Tuesday, 3 May 2016
All dammed up. And damned. An expletive loaded rant.
(I let this one sit in draft for a day before publishing because, well, it's in the tough love category. Don't take any of my venting personally - unless it applies, and then take heed!)
I haven't been writing much lately, have I?
That's because I haven't been thinking in words as much as I often do.
Weather-wise, spring seems late. I've stuck my head out the door and sniffed the air countless times; my brain would say 'brrrrr-fuck!' and I'd duck back inside and glare out the window. The sunshine tempted me, "come out, you know you want to!" while the snapping flag warned me that the wind would make my ears ache.
That bullshit went on for a good chunk of April. Both the weather and my fear of it. Til I finally smartened the hell up, donned layers of sweaters and jackets and a scarf on my head like the Queen, stormed out and walked the trail and from there on, I've been outside as much as I can.
Yes it's been cold, but cold is relative. Physical cold is one thing, spiritual cold is another. Humans, oh we're such wimps, myself included, that we are more afraid of chilly weather than we are of that true malaise, a benumbed soul, that comes when we huddle indoors.
I spent the winter, as I have several winters now, reading. I read "the literature" about medicinal plants. About food. About the microbiome, about prebiotic fibre (food for the microbes in our guts). I read about the importance of full spectrum sunlight for human health. I read about the the Schumann resonance. I read about discoveries that purport to give all the benefits of all of the above in purified form and the technology that humans have come up with in imitation of the earth's magnetic heartbeat and .. well .. fuck all that for a carry on.
I go for a walk. I nibble on twigs or first leaves and the Earth and sky and sun and wind have given me everything I've read about all winter, that I could spend a fortune buying imitations of. No batteries required. Nothing is more pure than the twig, the leaf, the light glittering off the river.
It's such utter hubris to believe any of this needs to be purified. It is utter laziness to buy special lights or magnets when when one can go outside in the morning and greet the sun as it rises. Barefoot.
It is all lies, my friends, all of it. And you buy into it, both figuratively and literally as you order your supplements and magetico mattress pads off the internet. You offer up your blood and your shit to be assessed by the numbers, to find out if you are any healthier now that you're swallowing the right white powders for your pre-this or that disease. Because you can't trust how you feel.
Disease. Great word, that. Dis-ease.
Yes, you are ill at ease, aren't you? So am I. It's called mortality and it's the human condition. It can't be fixed. The only real cure is death.
But we don't want that, do we? (Unless it's doctor assisted, a whole other story). No one ever dies of something that couldn't have been prevented these days, have you noticed that? Read the obits, even Mr Jones who lived to be 94 didn't die of natural causes but of heart failure or diabetes or of the cigarettes he smoked til that last one half an hour before he gave up this mortal coil. Silly Mr. Jones, if only he'd taken better care of himself!
There, did you hear that? Sarcasm is creeping into my voice again. That's another reason why I haven't been writing, why I've taken myself back outside, to where words aren't.
I'm frustrated, fed up, unable to hide the anger that simmers and simmers and then occasionally boils up and over. It makes me angry that nice people, kind people, intelligent people and (or perhaps especially) "educated" people get so lost in their brains that their hearts get all dammed up and they just don't know who they are any more. They've been taught that authority is out there. That it has a (white) (male) human face and wears a white coat. They've been taught that the truth can be discovered in laboratories.
Does it never cross anyone's mind that laboratory mice and rats are not only not humans in real world conditions, but that they are nocturnal? That florescent lighting and cages are not their natural environments, and so even if science was trying to learn only about mouse or rat the information is skewed?
And yet we hold this version of science up as more valid than on-the-ground human experience? Are we insane?
Or perhaps there is more in common between caged animals that never feel the sun and the average Western human than I would like to admit. Yes, perhaps there is, and maybe my love for my fellow humans blinds me to the reality that their lives are far from what human experience should be. Could be. Once was.
Cue the accusations of romanticising the past. Cue the cries of "you oversimplify!"
Yeah? Do I? Or do you overcomplicate matters and take the body apart like a pocket watch, looking for what makes us tick? The heart does more than keep time.
I've about had it with being dismissed as a romantic; I'm not, I'm a realist. I've especially had it with being accused of anthropomorphism simply because I acknowledge the intelligence and self-awareness of all the living creatures on this planet. I acknowledge that your science has its place, why can't you acknowledge that my commitment to the Life in life does as well?
What are you - yes you, and you too - so afraid of? Your mechanistic, winner take all view of nature declares war on the microbes, invents new diseases; it threatens all of us with disaster. How does my heart-felt awareness harm you?
You, who can't eat bread, the staff of life that is part and parcel of civilisation, you who fear honey and fruit, you who need drugs to shit, are you so much better off for all your fear? Are you safer? You who don't have time to cook - what are you doing with your time? Searching the internet for a cure for your allergies?
Your problem - and mine, I'm not immune from the malaise of our times, I just happen to recognize it for what it is - is an awareness problem. We're cut off, all of us, from our being-ness. Without it, we can't see the being-ness in the rest of the world, either the natural world or our fellow humans. But we can't find our own unless we acknowledge that it is everywhere. In every creature and yes, every microbe we share our planet and our bodies with.
We say that we are the pinnacle of evolution, that we are the most advanced life form on the planet but in fact we are afraid to know what that even means.
We are all dammed up inside with fear and it is damning us all to miserable lives.
It's not the bread.
Well it is the bread, but not it's not the bread if you learn how to make it properly. With your own hands. (A bread making machine is an abomination, part of the problem).
It's the fear (or disdain, maybe?) of the work, the gentle soulful work that is the kneading of dough. It is the 'I'm too special and delicate to tolerate the new wheat' snowflake syndrome. No, you're not. You're afraid. Lose the fear, take the dough in your hands and you transform the new wheat back into something life-sustaining. Life enhancing.
Humans are incredibly adaptable creatures who can tolerate - and even thrive under - conditions far worse than the ones you and I live in. It is fear, it is learned helplessness that makes you so delicate that bread dams your bowels up and an apple opens the gates too wide.
This is about sin, too, you know.
Yes I just went there.
It's idolatry and gluttony rolled into one - a two-fer!
We've made an idol of food as we think about it constantly. An idol of science & tech as we look (up) to them for all the answers. And it is a form of gluttony to want only the choicest morsel, all the time, and refuse any humble food that doesn't come up to the standards and values we've imagined into existence.
Such high "standards" that the wild food that comes out of the ground freely, the medicine that God provides, everywhere, isn't pure enough for us. Yet now we seed our guts with "pro-biotic bacteria" sourced from .. what? Do you even know what's in those capsules?
So apparently, you trust 'them' to grow your probiotics in vats, but not to grow your wheat. You trust 'them' to evaluate your blood and stool, to judge your health status for you, but not to vaccinate your children. You trust them to make baby formula, though, because it's just not convenient to feed your child from your breast, and besides, who hasn't read about all the toxins in breast milk? And would you dream of washing cloth diapers? No, but you'll scowl at your neighbour if he doesn't recycle that can.
And you need those anti-depressants and sleeping aids and anti-anxiety meds. And you need that hormone replacement therapy. And you need those digestive enzymes. You really do. Because your poor heart, your natural awareness of what's right and what isn't, your human being-ness is all dammed up.
All that wisdom you need, all that being-ness, is there, inside you, natural born. Ask it to come out. Ask it to lead you to your fellow beings, human and/or otherwise, who can teach you to remember who you are.
Re-member. I like that word, it's the opposite of dis-member. We have to re-member our selves, put ourselves back together.