Category: Featured Stories
The headlines are relentless. The image just overwhelming. In the last weeks when I have looked outside my windows in Spokane, Washington into the yellow soup of very hazardous air, I’ve felt overwhelm claustrophobic. Destruction of the small town of Malden, to the south of us is tragic. Hell, there’s so much tragedy around these days that it is hard to know where to start.
The following account comes from a cattleman, David Daley, in Northern California. It is his deeply personal story of the desecration of lands his family has walked for generations. It is more than hard to read. I urge you to take in as much as you can. We are in liminal space now. The space between what was and what will be. It is a time of collapse and regeneration. We have choices here. Personally, I am finding it hard to understand exactly what they are and to step towards them..
For eight years I had been practicing exercises to calm my anxious body. As a result, I have metabolized stuck energy from personal trauma and protective patterns from childhood that no longer serve me, opening up space inside for the healing and growth of my nervous system.
Then I heard Resmaa Menakem (author of My Grandmother’s Hands) on a podcast describing the work I’d been doing on a personal level but through the lens of race. … After listening to the podcast, I knew deep down in my bones that for true racial healing to begin, we must heal our nervous systems and our reptilian brains that react to keep us and our loved ones safe in a society in which bodies of different colors distrust and fear one another.
We are rapidly becoming aware that none of us are going to be left out of the collapse of multiple systems in which we live. Wars may be happening elsewhere, but fires, floods, hurricanes, bomb cyclones, tsunamis, crop failures, earthquakes and now pandemics are all around us. There is no way out of the experience of the collapse. We are already in it. No matter what your privilege, we are still all interconnected and when the food supply runs out, the grid goes down, communications stop, water runs out, and millions have a virus, we will all feel it. It’s essential that we learn how to hospice the passing of the old so it spews as little destruction and death as possible while we also midwife newly emerging patterns of compassionate caring and interconnectedness.
We cannot “fix” the coronavirus. It is here. To be sure, there are many things we can do to mitigate the speed with which the virus spreads. I’m deeply appreciative of the many announcements helping us learn what we can do. This is a zoonotic virus, meaning it is one spread from animals to humans. This virus is anything but random. It is a direct consequence of the choices those of us with money have been making to consume, consume and then consume some more. The idea that happiness is a commodity that can be purchased by having and spending lots of money is an idea disproven time and time again.
The first thing to overcome with the coronavirus is fear. The virus is certainly dangerous. The likelihood is we will need to learn to live with it. A “new normal” will emerge with its own protocols for traveling, meeting, caring for each other, grieving those we lose, and living our lives. Perhaps there will be a vaccine. Certainly we should do everything we can to protect ourselves. But that is different from living in fear. Hafiz said it well:
Fear is the cheapest room in the house.
I’d like to see you in better living conditions.
It has been observed that next to a banjo, the most potent instrument for social transformation is a story—and that the future will belong to those who can tell the best story of the 21st century. Beginning in childhood, stories are how we make meaning of our lives. Stories also shape communities, institutions, and societies. Stories form the heart of a culture