The other day as I was reading a book I misread a line about “making a living” as “making a giving”. Every cell of me said “oh of course!” Everything we do each day is our offering to the earth and each other. I have been wrestling with the need to make a living and the fact that every part of our economy is designed to exploit the earth in some way all of my adult life. I have suffered knowing that awareness does not equal innocence. Saying we must stop “them” really comes down to stopping ourselves. We are all so deeply enmeshed in these systems, to make changes means changing the way we survive in the world. At some point in history, there were choices made to put in the infrastructure for systems that created the most cost. We now live within the outcome of those choices. Like Kronos eating his children, each attempt at a viable alternative fuel source is suppressed. This is not a conspiracy theory it is simply the truth. Our daily habits of having heating cooling, electricity, a car, food, clothing all require extraction to take place. Therefor protesting extraction is protesting modern life. This is very hard to do when there is no alternative to turn to for our daily needs.
When I have taken my heart to the earth and told her my sorrow at the mistreatment of her and all the beings who are impacted by extraction, her answer comes flooding my soul, “it is time to make new choices, to be more careful in your creation, be grateful for what you have and the miracle of life: Including these systems, including those who benefit from the oppression of others, including the open pit mine and the oil spill. Blessing all that is. Be grateful, humble, and fierce in the knowing that these things can and will change and are part of the unfolding. Commit to the vision of what can be in harmony and alignment. Find joy in creating the choices of another way. Offering whatever you do as your gifting to the world with deep gratitude for all that is.”
So I sit in a tricky paradox of being grateful for all that is, and was, and will be, and at the same time holding the knowing of another way. The beauty way. Being grateful for the huge challenge of living in this time and place. Joyfully creating other choices, alternatives, another way. Speaking loudly and calmly the prayers for the earth and her people.
As I visited California to attend a memorial of my teacher/ friend. I was overwhelmed by the anger of the nature spirits there, being in drought. The dying plant people on the hills broke my heart. I remembered a story that was part of my friend's teachings;
“There was once a village that was in such terrible drought that they called a healer from far away to come help. When she arrived she asked to go in a hut. She stayed in there for three days. On the third day, she came out and it started to rain. Everyone was overjoyed and asked How did you do it? How did you make it rain? She replied" I did not make it rain When I entered your village it was so out of balance I immediately went out of balance myself. It took the three days to return to myself and once I did that, it rained because that is what it is supposed to do.”
As I sat remembering this story, facing the gray hills, all I could think was, I do not have a hut or three days, and I am not sure I have ever truly felt balance in this lifetime of living in this modern world. So I asked for something I have never known. I asked for a feeling I must entertain as a fiction. to find within my beingness in a place between things, a birthright I have yet to own. The beauty way.
On the way back to Tucson, chatting and driving with my friend Celia, we were talking about this time we are in, with Trump and Merica. Celia comes out with the beautiful thought, We live in Amiracle, not Merica. In this moment of a change of syllables, changes perspective, and so it is.
My offering Prayer:
I stand as a representative of humanity and take responsibility for the part I have played.
I stand as the dreamer and the dream and I ask for all beings seen and unseen who are impacted by these situations to forgive us.
I ask for forgiveness for the role of my ancestors and the impact they had on the land that held them and the result of all they did in the name of making a living. I ask all of nature to forgive them and me.
I forgive all those who took part.
The reactions of the nature spirits. I forgive.
The struggle of the humans, I forgive and ask to be forgiven.
I ask for a return to Ayni so we may begin afresh.
Knowing that all things can and will change, I take direct action in my life the best I can to bring a new balance to all that is.
I offer all that I am to making a giving here in Amiracle.
Josephine Thomason is an artist, healer, teacher.