Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Softness of Pink Light on Pine Trees

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

So it turns out that Camp Miller (where the Minnesota Men's Conference is taking place) does in fact have wireless Internet access.  So I will be writing each day and posting here.

Our opening session last night was quite nice.  We gathered for a ritual near sunset.  As I stood amidst a circle of many men I looked about and noticed the pink light of dusk subtly warming pine trees around me.  There was something so soft, so transcendent, so soothing about that light that I stood with my attention riveted to the beauty of the light.  Witnessing this beauty at the end of the day reminded me of the beauty of my own eyesight.  I thought of the incredible beauty of our world.  I thought of the countless sunrises and sunsets I have enjoyed in many parts of the world.  I recalled how many opportunities I have enjoyed.  It was an incredibly wonderful moment.  And the warmth I felt within unfolded simply because I was enjoying a pink hue.

Our time today was very enjoyable though most certainly interspersed with difficult moments.  One of the presenters mentioned another name I am familiar with.  Her name is Chellis Glendinning.  She has written some extensive critiques on Western civilization, technology and globalization.  Next to Jerry Mander she is one of my favorite writer-thinkers.

What I find amazing when I attend conferences like the one I am at now is the depth of pain, grief, anger and alienation that so many people feel.  Certainly there are our own individual experiences of pain and trauma that are intricately intertwined within our family histories.  But then there is the much larger narrative of human history on Earth as a whole.  For much of human history we lived in a much more intimate way with the planet.  Then came the Industrial Revolution and our growing sense of separation from that matrix of life upon which we depend (this wondrous world called Earth) accelerated even more.  Somehow we began to see the natural world as something "out there" that humanity is separate from.  And once the dissociation became endemic we found ourselves collectively able to do things to the planet we previously never would have been capable of doing.

The work of unraveling and peeling back away from this course we have been treading for many generations is an immense one.  But I do not think the direction the industrialized "First World" is moving has a long term future.  Continued development and supposed taming of the wildness of nature (to "make way" for people) relies upon a set of assumptions that themselves are fundamentally antithetical to human health and planetary health.  At a later time I will perhaps write more extensively about this broad issue.

I will close tonight by citing just one issue as an example of how our disassociated relationship with the world tangibly manifests.  Consider what you eat.  How much do you know about what you eat?  How much do you know about the supplies of the food you eat?  How much do you know about how the animals are treated?  How are the fruits and vegetables you eat cultivated?  Do you know much about the conditions the workers toil in who harvest your foodstuffs?  Are you a locavore (do you eat a diet consisting of foodstuffs grown in close proximity to where you live)?  And on and on go such questions.  I myself am weary of knowing so little.  I want to learn much more.

As for tonight I will allow my eyes to close and recall the beauty of soft pink light on majestic pine trees.

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I invite you to accompany me as I document my own journey of healing. My blog is designed to offer inspiration and solace to others. If you find it of value I welcome you to share it with others. Aloha!