Saturday, May 22, 2010
Gulf Oil Spill one month later: Calling on the Spirit of Gaia
A month into this Gulf oil spill and the news seems to get grimmer and grimmer each day: Thick gobs of oil washing into the Louisiana marshlands, the absolute and abhorrent corruption that BP displays on a daily basis – from their CEO characterizing the spill as being “tiny” to the allegations that they have been deliberately preventing people from getting onto beaches to witness what is going on, and preventing scientists from accurately measuring the spill. And then there is the tepid and impotent government response, “lackadaisical and naïve” as James Carville calls it, hampered by the culture of years and years of Big Oil being in the driver’s seat in this country for way too long.
The only good thing I see from this is perhaps people will really wake up. Maybe Obama will wake up and stop being a wuss. And take control. In my wildest dreams he would listen to those who say we should SEIZE BP.
For God’s sake. When is enough enough here? How many more dead dolphins, turtles, fish, manatees, sea birds, oceans, shorelines, beaches, estuaries, deltas, fisheries, coastlines, rivers, marshlands and islands must be ruined before we rise in the streets and say enough. How many more people must get sick from the highly toxic chemicals BP has been dispersing in the Gulf? There is a damn good case to be made for BP to be seized. It is criminal negligence what is going on in the Gulf. This accident did not have to happen. Read about it here if you haven't seen this yet.
Maybe enough government scientists and the people in regulatory agencies will no longer allow their jobs to be controlled, or undermined by these slick criminals in companies like BP and Halliburton and Shell and Goldman Sachs and (___fill in the blank with your favorite corrupt corporation that cares not for the earth or for the well being of others, but only to line their pockets with as much money as possible, damn the consequences.) In the words of Chris Hedges, "The corporate state is a runaway freight train. It shreds the Kyoto Accords in Copenhagen. It plunders the U.S. Treasury so speculators can continue to gamble with billions in taxpayer subsidies in our perverted system of casino capitalism. It disenfranchises our working class, decimates our manufacturing sector and denies us funds to sustain our infrastructure, our public schools and our social services. It poisons the planet."
Will it take the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history to recognize that a sea change is needed in government, in how politicians run their political campaigns - so that they are not bought by these goons, in who gets to control things, and in how business is done on this earth? Or will we just have no oceans left within twenty years – polluted beyond recognition, only dead zones remaining. When the only seafood left is jellyfish and algae. When we say to our grandchildren “No Johnny, you can’t go in the water.” Or “No, Sally, we no longer have any fish left like the ones in those pictures.”
I wasn’t going to rant. I’ve been ranting for four weeks. It is getting to be too much. But I know that we are all ranting, some more vocally than others. Some just feel enormous despair.
What I really wanted to share was this prayer, an invocation really, from one of my dear teachers, the Deep Ecology rainforest activist John Seed. This invocation is contained in his book Thinking Like A Mountain that he wrote with Joanna Macy, Pat Fleming and Arne Naess. It has been a treasured possession of mine for the past 17 years and I turn to its wisdom now to feel my connection with the earth and to call on the spirit of Gaia to see us through these perilous times:
Invocation: We Ask for the Spirit of Gaia
by John Seed
We ask for the presence of the spirit of Gaia and pray that the breath of life continues to caress this planet home.
May we grow into true understanding — a deep understanding that inspires us to protect the tree on which we bloom, and the water, soil and atmosphere without which we have no existence.
May we turn inwards and stumble upon our true roots in the intertwining biology of this exquisite planet. May nourishment and power pulse through these roots, and fierce determination to continue the billion-year dance.
May love well up and burst forth from our hearts.
May there be a new dispensation of pure and powerful consciousness and the charter to witness and facilitate the healing of the tattered biosphere.
We ask for the presence of the spirit of Gaia to be with us here. To reveal to us all that we need to see, for our own highest good and for the highest good of all.
We call upon the spirit of evolution, the miraculous force that inspires rocks and dust to weave themselves into biology. You have stood by us for millions and billions of years — do not forsake us now. Empower us and awaken in us pure and dazzling creativity. You that can turn scales into feathers, seawater to blood, caterpillars to butterflies, metamorphose our species, awaken in us the powers that we need to survive the present crisis and evolve into more eons of our solar journey.
Awaken in us a sense of who we truly are: tiny ephemeral blossoms on the Tree of Life. Make the purposes and destiny of that tree our own purpose and destiny.
Fill each of us with love for our true Self, which includes all of the creatures and plants and landscapes of the world. Fill us with a powerful urge for the well-being and continual unfolding of this Self.
May we speak in all human councils on behalf of the animals and plants and landscapes of the Earth.
May we shine with a pure inner passion that will spread rapidly through these leaden times.
May we all awaken to our true and only nature — none other than the nature of Gaia, this living planet Earth.
We call upon the power which sustains the planets in their orbits, that wheels our Milky Way in its 200-million-year spiral, to imbue our personalities and our relationships with harmony, endurance and joy. Fill us with a sense of immense time so that our brief, flickering lives may truly reflect the work of vast ages past and also the millions of years of evolution whose potential lies in our trembling hands.
O stars, lend us your burning passion.
O silence, give weight to our voice.
We ask for the presence of the spirit of Gaia.