[thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]
Given the way global and local events are developing, a serious observation can give but one conclusion: that long-talked about collapse of civilization is going to take place. It probably will not be tomorrow, or next month, or next year. It may not happen in ten years, or fifty. The forces orchestrating the collapse of man’s “great” accomplishments are on the job, so to speak, but not all are totally committed to their task. With all the moving and shaking, who knows but we may yet enjoy some reprieve, some years of relative calm and peace. Unlikely but possible.
That said and out of the way, I’m currently reading a dystopian novel called “The Water Knife” by Paolo Bacigalupi. It’s centered in the US – namely the states of California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas and Colorado. The droughts have been severe and finally it’s been realized that water is at a premium. Acts of sabotage and quasi-civil war take place between farmers, states, and cities fighting for water, and those fighting to keep their water rights: fighting for survival. It’s a horrible time for all involved, with massive movements of displaced persons or refugees leaving farms, towns and cities that have lost out to the highest or most aggressive bidders and find themselves literally without water.
It’s not too difficult at this point to see how this could happen, and in a short time. Even flooding is not a good gauge to use to measure drought: there’s short term and long term, and man should learn to reason and act long term, but so far that ability has quite eluded the creature.
I want to end this with a quote from the novel: [Maria Villarosa, a young girl alone and lost in the chaos] “Why?” she asked, finally. “Why are you so nice? It doesn’t make sense. I’m not your woman. I’m not your people.”
[Toomie, an old black man] “We’re all each other’s people. Just like we’re all our brothers’ keepers. We forget it sometimes. When everything’s going to pieces, people can forget. But in the end? We’re all in it together. You are my people, Maria. No question in my mind.”
No question in my mind either, not now. But it took many years to work that simple addition to arrive at the correct answer. And even now, having made compassion and service my purpose, my passion, the selfish thoughts and times arise. Not as powerfully as they once did, but it is still a narrow path from which it is easy to stray and stray too far you won’t find it again. That is my one fear: that I would follow some will o’ the wisp, some lure, some promise of a short cut and find myself hopelessly lost. So I gnaw at this compassion bone, and drag it around with me. If I bury it at the end of the day, I make sure to dig it up again in the morning and drag it along to worry it some more.
Some might say, why should we care? You live, you die, case closed. That works for those who convince themselves that is how it is. There are some of us, and you may pity us indeed, who happen to k-n-o-w that death is not an end but a passage, and a sort of test. On the other side there are no “things,” no pretty bodies with seductive smiles to win over the judges, no Olympic gold medals, no Nobel or Pulitzer prizes, no stacks of money, no deeds to any plantation. Yes, there are deeds, and that’s the problem. Our deeds, my deeds. My thoughts. My words. These are my judges, after death has done its thing and stripped me of all those physical “things” that don’t mean a thing at the end of the path.
So yes, it’s going to happen. In this life, in the next, whatever. What matters to me is preparedness. Knowing how to face to chaos when it comes. Note that I’m not saying the sky is falling, I’m merely saying that we should all take advantage of this warning time to teach ourselves how to respond… properly, as compassionate and caring individuals. Not as survivors – these die last – but as sharing and giving people, for if I have and my neighbour does not, I’m but half-alive until I share. Openly, freely.
Just thought I’d pass that along. It’s what’s been filling my days (and dreams) lately, while the wild fires continue to burn. A picture of a smoke-filled sunrise taken a week ago. The smoke continues… though somewhat abating in the Lower Mainland (B.C., Canada)