While I am stressed struggling with a now shoestring budget to complete an ambitious outreach project to further our regenerative narrative, friends in Ukraine are burying civilians and posting pictures of corpses with their hands tied behind their backs. M posted images of Bucha, the valley of bodies on her story the same way I share pictures of flowers, kids, frogs and banana plants.
Four years ago almost exactly, I was eating and drinking with her and a handful of my new friends at the Avere conference hosted by my now dear friend, the eternally kind and delightfully quirky D. Today M is on the front lines fighting like a warrior goddess to defend and protect her way of life and her people. D is determined to continue his work to protect nature and encourage electrification and I am buoyed (if not continually worried) by them and the news that they share.
Meanwhile, a mentor of many years and a very powerful and well-travelled man has taken the time to write to me and suggest that history is about to repeat and a war that affects the entire planet looms as a palpable possibility. I know this, but hearing it from someone so wise and often so accurate in his take on the state of humanity is a source of worry for my mostly calm but still cluttered mind.
This weekend, as I was charging my little rental LEAF at the Warkworth New World ChargeNet charger, there was a woman ahead of me who had to put back some eggs, tomato sauce and butter after stretching her payment across coins and two cards to try and get her fucking groceries. Obviously I paid for the items she put back and ran out to give them to her. It was about ten bucks which means nothing to me and was the difference between having eggs and butter to her. When I handed them to her, sad, soulful, beautiful brown eyes that looked a bit like mine got misty, and all I could do was grasp her shoulder and smile through my mask. She said “bless you” and I wanted so much to hug her like in the days before covid when we could still do that. Poverty is an actual fucking problem here in Aotearoa and it is getting worse as the rich get richer and the poor get shit on and exploited. So many people do not know what it is like to struggle and labeling people as “lazy” or “bludgers” and living large in four bedroom houses bought before the housing crisis makes me want to fucking throw shit through windows, but I never would and I never will, as that is destruction and I am designed for creation.
So what is my reaction to all of this? How does a soft hearted eccentric like myself deal with degrees of despair and imminent fear of looming GFC or depression and the most profound possibility of nuclear disaster or global war in my lifetime?
Apparently I write. As I am doing now. To affirm my freedom and control over my own heart and mind, and to flex our connection to each other. I write in the hope that regardless of the position of the people who own the eyes that will scroll through this blog know that we are all on this planet today together. We are both still here, and we (probably) both still crave peace and prosperity, not just for ourselves, but for everyone. It is my hope and belief that we both still envisage a future where the planet and people can and do live in harmony with each other and nature. Even through this incredibly trying and exhausting time, I still believe that greed, hubris and fear don’t define or control us.
And I will keep building a place where people can go to regenerate and connect. I will keep digging holes and planting seeds and battling what seems to be an impossible mountain of possums and pampas grass to give a small plot of land a fighting chance to thrive as a safe and secure place for birds and bees and plants and trees that are being pushed to the brink of extinction by monoculture, short sightedness, pollution and stupidity.
Every kg of carbon not put into the air. Every seed planted. Every good decision to help and not harm keeps us moving forward. We can all affect the world around us by giving a fuck. We can do good things and the ripples of those actions carry on infinitely and derail the trajectory of evil and destruction. Even the fact I can still share this and you can still read it means all is not yet lost so we must keep going, and keep striving for a better, safer, kinder world together.
And if even one other person stumbles across this and is given that little scrap of energy to just keep going, fanning the fire of their own kindness and hope, then there are seeds being planted and they will grow.
I’m scared and tired. But my feet are firmly planted in the soil and ready to see things grow. I do not exist to contribute to destruction I am here to nurture and heal and there will be so much demand for that in the time ahead. So I’d better just keep my head down and be the change I want to see and do the best that I can with what I know, and when I know better, and when there is more resource and scope and opportunity to do better, you better fucking believe I’ll answer that call.
Thanks for reading.