My friend Josephine cam all the way from California with her contingent from Elders Climate Action, for two days of lobbying on the Hill, and the People’s Climate March. They marched the halls of Congress for 2 days before the big march!
The simple sentences from these grieving parents touched me like poems. From The Daily 360° from nytimes.com
I’ve had a lot of problems
on the water and the land.
I recently lost my daughters…
I used to think only of fish when I came out here.
Now I see my daughter’s faces in the water.
This beach is my home.
I leave my problems in the sea.
I watch my husband fish
and we support each other to leave everything behind.
I focus on my work and it relaxes me.
I’ll never leave this beach
because I forget about my problems here.
I live for the water
and I try to move forward.
There is no other way.
I’ve been posting here less often for a very good reason: after five years of under-employment, I landed a job.
I’ve gone to work for a company called Earth Resources Technology, a prime contractor for NOAA.
The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration is under the Department of Commerce. That’s because the agency’s sections, oceans and weather, are vital to the American economy. Because of this, I have high hopes that NOAA will escape the worst of EPA’s fate.
Alas, we learned today that the word “science” has been removed from EPA’s mission statement. It find it confusing that people can decide that the tradition of scientific method, patiently carried out over centuries, can suddenly be discounted.
I’m working in the Restoration Center, part of NOAA Fisheries division, whose mission is restoring damaged wetlands and marine environments. Below is an article of the sort I hope to be creating in the near future.
So expect more musings on things of a watery nature from me. From Harsen’s Island, Michigan, to the Everglades, from the Great Dismal Swamp to Piscataway NP (where I live), the wet places have always had my heart.
By the way, I heard the first Spring Peepers yesterday!
It’s just past Imbolc, candlemas, Groundhog Day. The time we witches dwell on the quiet of winter, halfway to spring equinox, when the fields lie quiet beneath the frozen ground.
Most of my life, in New York and Michigan, winter arrived and laid down it’s coating of snow and ice, transforming the world. This year in southern Maryland, Winter and Spring are doing a see-saw dance, from frosty to balmy as the temperature swings from the teens to the 70s.
My body can’t help but respond with joy to the warming temps. Physical happiness arises as I relax outside the bookstore, comfortable on a bench without my coat, absorbing the sunlight. The animals can’t either; I hear the hawks chittering their nesting talk to each other in a nearby tree.
But my mind knows it’s not right. There should be a thick blanket of white insulating the ground. The fallow season may feel harsh, but it’s been the rhythm of life for millennia. That wintry state has its own pleasures, after you’ve hauled the wood and stoked the fire.
So my unease isn’t just north or south, past or present, but Rural or Urban.
The rhythm of ancient life is recorded deep within me. I feel out-of-sorts when I can’t heat my home with fire, nor draw my water from nearby. Without a garden, fruit trees and wildlife I feel incomplete.
There’s a lovely song for this moment, when the seeds that feed us unfurl quietly below the ground, that I love. It’s a round:
Small brown seed
Deep dark earth
Hungry for the light of fire
Driven by a deep desire
Grow, grow. (Repeat)
Enjoy this 360° video from the NYT that takes you to the Michoacan forest in Mexico:
Check out this wonderful 360° video of the Michoacan forests, destination of the migrating Monarchs. (sorry I wasn’t able to embed.)
Every year, thousands of monarch butterflies migrate from eastern Canada to Michoacan, Mexico. Step inside a butterfly reserve in Michoacan to see where they make their winter homes. Link
I wish this awesome girl hero had come along when I was even younger- but even in college years she was inspiring. When did we ever see such a kick ass heroine in space? Leia opened the door for Ellen Ripley of Aliens, Captain Janeway, even Buffy.
When Carrie Fisher wrote Postcards from the Edge, I was really surprised. She was so amazingly candid for movie royalty. When she came out as manic depressive, I was thrilled. Maybe we could finally talk about it like any other illness. May you can be brilliant, creative and flawed. Even crazy. And it’s okay.
When I saw The Force Awakens, the reunion of Leia and Han was a kick in the heart – a good one, but full of real life angst. No fairytale romance for them -clearly they gave it a go, but grew apart. Years of gritty revolution took it’s toll, of course they’re battle weary.
For the inspiration, for the laughs, and most of all for permission to tell it like it is.
Some words of wisdom from Carrie Fisher
- “I feel I’m very sane about how crazy I am.”
- “Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. ”
- “There is no point at which you can say, ‘Well, I’m successful now. I might as well take a nap.”
UPDATE: I’ve excerpted the end of her article; click the links to read the entire peice.
I’m relying on the words of beloved author Barbara Kingsolver’s words about what’s happened to our country and where we go from here. From the Guardian 11/23/16
If we’re artists, writers, critics, publishers, directors or producers of film or television, we reckon honestly with our role in shaping the American psyche. We ask ourselves why so many people just couldn’t see a 69-year-old woman in our nation’s leading role, and why they might choose instead a hero who dispatches opponents with glib cruelty. We consider the alternatives. We join the time-honored tradition of artists resisting government oppression through our work.
If we’re journalists, we push back against every door that closes on freedom of information. We educate our public about objectivity, why it matters, and what it’s like to work under a president who aggressively threatens news outlets and reporters.
If we’re consumers of art, literature, film, TV and news, we think about what’s true, and what we need. We reward those who are taking risks to provide it.
If we’re teachers we explicitly help children of all kinds feel safe in our classrooms under a bullying season that’s already opened in my town and probably yours. Language used by a president may enter this conversation. We say wrong is wrong.
If we’re scientists we escalate our conversation about the dangers of suppressing science education and denying climate change. We shed our cautious traditions and explain what people should know. Why southern counties are burning now and Florida’s coastal cities are flooding, unspared by any vote-count for denial.
If we’re women suffering from sexual assault or body image disorders, or if we’re their friends, partners or therapists, we acknowledge that the predatory persona of men like Trump is genuinely traumatizing. That revulsion and rage are necessary responses.
If our Facebook friends post racial or sexist slurs or celebrate assaults on our rights, we don’t just delete them. We tell them why.
If we’re getting up in the morning, we bring our whole selves to work. We talk with co-workers and clients, including Trump supporters, about our common frustrations when we lose our safety nets, see friends deported, lose our clean air and water, and all the harm to follow. We connect cause and effect. This government will blame everyone but itself.
We keep our commitments to fairness in front of the legislators who oppose us, lock arms with the ones who are with us, and in the words of Congressman John Lewis, prepare to get ourselves in some good trouble. Every soul willing to do that is part of our team, starting with the massive crowd that shows up in DC in January to show the new president what we stand for, and what we won’t.
There’s safety in numbers, but only if we count ourselves out loud.
This American Life commissioned some musical theater songs inspired by this unbearable election ordeal, and here’s one of three (listen to the other two HERE.)
This is the refrain, in the voice of President Obama.
Am I angry?
You ask me if I’m angry?
And I’m at a loss for words.
After all we’ve done,
every battle hard won,
every hair gone gray,
in the name of this place,
in a history paved
with incredible mistakes –
I pledge my allegiance
to these united, divided states
We’ve crossed the Equinox into the autumn season, and Friday last my Circle gathered to celebrate Harvest, Gratitude and Balance. As the day and night became equals we honored the bounty in our lives, the miracle of our journey through time, and the harvest on our tables in the following feast.
Fall Equinox or Mabon is one of the celestial holidays follow the seasons on which the lives of our ancient ancestors depended. But, how ever far removed from our ‘modern’ life, This is still the ground truth: the elements must cooperate for the miracle of growth and life to occur. I bless the organic farmers and sustainable agriculture movement for their life-giving work.
In the ancient stories, the tale of Persephone journeying to the underworld uses a Mother’s grief to express the shriveling of the lush greens of summer. Her daughter has gone down into the Underworld taking her Maiden’s love with her.
She cuts the cane and gathers the grain, the fruits of Fall surround her.
Her bones grow old in Wintery cold, she wraps her cloak around her.
For she will bring the buds in the Spring, and dance among the flowers,
Her kisses are sweet in Summery heat, she sings in leafy bowers. (repeat)
to the tune of traditional English ballad Nonesuch; lyric by Hope Athearn
These days the Witch of pop culture is appearing everywhere in preparation for Hallowmas, Samhain, Holloween, Tous Sant. I think the trope of the ugly, wicked witch describes how our culture feels today about the aging and aged woman!
But in that lies in a cruel misunderstanding of the dance of light and dark in our World: all life cycles. Our Priestess reminded us that we’re not just spining around the sun, we are spiraling through the universe, creating incredible energy as we go.
We spiral through space singing of youth and age, dancing between fear and joy, moving from innocence to ignorance to wisdom.
How would the might oak from acorn grow, if the tree and her leaves never fell to rot and enrich the forest floor? The mushrooms wouldn’t grow, the worms no shade and the robins no breakfast. Life cannot continue without the death and decay that creates rich composted soil to receive it. Life cannot arise without the dark womb to nurture it.
Six months of light, and six months of dark.
The earth goes to sleep, and later wakes again.
O dark mother, we honor you this night,
And dance in your shadows.
We embrace that which is the darkness,
And celebrate the life of the Crone. Blessings to the dark goddess on this night, and every other.