I discovered a fantastic poem, read by its author, Anne Waldman, today. And I can’t help but share it. “Fossil Fuel,” Waldman’s wail of grief and despair honed to icy, lugubrious perfection, reminds me of Chris Hedges, his own meditation on despair and the imagination in this week’s essay for truthdig. What Waldman acts out on stage, Hedges speaks of, and demonstrates almost as crazily, by the perfection of his language. How fortunate we are to have these two wild poets in our midst as we flail about, sometimes forgetting to remember to do permaculture, sometimes failing to realize that we actually can dig ourselves out of this sodden, tear-filled grave. Yes, we can! See permies.com, for the kind of attitude required, not to mention for the fun of witnessing the ideas and actions of young people who not only refuse to give up, but who inspire the world with their young, new, dedicated energy.
It helps to remember, as my housemate Jim reminded himself this morning, via a dream that came to him last night, how many planets have been through the same cycle, their populations coming to the brink of self-destruction. The two of us agreed: this awful place to which we have arrived, this capitalist end-game that dances with such glittery, blind desperation on the head of its stupid, stupid pin, is most likely the usual course for spiritual beings who have devolved into the third dimension, where matter is so dense and thick and stubborn. That our species being up-against-it is a test. Will we make it? Will we thread our way through the needle of increasing scarcity and violence into abundance and harmony?
I remember back when I was a (violent, angry) peace activist, in the early ’80s, one late night conversation with a grizzled old Utah rancher whose ranch bordered some kind of military testing ground. He told me that he worked as a nuclear activist because he wanted to know that, on his deathbed, he had done what he could to reverse the course of human madness. That though the outcome was unknown, his part in it would not be. I salute him. I learned from him. And that was before permaculture, before I recognized the way through.