The way in is the way out

This week on Earthweal Ingrid asks us to consider ways in which we might find our way of the labyrinth of the Anthropocene.

The way in is the way out.
Change starts with thoughts.
Descartes and the Enlightenment –
all those great minds devising
the mind/body split,
the human/nature division.

The industrial revolution came soon after.
Profit driven mass production
birthing the capitalist mindset
then
whoopee and hey presto,
fast forward two hundred years
globalisation has enslaved our minds.
Consume, consume, consume,
exploit, extract, abuse.
Don’t think of the environment.
Humans are separate from nature.

The way in is the way out.
Change starts with thoughts.
If we change our way of thinking
our world view shifts.
With humans as part of nature
human/non-human interbeing
co-creates new outcomes for all.

Feeling the joy,
dancing in the green world.
Labyrinthine ways unfolding,
magical passages of dappled light.
New ways of thinking opening
new neural pathways.
The heart/mind connection
illuminates the way forward.


Up to the light

I bought a crystal recently that came from the Ganesh Himal mountain range – an arm of the Himalayas that runs down from Tibet to Nepal. The crystals there are found at 3,500 feet. They are hand mined by Sherpas who can only stay up for there for one day. It takes them three days to walk out with the crystals packed into woven baskets they carry on their backs.

I bought the crystal because I was so overwhelmed by the world. I wanted to tap into pure spiritual energies and figured crystals from the highest mountains on earth might well carry a high frequency vibration. I also bought a beautiful stone that is mined at the base of K2, the second highest mountain on the planet. K2 stones are composed of granite dotted with inclusions of brightest blue azurite.

The first time I used these stones in meditation (by placing them on my third eye while I was lying down) I kept getting visuals of jagged snow capped mountains with plumes of white snow billowing out across a clear blue sky. Since then my meditations have been less visual and more about energetic infusions of light. After one meditation I opened my eyes to see the crystals on my bedroom window sill gleaming so brightly I had to shift my line of vision. Outside the sky above my house was as blue as the azurite on the k2 stone.

What does it mean
to come into the light
in this time of darkness?

How does it change things
to hold in the mind
and feel in the heart,
purity and peace,
while outside in the world
all hell breaks loose?

The mystics say we are souls
bound to a human body.
Only through struggle
can we find the light within.
Up on the highest mountains
the air is rarefied.
No one can stay for long.
Yet it’s there in the heights
that the light is at its brightest.

prompt: https://earthweal.com/2021/09/06/consciousness-raising-during-the-apocalypse/

Signs of Spring

Looking up at the big old ash tree in the garden I see the first sign of new leaves.


Looking down into the garden I see signs of spring rain.

It’s been raining on and off for days and it’s still cold down here in southern Victoria, Australia. My computer tells me it’s currently 12 degrees. At least the weather (and our ongoing lockdown) keeps this reluctant writer at home working on my novel. Today I finished editing Chapter Fourteen. Only nine more to go! At least I can see the end even if I’m not sure if I’ll ever get there. I’m working on the second draft. It involves a major rewrite – most of which still lies ahead of me. Chapter Fifteen could take a millennia – hopefully not. I’m writing an eco novel about climate change. I feel the urge to really crank up the pace and get the thing published by late spring.

prompt: https://photographias.wordpress.com/2021/09/04/lens-artists-photo-challenge-164-looking-up-down/

Three Little Birds

I’ve just discovered a fun challenge here: https://mamacormier.com/2021/08/26/an-eclectic-collection-of-trios/ – (thanks Marsha Ingrao of https://alwayswrite.blog/) . The idea is you post photos that contain a trio of things. Going through my archives I discovered these:-

Of course finding these photos reminded me of the Bob Marley song – Three Little Birds. I just had to go and find a video of the song and play it. You might say Bob got it all wrong and that we have a great deal to worry about in our world right now but I found it fun to grab a moment of light relief and dance around the living room to the tune.

Slow Time

My grandfather was a man of slowness.
One golden summer evening,
the light gentle and caressing,
I saw him returning from the fields,
a scythe across his shoulder,
a Quaker stillness at his core.

My great grandmother slow stitched
the coverlet on my childhood bed.
I remember stroking the stitches,
so fine in their exactitude.
Outside the world was speeding up –
mid century modern in full swing.

A lifetime ago.
The modern is now post,
meanings have deconstructed,
and truth’s become relative.
– the world teeters on the brink.

Beyond my room, a restless wind
tossing through the treetops.
My ancestors, simple handspun folk,
lived through wars, the Spanish flu,
the Great Depression.
Their voices come to me on the wind,
– there is time, there is always time.

prompt: https://earthweal.com/2021/08/30/earthweal-weekly-challenge-slowness/
“slowness, this week’s challenge and the brake by which we must somehow absorb what’s happening and find some workable or functional vantage by which to escape the burning labyrinth we’ve created.”

Walking the same paths

Still in lockdown with a 5k limit on how far we can travel I spend a lot of time in the local nature reserve. We are slowly moving towards spring here in Victoria, Australia. On Saturday the temperature climbed to 18 deg. After months where the temperature has been hovering between 11-15 this was a noteworthy event. I went to Reserve – along with about the half the town. Luckily the place is big enough to find places to be alone and to let the obligatory mask slip a bit to breathe in lung full of deliciously scented air.

Walking along the bush tracks I felt blessed that I have such a wonderful place to retreat to. I have been there so often over the past 18 months I notice the details more than I used to.

Walking along on Saturday my mood lightened at the sight of golden wattle and the first blooms on a flowering gum tree..

We are allowed for two hours per day for exercise. Wanting to make the most of my time out of the house i got absorbed photographing various types of fungi.

One part of the Reserve I visit most times I go there are the wetlands.

I have spent so much time staring into the waters there my photo archives are crammed with images of water reeds and their reflections. I’ve got so many now I’m thinking there must be some kind of art project I could create from them. They are like a visual record of my moods during the pandemic. Depending on the day I either take up 10 photos that look like this –

or this –

prompt: https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2021/08/28/78688/

The Paps of Danu

This morning I read Brendan’s beautiful poem written to his own challenge https://earthweal.com/2021/08/23/earthweal-weekly-challenge-big-wheels-turning/
It reminded me of the The Paps of Danu -two hills in County Kerry, Ireland that can be seen from the mountain where one of my daughter’s lived for many years. Inspired, I wrote the poem posted below. I have posted a few photos of mystical Ireland too.
(Danu, is the ancient Mother Goddess of Ireland and the Tuatha de Danaan are her children).

The Paps of Danu as seen from my daughter’s old farmhouse.

Drinking at the mother’s breast
pure silvered light
as nectar sweet as morning
at the Earth’s first dawning.

Deep underground the children of Danu,
the Tuatha de Danaan carousing.
An unholy racket some say.
Others,
following the dreaming paths
into the rainbow crystal caverns,
marvel at the light beings resplendent,
raiments of silver and Sirian blue shimmering,
the Shining Ones of myth of legend
singing to us now –

Wake up, wake up Earth children
Your mother needs you
Come to her aid,
Protect her.

A mountain track near the Paps
Mountains in The Ring of Kerry, west Ireland
The Western Isles, County Kerry

Did I miss something?

Over here in Victoria, Australia the State Government continues to pursue its objective of zero Covid cases. To do that they impose strict lockdowns and restrictions. It worked last year with Alpha variant but Delta is proving harder to eliminate. I live in regional Victoria. We went into our 7th lockdown with 90 minutes notice on Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile the Federal Government has announced that Australia’s borders will re-open when 70-80% of the population are fully vaccinated. The way I read the figures we are now around 25%. They tell us that the 80% vaccination rate should be achieved by December. In response the Victorian State Government announced this morning they may not reopen the State even when we reach a rate of 80% fully vaccinated because their modelling shows 25,000 people will die if they do. Does that mean Victorians will be locked down until Covid is eliminated?

Did I miss the announcement as to where all these vaccine doses are coming from? Last I heard there wasn’t enough vaccine in the country to vaccinate such a high percentage of people.

I also must have missed the announcement about how the government is going to convince the anti- vaxxers to get the jab. I have family members in this group. They are adamant they aren’t getting vaccinated. They are otherwise rational people and I’ve learnt not to argue with them for they have an answer for everything. I must have missed the scientific proof that the virus is a hoax and that the vaccines are untested.

Rolling out the vax
despite logistic problems
– how’s that working out?


Of course it could be said that all this argy-bargy is just a smoke screen for Australia’s refusal to do anything constructive about climate change.

More machinations,
the big wheels keep on turning
– the world gets hotter

I’ve been thinking about all the things I hear and wondering what’s going on. I explored the idea that Australia has gone mad but then I got to wondering if something else is in play.

All these scenarios are based in fear.

The Victorian Government appears to be scared people will die of Covid and that they will be voted out of power as a result. The Australian Government seems fearful that if they do anything to change the status quo the economy will suffer, people will lose jobs and that their government will be voted out. I may well be missing some of the finer details here but the end result is the same – incompetent governmental bungling, mixed messaging and lack of compassion.

The anti-vax position looks to me to be fear based too. People are worried they will lose their freedom and that they are being manipulated by an insidious and powerful elite that seeks to control them.

The denial of climate change is also fear based. The fear is that recognizing climate change as a clear and present danger means that our current way of life will be threatened. People are fearful they will lose their jobs and that they will not be able to continue with their hedonistic, consumerist lifestyles.

A lot of climate action also seems to be fear based. Many activists fear that we’re all doomed, that’s it too late and that we have passed the tipping point. They are fearful their message won’t be heard and that governments won’t act in time.

I’m wondering if the way through all this is to acknowledge the fears as real but to move beyond letting them control us. Maybe the future lies in finding ways to live with fear and uncertainty. Maybe we need to move away from top down governments that impose their authority on the people. Maybe we need to put in place forums that ensure all voices are heard in decision making processes. Maybe we need free and easily accessible access to information so that people can make decisions based on objective facts. Maybe, maybe, maybe… Perhaps I’m missing something but…

all this fear based messaging coming from so many divergent viewpoints polarizes people. You can buy into brand A fear based messaging or you can reject that and embrace brand B fear based messaging. Then again you can reject both brand A and B as being mainstream manipulation and align with the alternate fear based messaging of brand C which is cleverly disguised as a non-brand. The end result is that no matter which fear based messaging you chose to believe you are opposed to other forms of fear based messaging.

All this polarization makes any kind of cohesive collective action for the betterment of all impossible. We are too busy being frightened and arguing with each other.

Climate change is bigger than any polarized position. To find ways to mitigate its effects we will need to work together.

Future realities –
dystopian or healthy?
– It depends on us

prompt: https://earthweal.com/2021/08/23/earthweal-weekly-challenge-big-wheels-turning/




Thoughtful Thursday

It was a beautiful day here today – our first real taste of spring. It was such a blessing to see blue sky after such a long grey winter.

Walking along a beach on the far side of the bay to Melbourne, Victoria I thought of the people there stuck in lockdown. I read this morning that Melbourne has had 200 days of lockdown off and on since last March. This is one of the longest lockdowns in the world. My thoughts go out to the people there and to those in lockdown elsewhere. Take care.