Saturday, October 20, 2007
Part of my efforts to lighten my footprint upon the earth in passing is to not stomp so superhumanly hard using the leverage of the petroleum propelled prosthetic products with which western civilization has outfitted itself to become the bionic species that farts poison and shits plastic, homo artificialis.
Another part is to lighten the load of baggage I accumulated over 36 years of fully complicit, if slightly resentful, participation in and contribution to the mythical exceptionalism of the American Way of Life, the envy of the world, onward Christian soldiers, praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!
I have no idea how commonly the experience of feeling that everything one was ever taught is wrong occurs among the general population but I can recall inklings of it all my life from Santa Clause to George Bush. If there is anything at all flawed about man, ala original sin, it may be our gullibility. The willingness to commit ones life to authority seems like a positive alternative to the pains of withheld affections, privileges and rewards that accompany disobedience as the indoctrination begins in the crib, class and courtroom. Once one learns to mock those who are not yet with the program one is as fully engaged in the unconscious perpetuation of the myth as were their parents before them.
Although it is an ongoing process of untying knots from a higher consciousness than tied them, replacing the impermeable asphalt habits of forgone conclusions with the levity of reopened alternative possibilities is a process of sprouting from the compost of ones past that makes the journey a joy to be rejoining evolution.
Then there’s my actual physical weight which seems easier to accumulate the easier I take life. Walking, turning the compost and garden, and cutting what lawn that needs it with hedge clippers are the only activities I feel motivated to do with any exercise component to them. There’s just not anything I want to change around here anymore except the slow process of learning to grow food better.
There is a beautiful part to the wonderful life on the island of Tikopia when it seems more appropriate to sit at the foot of a coconut tree and reminisce about a full life and good times had over the course of a life spent in the activities of children. The Tikopia culture considered one a child all through life, bearing and sharing children as one big happy family tending taro pits, climbing coconut trees and fishing in the ocean were as much play as chasing chickens and puppies were when they were learning to walk. Adulthood announced itself as timely as second teeth and pubic hair when sitting under a coconut tree with a lap full of toddlers telling tales about when one was their age and growing up became a priority. I have a coconut tree given me by my brother, Chuck, in whose shade I feel destined and about ready to sit. In fact, I’m already sitting there, waiting for the shade.
One of the great mistakes western culture makes seems to be the wasting of the wisdom of the elderly as the prime source of educators, not so much for the old traditions they might pass on but for the insights into life that seem to clarify once one has laid down the axe, finished the rat race, raised healthy, responsible children of their own and finally with the time to reflect on life with a relatively timeless perspective. Young teachers may instill enthusiasm in their students, but until they’ve had a career of their own they are just parroting their own untested education with no demonstrable experience of application in the field.