By Charles Dickey at Aug 01, 2008
At world's end, we are mired out of place, treading through chopped forests of television fiction, clearcuts. The sun is hot and the cattle crammed, force-fed corn and cattle bones, ground-up, ground brains. We get upset and scared when one of us catches Mad Cow Disease or E. Coli by eating that sacrilege, but should we be surprised? And what right do we have to string up and de-beak thousands of screaming chickens, what right to depress their lives by contorting them to fit wire cages? And this can also be a metaphor for the human being educated in an industrial system.
The chainsaw sings, not a song, but a sustained battle cry. Engines rage. All the while topsoil depletes, proliferating weeds which insult agribusiness and must be sprayed with laboratory-made poisons. Monsanto reigns with Round-Up Ready corn and soybeans, charging farmers up front while stuffing coffers with kick-backs from taxes.
But all our taxes service terrorism in the name of war against terrorism. So much terror! The sun is even burning with fright and rage these days.
We comfort ourselves in mortgaged houses or rentals, hooked to machines, drinking fair-trade coffee, hoping for the best from our pricey organic food, clothing, and even furniture. At night, we sleep under ceilings full of wires, artificial stars.
We comfort ourselves with Christmas lights or fasting during the holy months or days; comfort ourselves in textual affirmations, abosrbing a satisfactory spirituality, meditating recreationally, praying seriously, doing yoga with a woman wearing a halter-top on teevee.
On the dark end of things, we knowingly waste resources. Resources--an abstract label for the concrete building stuff of life: food, water, minerals. Our houses are equally abstract: often suburban, meticulously landscaped, mirages of independnece in a floundering system of tightly knitted control.
If we let this go, we could breathe again. Life was meant to be simple and meaningful, not me writing essays of angst on pages I hope you'll read. Quiet mornings give way to sunlight and roosters, birds freely dreaming us awake on sacred land and in a wide-open time. Wild cows slowly graze pastures, their running put to shame by the speed of horses. Keeping a few cows for milk and meat, the suburban neighborhood re-orients to agriculture, culturally evolving into a tribe, strong and able to stand together against that army of faux-democracy, that power too concentrated.
And here I am singing my visions, wishing I could play to a live audience, wishing we could be together in fields, not toiling but rejoicing, living the old dream of community.
The land needs plural diversity and freedom. We are of the land, not set apart, not dominant. Worms will eat our bones, and we will go to soil despite formaldehyde and coffins. Remember that. Remember and act natural. Rest easy.