I’m gonna use this space to admit that I’ve been fighting with some real darkness boiling under my surface layers over the past month. Haven’t talked about it at all, really, maybe cause I realize that most of us are dealing with the same currents. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that this is probably exactly the reason to find a way to publicly acknowledge such things and give them some air. We need to be heard and felt, with sincerity on both ends. It is particularly hard to see the sincerity and compassion when social medias are our main spaces for discourse. We know this well.
This was agitated when I allowed myself to follow a link posted by a relative last night on the ol’ FB news feed about ISLAMIC COMPOUNDS IN THE U.S. Florida! Upstate New York! Michigan! Texas! I’ve tried to steel myself against the horrorshow that happens in comment sections, particularly when they are comment sections on clips from news outlets that are clearly looking to agitate and divide people. But there I was, staring down comments...LOADS of them...from people talking about pouring pork’s blood in their hollow point bullets and sealing them with wax, about my god is a god of compassion, you dog, you pig, and how could you believe what you do? On and on. I slept with nightmares. Derailed trains, rumbling fault lines, fat police men seated on bikes spraying pepper into a crowd with a smile. Peaceful protests over police murder becoming riots that very closely resemble the ‘color revolutions’ in other countries that turn the twin image buildings of ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ into dollars lining business suit pockets. Why are they closing down all these WalMarts across the country, laying off hundreds with barely a notice, for “plumbing issues”? Why is Jade Helm 15 flexing military muscles in American cities for 2 months straight? Why so many black helicopters over Manhattan? Yeah, I’m a nut. I’m asking questions...
One interesting observation that my wife and I were discussing about a week ago had to do with ‘energy currents’. If one looks at life forms (however one defines such) as conductors and transmuters of various current flows, it makes sense to think that life forms, according to their physico-mental makeup, conduct and transmute in wildly different ways. This thought came up after she had mentioned that in sharp contrast to the thick human agitation that was hanging in the air that day, she noticed that the birds were full of energy and song. Many of them, singing back and forth, swooping down to check her out, playing, laughing, it almost seemed. Likewise, our cat, not even a year old, has simply exploded over this past month in terms of personality, creativity, and shows of affection. It has been amazing to witness and frankly a huge help with the darkness that follows when stepping into metropolis for my work day.
I don’t think it is crazy to suggest that there has been a massive increase in the intensity of ‘energy currents’ that we don’t fully understand over the past years and particularly months, and we need to heed how it is affecting our behavior and our mentation. I see such self-destructive and Other-destructive impulses all around me when it seems that this is the time when working together to alleviate each other’s suffering and shouldering the weight in groups might actually get us to a novel reality. We’re crumbling when we could be building, and I think if we look to nature and other life-forms, this song is being sung loud and clear if we’re willing to listen.
Here is something I believe: an event or movement that is a joyous occasion for the forward momentum of life can easily be perceived as a negative event or process from an egoistic human perspective - especially in a time when so many humans are trying desperately to build god helmets in an effort to control and command resources and the natural mighty flow of life. Time after time, Babel crumbles, suffering ensues. But from a wider perspective, a thick crust has been tilled and a novel epoch is free to sprout.
So I want to endorse growing plants this summer, wherever you are. If you live with a garden or a yard, make this the year. If you are lucky enough to live in the city with a balcony or roof (honestly, my balcony is possibly the only thing keeping me from screaming over these rent prices) start a container garden. If you only have a window, you can still grow plants. No window? Join a community garden (yes, they exist in this city), or do a guerilla plant somewhere and visit it to check on progress. It is an amazing experience.
This year, we planted seeds for the first time. How awesome to watch these sprouts, with such strength, unfold and stretch toward the light, wearing a little helmet that once was the entirety of their being. We like to sing to our plants, to ask them questions and expect that we’ll get answers (even if we have to adjust to a different time-scale). If you think this is silly, then you are missing the point.
Plant life has generated the only true democratic societies on earth. The oldest living beings on this planet are plants. They regularly harmonize the universal principles of plurality and unity within themselves. Plants seek, they communicate, they bear fruit, they problem solve, some even hunt. They seek the sun. They serve life. When I involve myself in their process, hoping to make some small contribution, I’m reminded to do the same.