|Screen capture of CNN report|
Florida government has as bad a record as any in how it doles out its life-valuation upon its citizens and other forms of life. The fact that Florida is not only a blight upon the indigenous populations there, the health of the animal world, the wetlands ecosystems, oceans and beyond tells us that heroic statements are often comforting (to many...or some) as we stand in wait as Mother Nature creates healing and balance for Herself, expressing Her wisdom in ways that will now not only challenge our mortality, but call us to take this time, especially those of us outside of direct danger, to think more deeply about how life is validated and sustained and valued in a world where colonial powers, represented by the governor and the military personnel who stood beside him in his press conference, have cut deep wounds into the indigenous cultures, into the land and with great impunity to the waters and the balance of life itself.
After the projected successful restoration of safety and security, when the winds have died down and the waters have abated, will we still be in radical consideration of the value of all the lives that have been so devastated and marginalized by the tsunami of capitalism and colonialism, by misogyny, patriarchy and the exploitation of nature and the earth Herself? Will we have seen the tenderness, strength and resilience of our sister, brother and other human beings as the winds of change buffet the walls of systemic self-interest and the waters, in their energetic quietude, boldly, powerfully, unrelentingly bring us the opportunity of washing away our structural and pathological connection to limiting ideas of life, even as the source of all life on earth, the water itself makes itself known, not only in Florida, but Barbuda, Sierra Leone, Mexico, Cuba, India, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Texas and elsewhere.
If we are about that valuation of life, then how is it that we in the modern, industrial, capitalist world thumb raised and privileged noses to the indigenous, global activist and ethical scientific message (especially those voices of the former) that capitalist colonialist excess and exploitation figures into the creation of this, what will be yet a fleeting moment in the history of the earth?
What and who will Florida and all of us orient ourselves to when these Ancestor winds and Spirit waters pull their embodied, physical energies back and the sun returns to shine upon All That Is and All Who Are, equally, as it always has since the dawn of time before time?
How will we interpret, in our own interdependent minds and our expansive interdependent communities, the legacy of our humanity and systemic taking and loss of humanity on this earth, the sacred Earth Mother that meets us all at our feet together equally as a human family interdependent with a larger family of plant life and animal life and ecosystems and the stars themselves?
This moment, like all other moments small and large, is an opportunity for bravery, for insight, for compassion, for learning, for clarity, for love, that is not unlike every other moments before and hopefully the many moments that are yet to come. Let us not forget that the scourges of colonialism, European/white supremacy and racism have hit all too many citizens of the world like this "nuclear hurricane" and "rescue efforts" have been weak. Let us not forget that the lengthy storm surge of violent patriarchy has deluged the lives of women for centuries upon centuries to this day. Too many humans, devalued by militarism, exploitation and dehumanization carried in the shaky hands of other humans will be fighting anti-cultural winds and waves that press upon our lives and spirits long before Irma arrived and possibly long after her natural dissipation. Nature is, Nature knows balance in its simplicity and unfathomable complexity, knows life. What have we - interdependently - learned? We are in this particular moment, again, precisely because too many of us have not learned, have not remembered.
How will we move through these moments and how will we reorient to these moments, to each other? Katrina, Harvey and so many other similar moments have shown us, though many have refused to see, that pronouncements of egalitarian heroism are not nearly executed with the spirit or embodiment of egalitarianism.
As I sit, pondering, high and dry, protected - currently, momentarily - I ask the Ancestors to not only continue to watch us, but to enact their assistance through us, those who struggle to see their challenging and redemptive legacies, to help us to save lives, but also to acknowledge, validate and value and sustain life immediately and long beyond the secession of these challenging winds and redemptive waters, both reflections of life beyond our mundane knowings and of radical possibility far beyond our shrunken and expansive conceptions.
Ancestors, protect us from the pain and danger of hurricane Irma and all other storms, meteorological and (hu)man-made, but keep us courageously open to the depth of the cyclical, revolutionary learning, growth and healing that your traditional relationships with Earth and Nature have powerfully illuminated.