Transcending Climate Change

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Transcending Climate Change

CLIMATE CHANGE / ENERGY TRANSFORMATION is a great challenge for us all. Approached with gusto, solidarity and creativity, it could be an exhilarating rebirth of everything and everyone we know – we can create Paradise if we choose to. If, instead, we shrink from this challenge, in denial, fear, timidly, submissiveness, without any spirit or confidence, then, yes, this formidable Earth-changing realty could drift into a long, enveloping, tedious, glacially-paced catastrophe for us, leading – who knows when – to our unglamorous individually unnoticed and lonely demise.

You have to realize that whether or when we “go extinct” is really beyond our control at any time; that rests in the hands of the greater geophysical, cosmic and chaotic power of Nature (which on Earth is certainly being prodded annoyingly by our puny yet persistent and mindless thermodynamic wastefulness). But, how we live as a species, and how we collectively express our awareness – and appreciation – of being alive, of being conscious, of being a human society: that is something we have complete control over for however long our species is graced with life.

So, really, the challenge is far beyond just finding exclusive escape routes from our deteriorating here-and-now to some minimally bearable new climatic future, for classes of today’s people who are favored by luck and wealth, and are anxious to gain comfortable personal salvations without having to undergo personal change. The actual challenge is to achieve our full human potential – individually and as a species – to transcend who we are today so as to make the rest of our indeterminate collective existence worthy of our finest enduring aspirations.

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Dawn Will Come Again

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Dawn Will Come Again

As our globe rolls towards the Sun,
our horizon flames into dawn.

The old white men
dour, dreary and dull,
have again succeeded in holding back
the fresh, vibrant, resplendent visions
of our young;
and have kept their arid world —
their gray, turgid, moneyed world —
safe from their worst fears:

the fear of
the magical power of women,
those incomprehensible creatures
that enthrall them so,
and own the womb of creativity;

the fear of
the fast scintillating rainbow of alertness
rampant
among the young, dark, numinous people
whose intense unfathomable awareness
is so confusing and uncontrollable.

But, once again, they have prevailed
in holding back the outbreak of rebirth:

so relieved
to have slowed to a standstill
the efflorescence
of those perennial human aspirations
that give warmth to the soul;

so relieved
to have kept their world safe for:
productivity, gains, exemptions,
well-funded exclusivity,
civility from the service class,
deference
from intellectuals, scientists, artists;

so relieved
in their continuing placid drift
of supreme satisfaction,
without impudent, jarring interruptions
of scorching reality;

so relieved,
as oblivious as possible in existences
completely superfluous
to the life of the human spirit.

As always, we await a new dawn.

I want to drink ambrosia,
like Apollo.
I want my mind clear,
I want my spirit drunk,
so I can regale you
with my lyrical dreams
of impossible happiness.

The dry leaves of exhausted summer
must brown, shrivel and fall
from dead brittle limbs
to crinkle underfoot,
beneath winter snows,
before a moistening thaw can return
budding hopes new and green.

And so,
praise be to the glory of youth:
dawn will come again.

5 October 2018

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Imprisoned Souls

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Imprisoned Souls

We live in a world rich in its diversity of intolerance of independent thought and self-directed living.

Such expressions of personal independence and creativity are threats to the slavish conformity of the mass of fearful, repressed people hiding in their submissiveness to traditional ideologies that give them status in social hierarchies that limit the full human potential of the individual.

This maintains, without merit, the elevation of patriarchs and power-hungry mediocrities, who clip the wings of the human spirit, and direct the enforcement of their systems of mental and physical imprisonment of the masses serving them.

1 October 2018

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Ella García’s response to “Imprisoned Souls”:

I read it, and in my limited life experience I agree. But now, for my sake, I want you to write one last stanza with encouraging words. I’m noticing what you just said in everyday life and I want happy words.

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A Self-Directed Life

Even in the most restrictive of societies, it is always possible for a person to keep their independence of thought alive, at a minimum as an inner experience and unexpressed part of daily life. From that oasis of freedom, you can do two things:

— work out your artistry, even if it is only mentally, or if it is as simple as the perfection of the skills of awareness and deft action that you apply to your work and your routine actions; and

— be conscious to incorporate your accumulating observations and experiences into the strengthening and refinement of your own moral character.

Retaining control of who you are as an authentic human being — regardless of external circumstances — is the essence of leading a self-directed life.

If and when you are fortunate enough to live in better and freer social circumstances, then take advantage of your luck by using the opportunities open to you, to expand your artistic efforts and to reach for achieving your full human potential.

The joys of life do not hang from trees like ripe fruit ready to be picked, nor sweep into you as gifts like balmy breezes at the summer seashore. They are born out of you as a natural consequence of leading a self-directed life.

Live long and prosper.

2 October 2018

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Dawn Fog In The Canyon

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Dawn Fog In The Canyon

I am looking at the sun just rise over the crest of the ridge, and light pour through the fog into the canyon, making it glow as it flows up the streambed and through the trees along the hillsides, with blue sky above, and birds darting through the panorama framed by my vision, the warmth of the rays descending into my body as I face before it, immersed in a cloud of light, evaporating. A bird chirps. Mist rises. The ground of the forest lights up. Leaves emerge glistening green from their silhouettes. The voices of the forest call to each other, silence fades into the light of day. Rebirth. I am who am once again.

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Love and Desire

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Love and Desire

Love is all giving,
Desire is all taking.

Love is a selfless offering,
Desire is a selfish grasping.

Love is a passionate commitment,
Desire is a passionate exploitation.

Love is the flowering springtime of life,
Desire plucks the lush fruits of other lives.

Want is the desire to be loved,
Excess is the love of being desired.

Desolation is the freezing of love into desire,
Fulfillment is the melting of desire into love.

Moderation is poetic mutuality,
Completion by a coupling of dualities.

28 August 2018

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Everything

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Everything

What you’re doing
is unimportant,
What I’m doing
is everything.

Thinking is terrifying,
Denial is essential,
Distraction is the refuge,
Fate must be surprise.

I can’t wait:
Fill my wanting
all with spectacle,
all with distraction,
all entertainment
until final blink.

I drew a line in the sand
and said
beyond this you will not pass.
My will
is the Rock Of Ages,
the Eternal Unmovable.
The dome of my sky
is ablaze in glory,
the Sun of my world
breathes heat into Life.
I am the Eye of Everything,
I am the Aye of the Universe,
I am the I of Eternity,
I am the All, I am Everything.
A breath of sea
blows sand in my footsteps,
the sky blue blaze
glow ripens to orange.
The fathomless tide
planes my traces in sand,
sinks my feet ankle deep
in the wetness of beach.
The featureless strand
contrast mirrors
night’s twinkles,
glints on the foam
are Moon’s scattered smile.
The dreams of my knowing
are the silence of stars,
the Eternal Unmovable
is the void of unthought.

10 July 2018

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My Friend Stan

Natural Images of a Partial Annular Eclipse

Natural Images of a Partial Annular Eclipse, 20 May 2012

Today (5 July 2018) was an interesting day for me. The part I will share here is the following:

An Abundance Of Love
(song by Ella Solana García)
5 July 2018
https://soundcloud.com/ellasolanagarcia/an-abundance-of-love

I first heard this song in the morning, and liked it. By late evening, the words took on a deeper meaning that seemed designed just for me. Between morning and evening, I was gifted with the help from one of the few friends I have. Acquaintances I have many, critics I can have legion, but friends are very few. Let me explain. This man (my friend Stan), older than I, survived three helicopter crashes during the Vietnam War, as well as the siege known as the First Battle of Khe Sanh (greater than 72 incoming artillery barrages – he lost hearing in one ear). Between that and his subsequent career in the tree business – also the falling out of tree business (80 ft.) – he has managed to break just about every bone in his body. With advancing age all those breaks are becoming more arthritic and consequently nearly continuously painful. He’s one of the most cheerful, even-tempered people I’ve ever met, and a gnarly anti-war feral cat rescuer. It is from him that I learned the essence of a true friend: “someone you’d be glad to share a foxhole with.” I can’t think of a higher aspiration for one’s own personal character development. I’ll make sure to rate as one of his foxhole friends. That’s my definition of socialism. I (we) had a spot of car trouble today, and I called Stan from the side of the road (on my antique cellular communicator) to inquire about a lift. We were lucky, he had his car out of the shop and it was sort-of working, and he was actually driving home to his apartment (in a decaying building but nicely located) from the laundromat with the clean clothes for both he and his wife (who was probably at work), and detoured to get us. He pulled up, with his low-key wisecracking way brightening up my mood, with his mostly salt with pepper bushy hair and craggy face, and a soprano’s lush opera aria gushing out of the dashboard, and a big laundry basket full of folded clothes, which he tossed in the trunk to make room for me and my gals (I’ll get two lectures later for “gals”). This was not the first time Stan and I have gotten and given rides to each other, and there will undoubtedly be more such exchanges in our futures. Sometimes it’s the little things that are everything. I have few friends by choice, because I don’t want distractions from the real thing. Not that I ever want to be in a foxhole, but it’s good to know who I would rather share one with. “An abundance of love…”

I also described Stan in an earlier post

https://manuelgarciajr.com/2015/02/22/haunted-by-the-vietnam-war/

in the section that begins with “For Ella’s benefit.”

Songs by Ella Solana García
(at Soundcloud)
https://soundcloud.com/ellasolanagarcia

Enjoy,

“As the bee takes the essence of a flower and flies away without destroying its beauty and perfume, so let the sage wander in this life.”
— The Dhammapada, 49