I remember a time when we uncovered the wrenching reality that corporations were perpetrating a slow and uneven death on all things life, how it hurt so deeply that we would go to sleep at night crying for the earth, and the plants, animals, the people. I remember how angry we were, that our lives were being compromised by greed, gluttony, and all the other “deadly” sins. And I remember, quite distinctly, when as a child I would stand in front of trees in spring in awe of the buds bursting with the season’s new life. We had arrived at a deep understanding, that if the buds would continue to revisit us each and every year, that we had to do something about it, we had to go to all extremes to save the trees from the sound and work of chainsaws eating wood in forests and making dust of two hundred year old living monuments to Nature’s scintillating existence. And when the precious soil started to erode away, and the rivers overflowed because of it, and the cities we had built were buried beneath millions of pounds of water and topsoil, we took notice, even if only for a short while, because we were in the path of it and we could not escape it, and when it had passed our awareness had passed with it and life went on “as usual”, all in the name of progress.
I remember when “green” became a thing, a marketable thing, a Madison Avenue juggernaut of a thing. I remember because it is not too far in the past that this happened, seemingly suddenly, and thus it is still with us. I remember that when some thing becomes that thing then it is all about “business” per se, about positioning, and competition, the cult of personality, about who might be the next darling of the green universe. And the fortress rises out of the desert and empire is bound to crumble to dust, some day, any way.
And then one evening, upon lying down to go to sleep, we find ourselves crying again for the earth, this earth that is our real Mother, our sustenance, from whose milk we suck and are nourished. And this ancient thought comes to the mind and dips into the heart of hearts, and we succumb to all the wonder and beauty that is forever and always. We cry the hurt, the kind of hurt that only our ribs could describe as an awe full pain, a melancholic pain, an earthly and mysterious pain, but a pain that has joy hidden right at the very center of it, at the core of it, at the seed of it.
And lest we forget why we got into this at all, why the spirit of life nudged us, prodded us, forced us up, to take a look, to listen, and smell and taste and, most of all, to touch. So yeah, we can make a bit of money out of this “green” thing, this marketable, newsworthy, thing. We can raise the quality of our lives, we can consume goods and services to infinity, but as we do this we consume all that lies precious, we re-source, or should we say that we simply source without giving back, we only work the contract and never go beyond it because, Lord help us, if we were to extend even a little bit beyond the contract, if we were to serve the people, and the animals, and the plants, just a smidgeon beyond what the contract says, then it “will cut into my time”. Ah, time! That gnarly thing. That cat and mouse of subterfuge, that ploy, that harbinger of non-existence, that beast that lies hidden in the jungle, those shadows that creep until death do us part.
And so, off to the marketplace! Ha! In the system. Care of earth and care of people? Where lies the courage to drill down into that and live it to the extreme. This is the real adventure, the scaling of Himalayas that no Sherpa dare enter…