land. Without this life giving resource the area will feel the growing trauma of drought that is now becoming increasingly normal in this once lush region of California. And with this ecological imbalance comes fire. We are witnessing an environmental alchemy of transformation. We are not sure the results… but things will be very different… and difficult.
I know many who are part of the movements to save water. Water is life – Life is water. We chant. We drum. We stand to face the polluters. We advocate for water as a human right. We protest. Get arrested. Pray. Over and over…. yet the waters keep disappearing. The land dries. The climate becomes more volatile. As the oceans warm up the patterns of weather shift rains and heat to different places. We are now in the change. The earth is adapting to her chemistry. She rolls with it. She knows what to do and will adjust to continue.
We need to stop thinking we can fix this in the naive way we are doing it. It’s not ours to fix in someways that boat left a long time ago. What remains within our abilities is to start adapting and living more in alignment with the earth changes. That doesn’t mean we give up our advancements but we do use them to guide us in better efficiency and actions. This can be utilized in designing homes, infrastructures, conservation, and agriculture. It also means migrations to place where there are the resources to survive and build to thrive in a more symbiotic way with the earth.
Life is is precious and durable. That is why this planet remains that blue dot in the universe. We have water. A life giving resource that will continue to define the direction of this planet.
The body is shaking the yoke of it’s sleepy mind. Blinking eyes see the light and squint at the truth. The harsh landscapes like bad dreams smoldering and devastated solidify in the reality of the day. Waking up is the call to action. Driven by the rooted fibers that pull and stretch to play a sound that shivers the cells…. Our dreams can not save us. Our sinews and bones, breath… beating heart…..The earth calls us from the dream time that we have binged on for so long it hurts to feel our blood flow.
It’s looking like we are going back in to a form of lock down again. Those tiny microscopic viruses are playing a long game. I just checked the latest map. Not good. I am vaccinated and will continue to distance and mask. I can’t help but think this is a about deep cathartic change. Last year we named the shadows of oppression, the violence against people of color, the inequities between classes, the vulnerabilities of essential works and their subpar pay…. We saw the rich get very rich and the poor stuck in a waiting game of bureaucracy and failing infrastructure not meant for the shear volumes of people in need.
This time around with covid feels different. The lines drawn are strangely and not surprising between those who trust science/medicine and those who don’t. There is a measure of religious beliefs and cult like fundamentalism that thinks a man who died violently 2,000 plus years ago will save them from this….. or there are the ones willing to inhale peroxide…. or live in a bubble of this is all a hoax.
We humans have been here before. We get here every time we over populate, start running out of resources/water and drown in our own garbage and sewerage. This is the weird dark side of a successful species. Look around it is us now. It’s bad. There are very clear divisions in ideologies in how to handle this. The virus seems to be winning as we argue freedom over collaboration and cooperation. There is no winner to this end game. Bezo’s magic bus to the edge of space isn’t even a rich person’s ticket out of here.
We are so afraid of not being seen or having relavence that we hang onto our labels and identifying quanitfiers…. as if a name could bring a change or save us from our selves….
The deep mystery… the initiations that transformed the ages of humans as they grew up in the service of their communities all over the world. These are key to understanding the collective evolution that needs to happen. Intiation is about death… Both ceremonially symbolic and being brought to the place where we thinking we are going to die. This is the death of who we think we are. We walk through a threshold that delineates before and after.The change is the fundamental core shaking earthquake that puts your being in the realization that you could die and you have to choose life/living or death…. and you choose to live even if you have no idea what that means. You walk away from everything into nothing… you float without identity… you have no connections… you might hear your voice for the first time….
As a global society we are in this collective movement to find meaning after years of consumerism, addiction, self preservation, polluting resources, denying people rights and dignity….. We are facing climate induced migration and water/food shortages… we are looking at it…. and no amount of money, power, nationalism, gender diversity or keeping things the same will change what is happening.
Every day we get the chance to choose to either live voraciously in the service of creating a kinder better world or dying…
Microbes are adaptable. They have over the millions of years that they have been here on this planet learned ways to thrive and hibernate in every ecology and life form. We can wake them up out of a frozen tundra slumber or find them in the gut of a worm. There are more of them then us and they are not impressed with our evolutionary discoveries or interested in our feelings. Microbes want to live. They are the embodiment of life force. They know how to win the survival game. They do it with impunity and the stealth design of their size and shear numbers. Our thumbs are no match for them. Our brains can find ways to evade them through science and medicine… but in the end they are always winning.
I’m not going to get into the weeds of vaccines here. The science has been presented and we know that this variety of Covid-19 is deadly. And like all things that are shocking to the human psyche it has divided us into those familiar camps of “acceptance” and “resistance”. These camps have a spectrum of responses, beliefs and even violence. Which in the end aids the microbes to find the weak points to thrive. The microbes unify, develope genetcally strategies and shape-shifting to plunder our species…. and we argue the virtues of humanities higher achievements and the men and women who have devoted their lives to probe deep into what, where and how of these tiny creatures.
We divide and take sides and act like its a soccer game. With all the fundamental nationalism and pride rolled into fever fanatic mob violence. One side will win. One side is the better…. the tribalism of finding a like minded group that embodies the same fears, anger and ideas. Then echo it out over and over like gospel. When in reality if we use ball to represent the virus, it doesn’t give a crap about who is kicking it. It’s design and shape moves it across the field. It plays in the stadium of life. It remains the same but occasionally gets an upgrade in materials to perform better. The games rules remain the same mostly. The players come and go the fans shift sides and teams in response to their personal need for meaning and relevance. The ball remains the constant while changing every thing around it.
That is the brilliance of their evolutionary intelligence….
There is a documentary about Anthony Bourdain that is making the rounds. There seems to be some kind of cult with him and his life. He somehow rose up to be part of the gurus of culture and culinary expertise. His nomadic “parts unknown” fueled the imagination and cult of travel as a way of life. Designing a new kind of man born out of addiction and self reflection/absorbed/deeply lost…. privilege. Another white guy showing us the riches of other places, people, cultures. Framed by the camera to show just enough of the exotic to make it desirable. To stir a romantic longing in each of us.
The faux reality of his TV personality filled homes while the dust of his true being gather together in piles that no one saw. Vulnerable to the whims of networks, ratings and creating more and more content to satisfy the voyeuristic perverse cult of his created self… in the end he could not make the dust of his behind the scenes come to life as pixels do on a flat screen.
The virtual world is a hollow vessel. The mechanism of social media has robbed many of dignity. Many beg to be noticed.. To belong. Yet, this insatiable world of capitalism and branding is computed by the algorithms of trends, hashtags, and being seen…. relevant. Selling your data to have access…. discounts…. The odd friendships of “likes” and “following”…. some people we knew long before this screen world others are part of that weird way we are degrees apart… networked into webs of connections. Your virtual visibility becomes more important than your content… the real you is a ghost the the machine….
To make a living in this is a complicated art and science. Some are selling an angle to get ahead…. others sexualing their content…. then there is just straight lies and misinformation. The algorithms tally and out comes the percentage of visibility…. or you just pay up to get more visibility. We are more connected than ever and yet we feel so far a part. So unseen, felt or heard….
The star dust of our being is burning out behind the screen. Our pixelation is not the measure of our humanity. We are not being seen.
My mind has been dry in the word department. I think it is about the elusive pursuit of an idea. Finding grace in this moment we find ourselves in. It seems we are standing on the shifting tides and sands of the who, what and why of us. Nothing seems certain and we are plagued by a virus of identity as well as a real virus that haunts our inadequate response to it.
I don’t think there is any place or people who is not affected by this. Some have the economic insulation that keeps them in the playgrounds near the edge of space and some are fighting just to breathe the next breath. The planet is simultaneous burning and downing… It could be a “Revelation” of sorts…. a carnival of tragic consequences created by the comic errors of ignorance and the greed of certain people. The best of and worst of times….. A tale we weave each day to create hopefully a meaningful existense without the intuitions and rhymes from the cacophony that drove our days before Covid.
There are no Knights to save us… The Priests are silent….. The politicians trip over themselves to posture positions and policies. This world is changing faster than our minds. The bigger cycles of time are rotating. Our once strong veneer of of power is in the entropy of cracking and pitting. It can not for long hold it’s shape and forms….. collapse is coming…. migration is coming….
Some of it we will not change. Evolutionary success is in adaptations. Ask the horseshoe crab…. they know….
As intense and difficult the challenges we face are there is hope. We probably won’t know the outcome or the storyline too far ahead…. nor the plot twists for power or divergence. Life has a tenacity to live. It finds a way. We need to tap into that and awaken the sleeping soul with in us. It’s not a religion. It’s not a Political ideology.
It is a fool’s day. The first day of April is met with freezing temperatures and snow. Yesterday the purple crocuses sang and stretched towards the sun. We live in times of change and the Earth mocks us for wanting a stable, predictable set of seasons…. Spring will come. It always does and with it the renewed passion to be in the world.
My move is almost complete. I am very happy to have the space to create a new chapter in my life and work. So much to process into art and beautiful things. I’m also looking forward to teaching small groups (2 to 6 ) people in the studio once it is set up. There will be drums, rattles, books and more to be made. Methods and ways to be shared. I am very excited to have this unfold.
I will also be offering The Refurb Cafe & Fix It once a month once the weather is warmer. This is born out of my desire to create a less disposable world and to empower people to fix things. This will be a day long gathering with herbal tea and you get stuff fixed or figure out a way to upcycle into something new. Bring that lamp that needs wiring or that really cool thingie that needs something…scissors or knives that need sharpening…. etc…. There will be a donation jar or other ways to support it. More info to come as things are come together this Spring.
I haven’t written in a while. The trauma of the last few weeks after the election have had me glued to the bizzare and terrifying unfolding of the last unhinged push by this administration to keep power. My heart ways heavy with the 400,000 dead and the still climbing numbers of covid infections. The economic tragidies and all the battering that has befallen this country. To clean up after a mad man is going to consume the next few yeas of this country. Many of us took to the streets to support Black Lives and fought a war with our keyboards and facts takng the lances and arrows of critisism form strangers and those we thought we knew. Hate seeped into our lives and stained the carpets with its reminder that tolerance is not a cure. It only bought time for them to reload and come back with better amunition.
The divides in this country are big…. which means our ideas and visions for the future must be bigger. It is so much more than just needing to regain the ground lost, we must push so far forward as to catch up with the rest of the world. This country’s derailed binge of ego dopamine laced power struggle needs to sit in the detox. Our egos and pride will not get us out of this. What we know will not necessarily give us the correct ideas or motivation…. we need to find a spiritual awakening of sorts…. not religous…. spirtitual. The inner work that heals the pain and cultivates our humanity.
Coming out of a binge is hard. The physical, emotional spiritual pain wants the medicine that worked in the past. It is so easy to slip back into what we know than face the unknown…. But that is where it begins….. that first step thing…. that thousand mile journey thing begins somewhere….
All these things are part of my current awareness. I think about how I want to participate in the next cycle of change. I look at my skill set to see how I can utilize what I know and can do to support, design and create the future. Also, listen to what is needed. Witness. Stand together.
I look forward to the new administration coming in. I have faith in their competence and will do what I can to make it successful.