Monday, October 29, 2007

Being Here

Under normal conditions, when I find time to slip down to my little pueblito in the Catorce uplift, I often barely miss a beat. But this trip to the mountains has been a good example of what can go wrong. I'm pretty sure that Mercury is retrograde, other communication has also been challenged over the last several weeks. (it is) Here is the forecast:

"Businesses, travels and communications tend to experience delays and different problems. Computers and other processes that work with information may experience crashes, unexpected failures.

Don't enroll to courses, don't buy expensive Mercurian items (books, cars, mobile phones etc.), don't sign important contracts and do not marry."

On the first leg of my trip, I was unable to connect into the 5 star hotelĀ“s connection because, as the very capable and honest front desk fellow offered, "you must have a communication software on your computer". I do of course, I use Skype all the time, and their firewall kept me from connecting to any web site, not just Skype. I was afraid that I would have to go into dreaded black screen I P Config land just to release their hold on me.

It's a little spooky to think that Skype is now getting blocked from certain hotel chains. (I guess they want their long distance money back.)

The next day, I got to my place in the mountains and fired up the tablet. There was plenty of signal from my unidirectional antennae from across the way but no server. It turns out that the hotel where I shoot my wireless broadband from had lost its phone lines. (for 3 days already) That left me with bugging my good friend on the hill or going to the Cafe Quemado. And that is where I am right now.

There is a small pack of young boys playing games on the 2 computers next to me. They have their headphones on as they race and mouse, looking over at me every now and then with a certain sense of puzzlement.

The owner here also projects movies on the 200 year old wall across the street, complete with popcorn.

Even though dealing with the loss of my communication link has been a bit of a trouble, ( the hotel is now in its 6th day of no phone service) it has also reminded me of the time I had in years past, when I would buy a phone card from Telmex and wait in line at the pay phone. In the early days around here, the phone shop would send an 80 year old man to my door to tell me of an incoming call.

All of this brings me to this. Mercury will go out of retrograde in a few days, but the likelihood of the continuation of these kind of breakdowns and the sort of selective firewall I experienced in Saltillo is very high. With oil at all time highs and production on a plateau, and an albedo flip in the climate crises appearing in the arctic this summer, it's pretty likely that more of this stuff is on the way. Here is Carolyn Baker on emotional awareness in a collapsing world.

"We are headed for collapse. In fact, collapse has already begun, but most folks haven't a clue. They are too tired from working long, depressing jobs. They are numbed-out and dumbed-down by mainstream corporate media. I don't know how collapse will look, whether it will be slow or fast, but it is happening and folks are not preparing. (clip)

The main thing I'm doing in preparation for collapse is readying my mind and heart. I do this by grieving the destruction, by loving the life all around me, by reading books and articles daily, by spending time with friends who are up to speed on the state of the planet and by spending time daily with my bird friends and other nature friends.

I also do this using a practice called Tonglen. It is a Buddhist meditation practice whereby I breathe in destruction, anger, grief, hate, et cetera and breathe out well-being, love, peace, compassion, release, etc. I learned this practice from Pema Chodron's book, When things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, and there you can find greater detail into this practice. " (clip)


What's been your journey in coming to terms with the triple threat of Peak Oil, climate crisis, and economic meltdown? Have you gone through various stages? How can people not just either shut down or go into deep despair?

CR: Earlier in the interview I recounted my coming to terms with these threats through a series of life events. I have definitely gone through various stages, and it can be truly daunting. I have both shut down and gone into deep despair at times. I have grieved deeply and for long periods of time.

I am often so overcome with joy and love for this planet that I burst out into spontaneous songs of affection. I weep and I wail. I laugh and I sing. I spend long hours with friends talking about these things. I consistently read about these subjects with a dogged determination to see the truth. I think shutting down and going into deep despair are part of the process of coming to terms with these threats.

Staying there is where it becomes dangerous and ineffective. As Tim and Sally talk about in their documentary What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire and as Derrick Jensen speaks about in his books, hope can be a dangerous thing, keeping us stuck in passivity. So despair and hopelessness can open us to a new paradigm, to a new way of thinking. "

During my first night here in Catorce, I asked, "Is knowing about what is coming, and still not planning more stupid than not knowing at all?"

And the answer to my own question seems to be this, "perhaps knowing and practicing" is enough.

For perhaps to breathe in destruction, anger, grief, and hate, as we breathe out well-being, love, peace, and compassion is the plan that we must all adopt.

Being here, not staying there.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on. Thank you for efforts,
and the courage to continue day
day after day to find the upside
in an upside down world.


9:19 PM  

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