Insensitivity Us More Vulnerable

A fiery sunset caused by forest fire smoke from California and local fires

“Humanity should not remain insensitive to the forest fire or wildfire every year. Unless we act, the loss of biodiversity and extinction of herbs, birds and animals and the pains of the trees, birds, animals and the poor is also alarming signal for the extinction of humanity itself.”

― Amit Ray, Nuclear Weapons Free World Peace on the Earth

Local forest fires and smoke blowing in from California created a ghostly sunset in Santa Fe, New Mexico last night. What extreme weather are you experiencing in your place on the planet now? What can each of us do during during a transitional season to do our part to protect the planet, and in doing so, protect ourselves?

Insensitivity to the pain we cause makes us all the more vulnerable.

Photo Credits:  Ghost Sunset by Susan J. Preston, Santa Fe, New Mexico © 2020, all rights reserved
Technical: Fuji XT-2 | XF 16-55mm

 

In the recesses of my own grief these past months my intention has been to take hold of the heavy hand of pain, trusting the despair and loneliness sitting on my front step and knocking on the door were being led by a deeper and broadening wisdom inside me. Patience is the key to opening, but like the chambers of my heart, which opens and then closes, I take in only what can be held in any given moment. 

In the vacant nooks of this liminal bookcase, my intention has been to hold the heavy hand of pain, trusting the despair and loneliness waiting on the front step are being led by a deeper and broadening wisdom inside me. A key inscribed Welcome sits on the mantle, the only key that opens the door. Like the chambers of my heart, which open and then close, I take in only what can be held in any given moment, then close. 

Where is the soundless place between the opening and closing? The liminal, in-between realm of emptiness, betwixt chapters, where up is down and no one is sure if we're coming or going? Where the pain of uncertainty wants to give way to the freedom in not knowing. 

I'm being asked to stop trying to think my way out of this place. The burdens I carry – and perhaps yours as well – were crafted in clay, which must be spirited through and felt toward. Our armored, ego-driven intellects, vaporous beliefs, and worn out stories are no match for the problems facing us. What we need are elementary kindness and humble wisdom. And we can't call them forth that without tenderly picking up the pieces of own broken hearts with a commitment to stop polarizing each shard.

Wake up! Wake the fuck up! says the wordless voice who 

The thing about deep grief, which I knew all too well with the passing of a beloved friend to suicide five years ago, is it appears for good reason. Many things that were once cherished or taken for granted are suddenly gone. To deny Grief's knocking and expect ourselves to just get over it is inhumanely incongruent with what it means to be fully human. Once I discovered I would never think my way out of the pain and learned to carry it with grace it became one of my greatest teachers. 

As I move through this time of endarkening, I'm reminded of how precious life is, no matter how difficult. Enlightenment doesn't alight upon us with fairy wings. First comes the descent into the knowledge that the keys, and the gentlest hands that hold them, lie within.  

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