Purpose Statement

Exploration -> Experience -> Feeling -> Awareness -> Understanding -> Transformation -> Liberation

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Desert

It is my favorite time of the year in Tucson - Monsoon season.

I did a 12 mile run this morning in the desert behind my house, in the foothills of the Tucson Mountains. At 6AM, I was the only person on the trails and the sun was just above the horizon, illuminating the Tucson Mountains with that magical low angle warm light. As I trotted along in my minimalist sandals, the only sounds I could hear were my own footsteps and my breathing. About three and a half miles in, I came upon a good sized buck with 18" antlers all in velvet. He bounded away through the scrub as I continued running up the trail. In the moment, what struck me as remarkable was how silent was his bounding. All I could hear were my own footsteps and breathing, even as he effortlessly, gracefully, bounded through the brush. Usually when I flush a deer, I can hear their hooves thumping the ground, but this guy was so quiet, it gave a surreal quality to the experience, as though it wasn't real.

The clouds developed late in the day and it finally started raining after 5PM. For years I have been hoping to catch a monsoon sunset at Signal Hill, with the sun illuminating the bottom of the clouds from below the horizon. Today's sunset wasn't quite what I had in mind, but it was beautiful. There was some spectacular lightning, but I only managed to catch these two bolts on the horizon just above the spiral petroglyph.

It seems if one really wants to do nature photography, one has to arrange to be out in nature for most every sunrise and sunset. Not a bad arrangement.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

As impressive as an iguana. Maybe not.

I find myself frequently searching for these quotations.

A Reading from The Food Revolution by John Robbins

Maybe we aren't on a one-way road to oblivion. Maybe we're standing at a crossroad, facing what may be the most important choice human beings have ever faced, a choice between two directions. In one direction is what we will have if we do nothing to alter our present course. By doing nothing, we are choosing a world of pollution and extinctions, of widening chasms and deepening despair, a world where humanity moves ever farther from achieving its highest aspirations and ever nearer to living its darkest fears.
Our other choice is to actively engage with the living world. On this path we work responsibly and joyfully to make our lives, and our societies, into expressions of our love for ourselves, for each other, and for the living Earth. In this direction we honor our longing to give our children, and all children, a world with clean air and water, with blue skies and abundant wildlife, with a stable climate and a healthy environment.
If you live with fear for our future, you are not alone.
If you live with dreams of a better world, you are not alone.
We all live, now, with both the pain and the possibility we carry in our hearts, both the despair and the hope that we may yet learn to live in harmony with our precious and endangered Earth. There is not a person alive today who does not, at some level, know we are facing these two directions, and understand how much is at stake.
I am aware how strong are the forces of ignorance, greed, and denial in our society. I know it is possible that we won't make it.
But I am also aware of how strong is the longing and the love of life in the human heart. And so I know it is possible that we will make it, that we will create a sustainable economy that protects the living systems of the Earth, that we will come to be part of the world's repair. The power of darkness in our world is great, but it is not as great as the power of the human spirit. We can learn to provide for our needs and limit our numbers while cherishing this beautiful planet and its creatures. It is in our nature to honor the sacredness of life.
What is at stake today is enormous; it is the destiny of life on Earth. At such a time, walking a path of honoring ourselves and the living planet is our responsibility as citizens of the planet, but it is something more, as well.
It is also a joy, and a privilege.

A Reading from Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan

It is an illuminating peculiarity of the microcosm that explosive geological events in the past have never led to the total destruction of the biosphere. Indeed, like an artist whose misery catalyzes beautiful works of art, extensive catastrophe seems to have immediately preceded major evolutionary innovations.

With each crisis the biosphere seems to take one step backwards and two steps forward - the two steps forward being an evolutionary solution that surmounts the boundaries of the original problem. Not only meeting but going beyond challenges confirms that the biosphere is extremely resilient, that it recovers from tremors with renewed vigor. Nuclear conflagration in the northern hemisphere would kill hundreds of millions of human beings. But it would not be the end of life on Earth, and, as heartless as it sounds, a human Armageddon might prepare the biosphere for less self-centered forms of life. As different from us as we are from dinosaurs, such future beings may have evolved through matter, life, and consciousness to a new superordinate stage of organization, and in doing so, consider human beings as impressive as we do iguanas.