I don't know about you, but I felt a bit like this Corgi over the break, binging on relaxation as much as possible. It was exactly what I needed, but not enough.
The first week back was a bit of the shock to the system. I require more integration time during pandemics and on the heels of insurrections. Time to grieve and space to witness.
I'm still processing the horror of last Wednesday with the ominous dread of more to come. Personally, I'm trying to keep my health habits stable so my spirit stays strong and clear. Eating, sleeping, fresh air seeking, and connection where it will have me. A daily slather of Saint John's Wort oil made from flowers plucked near the summer solstice helps me channel the courage of fire and the sun's warmth. Sometimes just keeping up is the best you can do. Be good to you.
Here are some words I read this week worth sharing:
The Vast and Beautiful World of Indigenous Europe
I lived through collapse, America is already there.
As Intense Winter Unfolds, Some Lessons from Herbalists
Why it's Incredibly Problematic to Call White Supremacists Insane
The Misuse of Nordic Cultural Symbols In Racism and America
And two poems to leave you with-
Bertolt Brecht wrote in his poem, To be Born Later, “What kind of times are these, when. To talk about trees is almost a crime. Because it implies silence about so many horrors?”
Adrienne Rich wrote this poem in response:
What Kind of Times Are These
BY ADRIENNE RICH
There's a place between two stands of trees
where the grass grows uphill
and the old revolutionary road breaks off into shadows
near a meeting-house abandoned by the persecuted
who disappeared into those shadows.
I've walked there picking mushrooms at the edge of dread,
but don't be fooled
this isn't a Russian poem,
this is not somewhere else but here,
our country moving closer to its own truth and dread,
its own ways of making people disappear.
I won't tell you where the place is, the dark mesh of the woods
meeting the unmarked strip of light--
ghost-ridden crossroads, leafmold paradise:
I know already who wants to buy it, sell it, make it disappear.
And I won't tell you where it is, so why do I tell you
anything? Because you still listen, because in times like these
to have you listen at all, it's necessary
to talk about trees.
Adrienne Rich, "What Kind of Times are These" from Collected Poems: 1950-2012.
ONWARDS by Martin Shaw
And what I am saying is this: this earth belongs partially to the dead, not to us. We are facing circumstances so complex
we simply do not have the chops to fix them ourselves.
When we pay attention to what came before us,
ghosts become ancestors, and we have something to work with.
That’s going to lead to appropriate grief
and much re-figuring,
and that’s just the way it is.
Those ancestors could also be oceans,
lightning, curlew, the far blue mountain.
Many old stories have come to talk us, fresh as rain.
Whenever I write about ancient things
it is because I think they are in the future too.
And Sherman Alexie says:
The elders knew the spiders
Had left behind bundles of stories.
And Earle Thompson says:
We finally went to bed. I dreamt
Of the mountains and now
I understand my childhood.
And Mary Tallmountain says:
The grease would warm us
When hungry winter howled.
And Haunani-Kay Trask says:
Night is a sharkskin drum
Sounding our body black
Carly lives and eats from a hilltop in Cummington, Massachsuetts and part time in Schenectady, NY.