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Image for post
Painting by Pedro Roldan Molino

“to live in this world

you must be able
to do three things
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go…”
— Mary Oliver


It’s only a matter of time until what Europeans call
“a major catastrophe of global proportions” will occur.

It is the role of American Indian peoples, the role of all natural beings, to survive.

A part of our survival is to resist.

We resist not to overthrow a government or to take political power, but because it is natural to resist extermination, to survive. We don’t want power over white institutions;
we want white institutions to disappear.
That’s revolution.

American Indians are still in touch with these realities — the prophecies, the traditions of our ancestors. We learn from the elders, from nature, from the powers. And when the catastrophe is over, we American Indian peoples will still be here to inhabit the hemisphere. I don’t care if it’s only a handful living high in the Andes.
American Indian people will survive;
harmony will be reestablished. That’s revolution..

— Russell Means


Our fight is internal. We need to free ourselves at a deep spiritual level, from the bonds of socioeconomic rigidity, religious rigidity, all of these social norms. The greatest power we have is our ability to be silent, and our ability as a species, to become present on multiple levels; spiritual, physical, cognitive, etc.

It’s hard for others to steal your silence. They can only distract you from it. So turn off the TV and sit and listen to nature today. She is free, she can shake off the insults and abuse. She will do life more abundant, more intelligent when the extinction event of humanity is over. If we end the extinction path today, we could stay and play — Zach Bush

I’ve learned that a woman I’ve met a couple of times has decided to die today. You can do that legally here in Mexico. A man comes and gives you an injection and in five minutes it’s over. She has cancer plus other incurable ailments and she’s in a lot of pain.

Her decision is understandable and brave. She was terrified at first but then passed into a state of acceptance and peace.

I woke up in the middle of the night, shed a few tears for her and tried to send her a few prayers. I don’t know any prayers, I had to make them up.

I don’t think it’s a good idea to cycle off this mortal coil in a state of terror, so I’m glad she came to some peace before the event. A friend of ours is there. He’s brave. I’d be a puddle on the floor.

We can only speculate what’s on the other side. It seems we aren’t permitted to know. Those who have dipped a toe into that realm report beauty and overwhelming love and acceptance — nothing to fear.

But still, we tremble with fear. We cling to this illusory physical world that is so full of beauty and suffering. Quantum physics tells us this paradigm is constantly flashing in and out of existence so fast that we can’t see it. We don’t suspect how insubstantial we and our world are. We are fully invested in the physical appearance of this theater of the soul.

But maybe what’s important is the “takeaway,” what we learn about the importance of love and joy, care and connection. If what we think of as solid reality is actually a movie set where we can play out our dramas of disconnection, perhaps we do best to foster life in the body until the moment when we can’t, until the moment when we must let go whether willingly or not.

When my father died, he was very matter-of-fact about it. He said simply, “I’ve had a good run at it. I’m ready to go now.”

I hope to arrive at that moment with a feeling I’ve fulfilled my life’s mission, that it was a satisfaction of the impulse that engendered my existence, that I learned what I came to learn and expressed what I came to express.

I doubt there’s a higher ambition.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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