I could just disappear.
Each of us is a vessel carrying water.
Today I encourage you to connect the water inside of you with the water that is everywhere in the world. Connection with the water in nature can help us better recognize all the connections, human to plant, plant to animal, animal to water, water to air, air to human, … that surround us every day, enriching our lives and making the world what it is.
My own immersion into the woods of northern Minnesota four years ago was a leap of faith to step away from the man-made world of job, stuff, and busyness to a world where my physical inputs from the natural world are around me, every day, each time I choose to engage. Living in the woods has been a big life change that has nurtured a connection to Mother Earth, Ni Maamaa Aki (Ojibwemowin) that I could never have imagined.
Each of us has a story we love to tell of some amazing natural experience we’ve had:
- in our favorite pond or lake
- along a nearby river or stream
- watching those birds that one day…
Today take a moment to…
Say good morning to a flower or bird or squirrel or tree or bug or… walk for a while in the sunshine… or the rain!
Give thanks for the falling leaves, witnessing to the cycles of life… or whatever your heart may call you to do!
Perhaps you will take time to sing Nibi a song. Written by Doreen Day at the request of her grandson, Mashkoonce, this Nibi (Water) Song says:
Water, we love you. Ne-be Gee Zah- gay- e- goo
We thank you. Gee Me-gwetch -wayn ne- me – goo
We respect you. Gee Zah Wayn ne- me- gooNibi (Water) Song in English and Ojibwemowin
Beatrice Menase Kwe Jackson, Migizi Clan, tells us that Doreen and Mashkoonce give permission for everyone to share this song… sing it to the water every day.
We’ve watched the world transform in this time of global crises with climate change, pandemic, and social unrest. Our natural world offers a respite. While the Line 3 construction crews are seeming to prepare for an inevitable build in northern Minnesota ~ moving in large equipment and materials for working in wetlands like timber matting ~ we know we can continue to stand up to protect these natural places from the destruction of an unnecessary tar sands pipeline.
As we celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day, we can take some time for peaceful, regenerative, reciprocal relationship with the planet. We can contemplate our connections with all beings. We can revitalize our understanding and regenerate our strength as we continue working for a better future, for the next seven generations.
Northern Minnesota is filled with gold this time of year. Quaking Aspen glow with their seasonal glory of falling leaves and Tamarack stand regally in the bogs. We steward this land with the help of all the creatures big and small around us as the give and take of life bears abundance.
I am grateful to all of you who are joining for the Week of Action during the Relay for Our Water. It has been an honor to share your stories as we’ve all moved together on the Relay for Our Water route, each adding a bit of love or time, support or encouragement, prayer or celebration.
Thank you… so much… for your commitment to protecting Nibi.
Miigwech [Thank you in Ojibwemowin]
Note: This piece, in a slightly modified format, was written as a part of the Week of Action for Relay for Our Water.
The ideas are flying fast and furious these days. So much seems to be happening so fast… with no certainty as to where we are going or how we will get there.
As the Old World continues to hold sway, we see a NEW WORLD opening…
- Increasingly, many are working from home… and most don’t want to go back to the office.
- Homeschooling on the rise as parents want to minimize the risk of children bringing home the virus.
- Consumer spending is down… but the Stock Market is up?
- Businesses not necessary to LIFE are folding… though some still work to prop them up… [in denial and desperation?]
- Social unrest continues to grow… worldwide.
- Mother Earth is bringing much big change in the form of fires, floods, drought, a pandemic (FFS), and… Her simple inability to support the number of people currently residing here is becoming quite clear.
As business works to try to get people back into offices, smart companies are realizing the benefit of NOT continuing with Old Ways… the overhead of big office buildings, salespeople flying all over the world, and the like are being recognized for the HUGE waste they create. [And people are enjoying not having to wear pants to work. I could have told you about this LONG AGO – working from home was a pretty amazing several years back in the early 2000s.] I can attest to the cost savings working from home brings to a family. As well as the connectivity.
Connectivity is what I believe will save us. If we, in fact, retain enough time to save humanity from itself. [For the record, I don’t believe we’re worth saving if we are gonna continue with Old World ways.]
As families face hardship from lost income or jobs, death or sickness of loved ones, difficulties finding enough fresh food, and other calamities, the WORLD is awakening to the understanding that some few have managed to amass great wealth and privilege… pretty much on the backs of the larger populations who are mainly being pillaged for their work, children, land… until they are left without enough to survive. These oppressed have lost more and more political power in the past decades and it seems a time when governments worldwide are failing to account to their people and… the world is UPRISING in response.
Here in the US, it’s time to clean house, re-evaluate priorities, and find a new way forward. One that works for the masses, not just billionaire oligarchs. And good news! There’s (almost) NOWHERE TO GO!
There are a limited number of places to go for US citizens… and most of those look like destinations where you’re going to see first hand the crises the planet is facing? Albania, Belarus, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Mexico, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Zambia. Looks like anywhere you want to go, there might be a chance to see war?
So what is to be done?
I’d suggest finding a place that needs care and attention and giving it.
My efforts of late are to support local Indigenous groups that are focusing on Treaty Rights and the Rights of Nature. Groups like Indigenous Environmental Network have been successfully doing this work since the 90s. Even more locally (since IEN is pretty local in some big ways), RISE Coalition is a group of Resilient Indigenous Sisters Engaging to bring education and understanding to all people on how to support Treaty Rights for the Indigenous, which in itself offers protections for us all.
We stand in solidarity to protect the land, water, fire, and air for the next seven generations. We do this by educating, empowering, and inspiring our neighbors, friends, and allies.”RISE Coalition FB page
And just now, a new film is emerging that speaks to the issues particular to Northern Minnesota. NECESSITY is bringing awareness to the crises our planet faces… and what each of us can do to help resolve them. I’d encourage each of us in Minnesota watching to learn more about what is happening in our state, and how it is affecting the Indigenous… and us all.
NECESSITY traces the fight in Minnesota against the expansion of pipelines carrying highly toxic tar sands oil through Native lands and essential waterways in North America. Front line communities–Native Peoples and communities of color–suffer the most immediate and severe consequences of the climate crisis: impacts on physical and mental health as well as territorial desecration and displacement. Yet with painful histories have come deep insights, forms of resilience and modes of resistance. This feature-length documentary follows indigenous leaders and white allies, using direct action to protect the sacred and demand justice. Legal experts discuss the record of disparate treatment in the justice system and the legal strategy of the necessity defense, which makes a moral case for acts of civil disobedience, while medical and scientific experts address the health effects of fossil fuels and dangers of pipeline and refinery infrastructure. Capturing the natural beauty of the region as well as the vulnerability of local habitats, aesthetic and stylistic elements drive the action forward, including animated maps with illustrations. The filmmaking team builds collectively on their training in psychology and anthropology.”Necessitythemovie.com summary
Find your path forward to solutions… it’s literally the fight for our very lives.
I try to live by this motto:
The Universe is constantly conspiring for my good.
I’m working these days to live into each moment, trusting that i am exactly where I’m supposed to be, exactly when I’m supposed to be, because… here i am.
I’m trusting that i will know when and where to go, based on all I’ve learned, done, and met thus far.
It’s a strange way of life, so new that it still feels uncomfortable, as i try new and different things to make my way, creating the me i will be next, among all the other detritus of the Universe. As strange as it seems, it is also peaceful (except when it’s not… a sign to change? Or that change is coming?).
It’s also… I’m realizing, the place I’ve always been.
Greetings from the Timber District.
Welcome to the Hunger Games.
So in case it hasn’t become clear to you yet, the end will not be Logan’s Run or Mad Max or even Threads (my personal prediction). It’s more like the book of the same name for the year Threads came out… 1984.
The doublespeak is insane. The arrogance with which they are acting is more blatant each year. They seemed to really kick it in to high gear with the Kavanagh debacle and I’ll be dammed if that shit didn’t stick!
They’ve escalated the antics, right through an impeachment “trial” with no witnesses or evidence. We’re living in a recession, eight months in to a global pandemic, and Congress left for recess! [Well, of course, they’re people of means… why wouldn’t they head out for vacation, while millions of Americans suffer? It seems the way of the wealthy – their Cancer of Greed has gotten to Stage 4.]
People are being evicted from their homes, finding themselves without enough money to buy food and medicine, largely due to severe unemployment, levels we haven’t seen since when? 1958? [Many of us experienced this in 2008… and many since have struggled for employment, or worked multiple shitty paying jobs to make ends meet in the “new economy” of the last decade. I will say the 2008 Recession was Dan and my clear sign to GTFO.] And yet the Stock Market is soaring! [You know, as the Federal Reserve pumps 15 Trillion of our tax dollars in, like so many little blue pills, to prop it up…
And NOW! They’re taking out the fucking mailboxes for Christ’s sake!!
So, yes, it’s the hunger games. For realz now.
Got a text this morning from a friend:
Is Mother Earth trying to give us another wake up call??? I’ve had some really dark meditations and it’s focused on the earth. Maybe it’s as simple as my mind working through all the data points.
Have you or any of your more spiritual friends sensed that something really bad is going to happen?
I don’t watch the news, don’t have any subscriptions online but the number of natural disasters I’m aware of is increasing exponentially.
You and I talked a few years ago and I ignorantly said, “nothing catastrophic has happened”. You rattled off 3-4 significant natural disasters around the world.
(Stopped) reading because I need to put this out there.
In the last 2 weeks I can think of 8-10 non precedented weather events. …
• Mumbai, India 50% of the slum population has COVID and they are experiencing monsoon rains with more rainfall than ever recorded.
• Ice melts in Serbia and Canada.
• Heat wave in CA.
• Severe thunderstorm, heavy winds, tornadoes from the Midwest to NE.
1. Cedar Rapids, IW had hurricane level 2 force winds, 1M trees down, 300K people without power.
2. IN power outages all over, trees down and damage to structures.
3. Same storm hit the NE… CT lost power for 9 days.
• Earthquake in NC or GA
• Excessive rainfall in MN
Yep. And I sat on the porch last night thinking:
• It’s August and I’m on the porch excited about drinking a WARM beverage…
• We got 8″ of rain in the last week…
• And what’s with all the rocket launches? Is there already a secret war on Mars? Who has a relative or friend in Space Force? Anyone?
I replied to my my friend:
Yeah. Dan had been saying ‘we’ve gone too far’ for a while now. I think because HE senses it based on data. I just thought he was a pessimist, which he can be, but I’m wondering more each day. Yeah. We had 8″ of rain in 6 days this past week. Sunday-Monday 4″+ in 48 hours, then Friday we got 4″+ in 24 hours…
IT is happening. (has been… for decades) again.. water on the toes… some of us have been feeling it for years now but the powers that be aren’t listening. Watch The Power – #1 movie on Netflix this week. Pretty accurate depiction of a metaphor of current situation. Mankind keeps pushing limits until there’s no breathing room. Literally. 🤨
I think it’s gonna be mass migration and starvation this year… even in the US.
Get ready, my friends. It’s seems a train is coming. A big train. It’s begun picking up passengers… thousands by the day. The climate chaos predicted is happening… at an exponentially increasing pace it seems – and the starvation and migration have been happening for years in some places on the globe. Places the humans in power don’t look at or talk about… as much as they can avoid it.
The pace seems to be quickening – or at least bumping up in fits and starts – but I am hopeful many will remain to rebuild – more sustainably, I hope – after the starving times. And there will be some who have enough to share with their communities around them to help them survive.
You’re all pretty enlightened, so you know that the Wiindigo system doesn’t work like ours. Instead of understanding and respecting the natural world or the rights of Mother Earth or the Creator’s laws—the highest laws— we live in a society that writes a bunch of laws based on who’s in power, redistributes pollution, arbitrarily changes recommended daily allowances of radiation and contaminants, and pretends that it’s all right to allocate the water in western basins until there’s no water left there. That’s the arrogance of a system that has no check with reality. And that’s what’s going on. There is no understanding for a cyclical system. We all live in a super-linear world instead of a cyclical world, and perhaps one of the best examples of that, in addition to the pipeline battles, is the fact that we live in a society with something like 13 trillion pounds of waste produced annually in the U.S. That doesn’t include waste water, and I ask myself, what is waste water? There’s no new water being made. In 2010 Americans wasted some 133 billion pounds of food. With a 430 billion pound food supply, that’s more than one-third of the whole being wasted. Economically, it’s $161.6 billion in food wastage.Excerpt: Winona LaDuke Prophecy of the Seventh Fire – late 2017
In an Anishinaabe or other indigenous economy, one’s stature is associated with one’s generosity. That is why we have massive giveaways; that is why we have massive potlatches, which are ceremonial feasts at which possessions are given away or destroyed to display wealth and enhance prestige, because your stature in your community is ensured by how much you give away. In today’s society, people’s stature is ensured by how much they accumulate, and wealth is aggrandized. We don’t ask where they got it, how they got it, and how much they need. We act as if it doesn’t matter, and what I’m saying is that perhaps the time has come to turn that around because it’s not going to work out.
Let me tell you what I think about this. And I won’t go into the consequences because I think you already know about the destruction of so many species of life. For example, fifty million buffalo, the single largest migratory herd in the world, destroyed. General Philip Sheridan, commanding armies of the west, urged destruction of the buffalo herds, foreseeing that when they disappeared, the Indians would disappear along with them; by 1885 the buffalo were virtually extinct, and the Indians were starving.
Winona goes on and I recommend reading her entire piece. [Makes one pretty pissed to realize local lumber company Potlatch is such a salt in the wound brand name…] I told my friend:
I think all this – and it’s in the “Heartbeat of Wounded Knee” and recent stories in movies – talks about this human (male/dominator/white supremacy/colonial culture) tendency to destroy being the main way we eliminate enemies.. by destroying their food sources, their villages and homes, or taking their lives… this becomes the devastation for those that follow… nothing remains when destruction – or even thoughtless overharvest – depletes completely. We’re apparently far too short sighted a species to make much more than a couple thousand years before we annihilate ourselves… and this time we’re taking a bunch of species with us.
But. Keep hope! (And plan…) it may turn out some of us make it. And enough of us may die… or be sacrificed? I imagine Billionaire Bingo… where each of the 26 richest billionaires get to face trial for their gluttony and convince us that they are worth NOT SACRIFICING because they are going to commit to full time problem resolution with their cash going to good causes. (Of course, this vision requires a planet capable of human survival, so it may be a pipe dream at this point. But hey, a girl can dream!)
Let’s hope those billionaires find their hearts soon. 26 people who could remedy it all… if only they’d share. Perhaps we can put them all on a rocket to Mars to discuss it?
There might yet be time for a peace train after all.
Life feels very much in limbo of late for me.
lim·bo /ˈlimbō/ noun An uncertain period of awaiting a decision or resolution; an intermediate state or condition.
Many messages are coming my way and I sort through them wondering what is applicable to this phase of life. I am grateful for the input of friends, family, spirits, and strangers. Most importantly, I value to input of Dan as he walks along with me. And I hope for his peace as he struggles to know how best to help me, which he so desperately wants to do. This is not an easy process, this thing we call life.
I guess that’s what transition is… limbo. And it’s not all-consuming, though I find it often takes much of my day. I am more silent than ever but not finding myself silent enough. I’m considering a silent retreat. Or just putting duct tape on my mouth so I am forced to consider every thing I say fully before it is said. This is a difficult practice for me, silence. But it seems to be what is needed at present.
Perhaps it is my feeling that things are so hopeless, without resolution. Today, at Mom’s, the TV blares over and over about mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. No action seems evident, though “thoughts and prayers” are getting quite the bashing as “not enough”. Indeed.
Yet I wonder often these days: What if the best thing I can do is to simply sit on my porch, immersed in a natural setting, sending love and praying for peace and enlightenment for us all?
I have been spending much time on the porch. And I struggle with the feeling that I am doing nothing when so much needs done. And then I remember, there is nothing to do… I wonder why I feel such need to DO.
I have been thinking that kindness is the best thing, yet find myself struggling to be kind in every moment. I find myself withholding kindness as I sit in pain of my own, feeling selfish for not giving some relief to another (usually Dan). Or sometimes I can say the words that are kind but not in a way that feels kind. Like I am spitting them out against my will. Inconsolability tends to make me quite difficult, bitter to those I love most, or at best, simply hard to reach.
So I continue to wrestle with the answers I am hoping to find. I continue to seek enlightenment in each day, proceeding as life seems to guide me, more letting life happen than making it happen, though I do make some plans. I continue to feel tremendous and often desperate sadness. I struggle to know how best to help relieve the troubles of the world… as if I am so powerful.
Be love. Be kindness. Be peace.
I continue to try to find my way on this path as best I can.
Life is really showing me that it’s time for listening…
I remain in struggle with where I am going. I am trusting in the Universe to continue to guide me. And I am finding lovely teachers and helpers along the way the last few weeks.
I have had some beautiful miracles and blessings in my life of late.
- A couple of lovely nights at Hollander BnB. Loved the games, Kathy!!! And your always helpful input and ideas on how to survive stress. Being at the lake helps.
- Time with family – we are so blessed with a diverse family of birth and of choice. Excited for their many possibilities as they tell me their stories.
- Kevin Kling and his wonderful show with Dan and Prudence. What a beautiful trio, full of stories and songs to delight and inspire. I am always joyed to see you perform, sir, and love your eloquent way with words, painting them into the air, creating constellations for consideration.
- Alec friends so happy to see me, almost as happy as I was to see them! Love abounds.
- A beautiful ruby, flourite, jasper, aragonite, lapiz pendant… thanks, Connie. You are possibly the nicest person in the world.
- Some distant listening ears to hear my struggles. Thank you friends from afar, you know who you are.
- Time in the dirt at Merry Gardens Farm. Thank you, Jill & Randy, for giving me a place to clear my head.
- A play date on the calendar. Anne Dunn, I have so missed spending time with you. Looking forward to a whole Girl’s Day. [Fred can come too.]
There are so many others that I could mention, these are just the latest in the wonder that is my life. Magical and challenging, often in the same moment.
I sit still, that my motion may not hide your presence.
I do not speak, that my words may not hide your voice.
I will still my thoughts, that my thinking might not block your arrival.