Climate Action Day, 10/10/10
The Day of Climate Action was created as a grassroots reaction to politicians' inaction on the issue of Global Warming. The idea was to gather together citizens in the same place in order to create a concerted effort-- and momentum-- moving toward real change. There were hundreds of events in hundreds of countries and... we stayed home. Yes, yes we did.
Our little boy suffers still, and so we have to take care about what we do and how we do it; thus our Action was a mellow one, albeit impressionable on him all the same, as he asked to do it again the next night.
For our Simple Action, we decided to turn off all our lights at sunset. We marked dinner with a small ceremony of lighting our candles, and explaining our intention. My boy's eyes got wide and throughout dinner we talked about how our actions impact the Earth and all the life upon her. And after dinner, we gathered as a family and read stories, and looked out the window at the busy city all around us, still shining in bright electric light.
Once our child was in bed, I took time to reflect on that feeling: the time-outside-of-time our little fire-lit home created, the sense of camaraderie with the larger Action, the sense of connection with ancestors living similar, simpler ways. I loved how the quiet, muffled dark buffered the sounds of the house. I heard things I had never noticed before. And as all the distractions settled, the sense of home settled me, our quiet pocket in the bigger, busier city.
Blog Action Day, 10/15/10
Not long after Climate Action Day, a friend posted about something called Blog Action Day. Quoting from the website, "First and last, the purpose of Blog Action Day is to create a discussion. We ask bloggers to take a single day out of their schedule and focus it on an important issue. By doing so on the same day, the blogging community effectively changes the conversation on the web and focuses audiences around the globe on that issue." And it was an interesting success: over 5,000 blogs with over 40 million readers in 143 countries participated in the conversation. The topic? Water.
I remember that many years ago, the issue of accessibility to (and ownership of) clean water began to percolate in earnest; and I remember feeling a bit incredulous about it, wondering how on Earth something as ample and necessary as water could be turned into a regulated commodity. Well. It turns out that water is not a given, and not even a right; and while polar ice-caps melt, and oil poisons American oceans, African streams and Rainforest wells, each time I turn on the tap I find myself reciting a small poem of gratitude, for who knows how long, really, I'll enjoy this convenience?
Yet this was not the water I found myself contemplating last Friday, for ironically and conversely, water was nearly too abundant in my day. A nor'easter storm hit, soaking my husband and I as we walked to a nearby restaurant to celebrate our anniversary; and all the while we tore through a storm of our sticky emotions, yet another watery mess. We returned to watch the romantic film Titanic, only to be caught up in another sort of deluge altogether...
By the end of it I was nearly drowning in all possible watery aspects-- in rain, in passion, in fantasy-- and not at all in the mood to contemplate more of it, nor dare to hope for its lack.
I sat on my bed late in the evening, reviewing the week and its first the notes of quiet satisfaction, followed by the maelstrom of rain and high emotion. I marvel that the ups and downs of our human experience can occur in such rapid succession, somehow without explanation. That in all my seeking of balance of these elements, of the fire and the water that create my own life, surprises abound and paradoxes retaliate against all my best hopes of knowing anything.
What is left? I bow to my kitchen Brighid, offering still wine and malicious sorrow. And I tenderly offer flame and water both on Buddha's altar, my mirror. And I vow to hold both, somehow, in all their aspects, in this full, blessed life. Somehow.