I must confess that the desire or ability to do any writing for this blog has been most elusive in the past 6-7 weeks. Like everyone else I’ve watched in profound sadness and with feelings of helplessness as so many families have faced such loss and tragedy dealing with this new pandemic. The loss comes in many forms and no matter what sort of shadows of sorrow, fear or disorientation have crossed your doorway, we are all in a profound moment of pause.
It seems to be an opportunity most of all (for those of us who have the luxury to not be on the actual front lines of this ravaging virus or the economic shock waves that will be difficult to ride out in the coming months) to take stock and ask ourselves some crucial questions about just exactly how are we going to take up our lives again when are able to do so.
As an observer of the intersection of the visible and invisible worlds, I cannot help but notice a few things about this moment…and yet finding the words to articulate what I am seeing and sensing is very difficult….but I shall try. Modern human beings have been hypnotized by the hollow promises of capitalism as it is currently imposed upon the globe for nearly 150 years now. The decision to value money(and therefore profit) more than the vital, living resources of this planet will be our doom if we do not change our ways. This moment of global pause comes just as the global movement towards questioning capitalistic values and Ecocide was starting to take hold in the likes of Greta Thunberg, the Green New Deal, Polly Higgins and all the other voices which were beginning to rise up and speak out (and be heard) on behalf of the planet. I do not think this is an accident.
Invisible forces have a way of reaching into the psyche of human beings and teaching from within. That process works best when human beings slow down, disengage from the busy outer world and take a pause. It can be in a few minutes of deep breathing. A dozen minutes of meditation, or yoga. An hours-long quiet walk in a park or out in nature as you can find it. It can be in a day off from one’s normal routine brought on by illness or unexpected weather events. We’ve all experienced times in our lives where we took a “time out” and allowed ourselves to connect with our inner thoughts and feelings. It is in that liminal space which opens up in those quiet moments when the invisible forces can speak to us and move us to make deep and lasting changes in our lives…usually for the better.
We are currently collectively experiencing a “time out” like no other in living memory. That this moment comes when all of those who speak for the Earth are saying that we are poised on an edge like no other cannot be “just” a coincidence. I believe we are being asked by Nature itself to stop and listen… to pay attention to what we know is true and have not been able to face: that modern life as we currently live it will kill our beloved home and the plants and animals with which we are supposed to co-exist. I know this is difficult to hear. Like everyone else, when I face the facts of climate change I feel overwhelmed and powerless. I feel guilt and shame. I feel that no matter what I may do it won’t make a difference.
I’m here to tell you that those feelings, while they may feel real are not true. Nature has profound capacity for healing if it is just given a chance to do so. We have been shown that over and over again in these past few weeks as news reports came in talking about all the positive effects people were noticing in their immediate environments due to the shut-down of “normal life”. The canals of Venice were transformed and wildlife was cautiously returning to the tranquil waters. The air in Delhi and Beijing were clearer than anyone could remember. The trampled vegetation of Instagram hot spots was recovering to lushness once more thanks to a lack of too many tourists. Birds were being seen and heard in places where no one thought they lived. There are literally hundreds of such stories all around the world. Nature is speaking loudly thru these examples saying : “Look how I can heal if you just give me a chance!”
So we have to ask ourselves: When we start back up with our daily lives what are we going to differently so that our lives can be a more cooperative/harmonious collaboration that respects the Earth, her resources, her creatures AND all human lives across the globe? What are we going to commit to radically changing in our own lives to bring ourselves back from the brink of Ecocide?
What needs to change is us.
In order to follow the navigation that this process placed before me, I realized that I could not create a piece of artwork that was just another bit of whimsy and fantasy. Not just another fairy house. But the urge to create and make a statement about what was transforming in my interior world was strong… so I made something new based on something ancient; a Reliquary.
A Reliquary is a Sacred object that is often used to contain something powerful. Something magical. Something holy. They were often made out of precious metals and embellished with jewels and the finest of workmanship as an act of reverence for the object it contained – often a religious relic of some sort. In this process it was thought that the reliquary itself would become imbued with a magical power to effect change out in the ordinary world, much like a church or a temple can become a Sacred place which can hold space for a Divine presence here on earth. Since my work is rooted in respect for Nature, it made sense for me to construct it out of natural materials. I found the process of making this piece to be technically challenging and yet also very satisfying. I will share more about the piece itself in a later post but suffice it to say, I needed to create something new which would speak to me about the moment we were now in together.
As this process came to completion, my dear friend in Scotland sent me a link to a movie she recommended. It was a perfect response to what I felt were the challenges we face together at this moment in time. It is such an important movie I thought I’d share it here at the end of this post since I know most of my readers may be wrestling with many of the same questions in their own life. The movie is about an hour long and I recommend you see it on one sitting and with no distractions if possible. It is from the Findhorn Foundation and it contains a powerful message. Enjoy.