Hey everyone…well it’s Friday already and we haven’t had a chance yet to write our weekly blog post…so much to say…so little time.
We’ve been super busy with the nursery, watering, planting the gardens, council work, paid work, tours, massive numbers of emails and phone calls, and all the regular homesteading jobs. More than enough to keep us insanely busy…too busy.
But not too busy to answer a question: An interesting question often posed to us in light of the ever increasing realization that we may have passed a tipping point in the climate. In this case the question comes after posting science on the effects of the Greenland Ice Sheet melt and the realiztion that 3 metre see level rise is no longer 100’s of years away but could be 35-40 years away. “How de we realize this knowledge without feeling just really and truly fucked, pardon my language. The more that I know the more I struggle day-to-day with feeling joy, hope, and a sense of peace. Where’s the balance between acknowledging the terrible path we’re on and just living? How do you guys do it?”
Good question! I would say that we started down this road about 8-9 years ago, it looked bad. We were angry, scared, depressed, and lacking hope. Today, for me at least, I have somehow come to terms with what is still as bad as the info we recieved back then… just confirmed, no longer a worst case scenario. Joy is easy, it comes from many sources… kids, community, our own passions, and friends. Hope is not something I spend much time thinking about, it is an emotion that is somewhat self defeating – as hopes continue to be dashed with every new bit of info it spirals us into despair – accepting that things are the way they are allows me to shelve the hope – instead those energies and emotions are more productive for me to invest in the tangible things that provide happiness (kids, community and friends and teaching them something that can help make their lives better in difficult situations).
This does not mean I don’t get angry at the state of the world… it does mean I do not have empathy for those who don’t try, don’t learn, don’t care… and my heart breaks for the innocent people, cultures and lives. Ann and I have talked about how hard it is to go through the Kubler Ross stages of grief… in this case it is Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Its ok to feel a lack of joy, anger, depression… and feel it again and again. Sooner or later it gets better. And when it does it feels like a huge weight being lifted.
Ann’s Response: Feeling grief is the appropriate response…things are bad and there is much suffering in the world. Allow yourself to grieve and talk to other people who are also grieving. Accept that most people around us are not yet ready to think about these things…it’s just not on their radar…yet. We are facing the death of our civilization and things are going to change. We have no idea how this will unfold and in what time frame… it’s ok not to know. For now, it’s important to let go of attachment to outcome and just do your best to help yourself and your friends, family, community, or larger world community to do the work that needs to be done. For us, this means learning skills, pointing out elephants, helping others, building relationships, protecting nature, hanging out in nature, creating more resilient food and water systems, simplify our lives, looking after our health, and enjoying the immense beauty in the moment. Feel grateful for what ever you have right now. Action is the antidote to despair…but don’t burn out.
Thoughts on the fires in Fort Mac: We have seen people lambasted on Facebook about any discussion that ties climate change and fires of this magnitude to the huge personal human tragedy that is unfolding. The fact is that this is the largest batch of Canadian climate refugees in history, and the human, social and financial costs are immense. I feel empathy for the people and for the lives of all the beings that were burned in the forests – however empathy does not exist for the bigger situation. The science has been clear for decades that we are going to experience more and more of this due to the burning of fossil fuels, and consumptive culture. Sadly, the fires of Fort Mac are symbolic, they are the elephant in the room, and this elephant will continue to traipse across the country and the world showing up shrouded by tragedy. We need to acknowledge the elephant.
There’s lots of new material to post this week, but we think it will all keep just fine for next week. Especially seeing as there will be some interesting council feedback from this coming Monday council meeting (May 9th)… when the elephant comes face to face with the expectations of industry and the proposal to mine 65 acres of beautiful forest here in the community. Don’t even get me going on the scathing BC Auditor General’s report on Mining Compliance and how the Provincial government is likely legally culpable due to their complacency. Video review of BC AG Report BC Auditor General Report on Mines Compliance and Enforcement
So there you have it…our no update update.
Nursery is open tomorrow: Saturday May 7th from 10am – 2pm Please come on out to say hi, visit, share some grief, walk the gardens, and buy some plants.
Gord and Ann