Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mad-ness


We usually watch the national nightly news during dinner. I cannot watch because I cry.

Cry huge, throat closing tears for the suffering of our world, our seas, ourselves.

The ocean has always been a part of me. I was blessed to live on the Atlantic's untamed beaches in Montauk for three years. I feel so much pain right now that I cannot explain rationally.

So I will borrow words from a greater person, Chief Seathl (Seattle):
"The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. But how can you buy or sell the sky? The land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?

Every part of the earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people.

We know the sap which courses through the trees as we know the blood that courses through our veins. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the dew in the meadow, the body heat of the pony, and man all belong to the same family.

The shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water, but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you our land, you must remember that it is sacred. Each glossy reflection in the clear waters of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water's murmur is the voice of my father's father.

The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. They carry our canoes and feed our children. So you must give the rivers the kindness that you would give any brother.

If we sell you our land, remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life that it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also received his last sigh. The wind also gives our children the spirit of life. So if we sell our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow flowers.

Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.

This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

One thing we know: our God is also your God. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator.

Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered? The wild horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted with talking wires? Where will the thicket be? Gone! Where will the eagle be? Gone! And what is to say goodbye to the swift pony and then hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival.

When the last red man has vanished with this wilderness, and his memory is only the shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie, will these shores and forests still be here? Will there be any of the spirit of my people left?

We love this earth as a newborn loves its mother's heartbeat. So, if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it, as we have cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you receive it. Preserve the land for all children, and love it, as God loves us.

As we are part of the land, you too are part of the land. This earth is precious to us. It is also precious to you.

One thing we know - there is only one God. No man, be he Red man or White man, can be apart. We ARE all brothers after all."

8 comments:

poietes June 11, 2010 at 5:49 PM  

Beautiful post.

I have always loved this passage by Chief Seattle. What still amazes me is how very spot on he was in his words. We have raped the land. We have abused this earth with wanton abandon. We have thought ourselves superior and unconnected. And even in the face of the most blatant truths to the contrary, we continue to plunder, to despoil, to deface the air and the land and the seas as if they are replenishable. How very, very foolish we are.

skyewriter June 11, 2010 at 6:25 PM  

Thanks for stopping by, poietes.

I am sick about this. Literally. I cannot think about it without crying and getting unbelievably angry. I am researching groups who are organizing trips to the gulf to help in clean up efforts.

I can't *not* do something. Signing a petition or not driving my car or boycotting BP isn't enough. Action is the only thing that is going to help me survive this because it will not be over for many, many years to come...

Sidhe June 11, 2010 at 10:24 PM  

Share my tears & go for me.

skyewriter June 12, 2010 at 9:41 AM  

Looking into it, Sidhe. Hope you are well, my sweet friend. Missing you...

Riot Kitty June 14, 2010 at 5:16 PM  

This should be recommended reading. I'm in vacation in NYC and there have been a couple of protests about the BP b.s. here - including a naked bike ride with protest slogans painted on the riders' bodies! And they say *Portland* is weird...

skyewriter June 15, 2010 at 2:20 PM  

Hi, RK:
Did you get any pix of the bikers? That would make a great blog post...
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you are having a great vacation in NYC.
Can't wait to read all about it!

Chris June 22, 2010 at 12:09 PM  

I'm with you....having a hard time watching, reading, trying to make sense out of what we are up against...it's just too overwhelming!!!

skyewriter June 24, 2010 at 10:40 AM  

Hi, Chris! So nice to see you... hope you are well.

It's inescapable... and something that I think is going to part of our political landscape for a generation (at least). Now is the time to start to see progress on clean energy initiatives. It could jump start our economy in ways the nay-sayers could not possibly imagine.

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