good vs. evil

My husband has gone to the meeting to learn about letter writing to the BLM to attempt to stop the fracking lease/sale in February. Here is the link to a sample letter to the BLM for us to sign and send.

I am home, resting by the fire.

Yesterday I wrote the bulk of this while sitting by the North Fork of the Gunnison River Park in Paonia, CO:

There is a hum in the background.

We crest the edge of the river, gather for a moment to consider our next course of action.
Several stay at the edge and several more follow the main path down to the water. I linger – neither sitting nor walking but pausing. Noting the scene. Then I meander down the smaller path that called to me and greet the November river.

The water swirls more swiftly than it did in September and I can hear faint snatches of talking above its gentle burble.

This is not a spring river, though it is carrying snow-melt down from the hills.

I walk upstream and music becomes audible over the sound of the water; it is not familiar to me in singularity, but the genre is one I have heard the young adults play much this year.

One sits on a rock writing, one sits looking, one stands with notebook in hand. Two more gather. Low voices.

I understand the choice to listen to music, familiar and comforting. I might like one day to be a musician to whom folks listen to by the river.

And I ache for how cut off we are from the low sound of free flowing water; most do not even know that their life is devoid of this sound.

I approach the group, no plan in mind, unarmed. It is 12:11pm on a Tuesday. Nine minutes remain until we re-gather. The mud shows prints of dogs, deer and humans.

The sun is full on my face and I relish the warmth. There are tread tracks down to the water lengthening the boat ramp to the low flow in the river.

A log is thrown. Shout of triumph.

Stories are told but not written. We need recording devices faster than pen and paper to capture this experience.

Up-valley there is a light dusting of snow on the hills.

What is good and what is evil here when it comes to the gas leases and our cultural lifestyle? It would be easier to answer if it were externally embodied as plainly as in the stories; in this world the evil is much more subtle and, as always, lives in our hearts and our ignorance and I would say it also lives in our disconnect from nature.

There is an innocence in the trees and rocks, even in the eating of a mouse by an owl or the migration of a bird thousands of miles each year.

I wish that they would leave this valley without more drilling/taking/using from these hills. I prefer the permaculture version of interacting with the land – giving as well as taking. “Permaculture seeks the most efficient, beneficial, high yielding, low cost ways to do something, but never at the cost of peoples’ well-being, nor that of the environment or ecosystems.”

I value clean air and clean water and would like to keep it clean, please.


a long fall

I have been recovering my strength and taking a few days of much-needed relaxation before jumping back in to school and work here at home.

And in that pause, David and I are reading The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien.  It is a fabulous story, and incredibly well written. Because it takes longer to read, I feel that there is more time to let the images and the metaphors seep into my soul and really feed the part of me that needs stories; especially stories where good triumphs over evil.

I continue to be troubled about the proposed lease-sale that is back on the books for Feb. 14, 2013. More info here:

Also, it makes me question my use of resources and my participation in this culture. Currently I am a vegetarian and buy nearly all my food organically grown, preferably from local sources. And still, I drive my car, go on tour cross-country on RV’s, use the natural gas to cook my food, heat my house while I’m gone and fly to visit family in other states. These are privileges that I enjoy as a middle-class white American and I am aware of the use of resources that accompanies these decisions. I do feel the responsibility that rides with them, but justify my decisions by attempting to bring goodness, healing and light to the world through my actions and in the benefit I receive as a being by visiting other parts of the world.

Is it enough?

When I wrestle with this question I come back to the knowledge that I cannot know. I cannot know how my life touches the world. I cannot know how the music is received by the 1600 people in Austin, Minnesota and the others upon our travels. I cannot know what one choice to recycle makes, even if it would be easier to throw the bottles away.

When I venture into the world I see this – the culture is crazy and out of control, it is hard to make life-serving decisions.  As Bill Plotkin points to in his fabulous book Nature and the Human Soul, “. . . we live in a culture dominated by adolescent habits and desires, then the enduring societal changes we so desperately need won’t happen until we individually and collectively evolve into an engaged, authentic adulthood.”

So here’s to evolution. Here’s to authentic adulthood. Here’s to listening to the wisdom of nature. Here’s to music. Here’s to our collective unfolding!