A Current Conundrum

Posted in Big Questions, Desires, Dilemma's and Solutions, Feelings with tags , , , on November 26, 2011 by matthewstruth

 

Yesterday, I drove my Subaru 15 miles to listen to a wonderful talk by a climate researcher and author. Indeed a profound dissertation.

Early on in the presentation he inquired of the audience, “How many of you think that humans are responsible for climate change?” Startling to him, everyone in this group on the coast of Maine raised their hand for “Yes, we are”. Usually he said it’s 50/50.

The roadways leading to the library where the talk was to be held were completely filled with auto’s clothed in the greatest colorful array of progressive bumper stickers imaginable, mine too……….and not a parking space for blocks.

At the talks conclusion, he stated that from his perspective it will take a new discovery of an alternative energy source to stem the tide of runaway carbon dioxide increases.

I am beyond perplexed, saddened and disheartened.

Here we were in this room, all in agreement to our role in harming the current stability of Earth, and what behaviors are any of us actually changing? In the face of overwhelming research, I feel powerless. And yet as he stated, we are more powerful that can be understood, we’ve been putting these forces at work for a while now, us, probably you and me, and everyone that we know. And yet, we’re not going to change, but just wait for some new source of energy??

Why is it that our current way of life, with all of its entitled comforts is not negotiable? These alleged comforts have only been around for a relatively short while. Why does it seem that we aren’t willing to modify our behavior all that much? And what would this look like if indeed we did modify ourselves? Why are automobiles, which from the perspective of a pedestrian are violent contraptions for inducing a lazy apathetic consumer culture, deemed to be a prerequisite for life within this nation?

I am dumbfounded. We in this room all drove, something that we know is inherently wasteful, harmful, on so many distinct levels, dangerous. Are we not capable of imagining a society without these things, and the multitudes of other dastardly conveniences? Can we get beyond the “I want it now syndrome?”

If we know that we a part of the problem, what will have to evolve in us in order to change course? What will we be willing to let go of? Isn’t this the greatest conundrum?—What will have to evolve in “us“?

While I live here now in this society, I do envision a vastly different one, and that one does not have automobiles at the center of our neighborhoods. It has us, working together for the things that matter dearly to us. This “working together” seems like the crucial point and something that many have lost the ability to accomplish. Some of our individual actions will not change the big picture, but we can choose which influence we’ll exert.

May we answer these questions, and even more importantly, share with each other what we discover. I know deep within me, and you probably do too, that our lives can be so much richer than we’ve been currently accustomed too. Even though I have not yet physically experienced this new way, I do feel its presence getting closer. And for that I am extremely grateful.

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Road Kill………….Squirrels Teaching

Posted in Big Questions, Feelings, Not your normal letter to the editor with tags , , , , , , on September 30, 2011 by matthewstruth

 

I am deeply saddened when encountering road kill. I think thoughts that are not pleasant. I get angry. I have conversations in my head. I scream out. This does not generally help. And then I forget and go numb. What other word can I use?

And then, there is another one, right there where the children walk to school.

 

Just yesterday a news program broadcast a story about skunks. The interviewee was stating that skunks have no natural predators, and that road kills are the predominant way that skunk populations are held in somewhat of a check. No mention of the barbarity of these acts. We, with our motor vehicles do this. Very sad indeed.

 

I’m mentioning this because it is early autumn and road kills are increasing. As a walker and bicyclist I am generally closer to the carnage, and I can’t look away. Or choose not too. There are multitudes of reasons why our standard consensus reality modes of moving our bodies to other locales is cause for alarm. But right now road kill is on my mind.

And this has reminded me of a letter from a few years back. I feel that it is still very relevant. Peace.

——————————————-

S q u i r r e l s    T e a c h i n g

What a glorious autumnal season is upon us! Refreshing crisp air in the early mornings and our trees leaves changing right before our eyes, as the suns lowering angle in the sky allows us to take in this utter breathtaking luminosity, a light which is magical. Don’t we live in a wondrous paradise? Where do we humans fit into this picture?

As this transformative season emerges, with it comes the exuberance of creatures that have so much to teach us, if we’d pay attention. Squirrels.

 

These animals are amazing and right now is their time in the spotlight. Please consider that these fellow sentient beings deserve our respect. They are being themselves fully, scurrying around with wild abandon, zipping from here to there with frenetic wonder, sometimes all the while carrying round green nuts, larger than their heads, in their mouths. Gathering and burying.

And sometimes running onto our neighborhood thoroughfares.

Here on Bradley, and in other neighborhoods the carnage has been astounding. In the past two weeks, along this small stretch of pavement, over a dozen fellow creatures have been destroyed by us with our metal vehicles. On one day alone, three of them, within two hundred yards. I know, sometimes we don’t even see them and might not even know that we did it. Can this really be our excuse? While being unintended, it doesn’t condone our ruthless carelessness.

This isn’t just about “those environmentalists”. It’s about our underlying wellbeing. When our neighborhoods are littered with carcasses, life-force for all, diminishes.

What would it mean for us if we paid attention and by this I mean being in tune with our surroundings? We’d know that when we turn the corner onto Bradley, that it’s a haven for squirrels. Thank God we’re not the only mammals left! We’re coexisting here and if we wanted to care, we’d know to expect the unexpected and then slow down. Can “our” scurrying really be that important?

But not only this. We’d be deeply touched by something outside of ourselves. Isn’t this what it’s all about? Finding the divine in any moment? At this time of year, these funny little creatures, who’re sometimes a nuisance for our home maintenance chores, can be our teachers. They can draw us into wonder and delight.

Why aren’t WE singing and dancing and delighting in each other? And in all that is?

Recreating…….evolving to: Re-Create

Posted in Big Questions, Desires, Dilemma's and Solutions with tags , , , , on May 29, 2011 by matthewstruth

 

In these parts, the high mountains, one predominant form of recreating has given way to the next—the bikers. Whether it’s the mountain bikers, the road bikers, the dirt bikers or the motor type bikers, they have emerged in all of their funny colorful garb for one reason, to recreate. Pure and simple, athletic prowess and pleasure—many people’s lives revolve around this stuff.

Me too, I’ve done it, been a recreational rider. And the great feelings that recreation fosters are truly wonderful. But now the vehicles arrive covered in bikes. Imagine this, driving all over here and there to then get on the bicycle to “go for a ride“. How decadent and wasteful. All in the name of fun and fitness. Why not use our bicycles for actual transportation?

My psyche sure is funny though. While living in many different regions of the country, I’d usually be lamenting and wishing that I’d encounter a fellow walker or anyone gaining any small amount of exercise. Oh, and in many parts, walkers are few and far between, usually non-existent. And yet here, nearly everyone is pristinely fit, decked out in the garb of the season, and I feel supremely odd. This recreating just seems way over the top and so shallow. Meet Mr. Judgmental, will I ever be satisfied?

But other questions appear on the surface as well. Summer is coming. This weeks paper had a quotation, “I hope summer falls on a weekend this year”. Comically and tragically true, the mountains have mind and body boggling temperatures.

These other questions span the depths of: What is all of the incessant recreating really about? We’ve got “uber-” this and that. We’ve got relatively young folks having their hips and knees replaced. Really. All in the name of a hyper-masculinized version of power. Go big or go home as they say. Men used to work, I mean really work. These fields weren’t cleared by magic beings, these crops weren’t grown by machine. What are we doing and producing for our sustenance right now? What are we avoiding? What are we trying to conquer?

What would our society be like if instead of rv’ing, rafting, and riding nonstop we gathered with one another and inquired, “how do you feel?”, “what‘s important to you?”, “what ails you?”

How will we learn to work together to provide the things that really matter? How will we create community rituals and gatherings that honor our inner beings, and not just our external persona‘s? How will we bring more awareness to our relationships and loved ones? Who are we really?

What would our lives look like if we began to re-create everything?—Where our food comes from and how nutritious and healthy it is. How we organize as a species. How we provide, use and conserve energy. How we use very little to provide for our necessities. How we honor life’s passages and each other. How we raise our children. How we spend our time. How we cherish each and every breath. How we take care of and steward this amazing planet.

Can we as a culture begin to ask these types of questions—more so than, ya wanna go ride that trail?

We are the ones that have the power to re-create everything! Not only that, I humbly believe that we must. And it is imperative that we take care of our own bodies while doing so.

Re-Create Culture…..got a nice ring to it!

Andrew Harvey

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 8, 2011 by matthewstruth

 

Andrew Harvey was masterful today while speaking about both the reemergence of the Divine Feminine and Sacred Activism today on Beyond Awakening. Having heard Andrew many times within different formats and contexts, with today’s speaking he encapsulated the whole enormous picture of where we find ourselves as a culture with such clarity, passion and uncensored vigor.

I am inviting each of you, if you haven’t already, to please dive into this material and to share what emerges from within you.

On the right hand side of this blog is a “blogroll”. You can click on Beyond Awakening, which will take you to the site, whereupon you can subscribe for free access to this amazing series of provocative speakers. Beyond Awakening……it is time.

And here is a link that will take you directly to the archives, scroll down to find Andrew’s talk at the bottom, it should be up by the 10th of May, www.beyondawakeningseries.com/blog/archive

You can also learn more about Andrew at www.andrewharvey.net

Enjoy…………..and then do whatever it takes!

A Community Vision

Posted in Not your normal letter to the editor, Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 21, 2011 by matthewstruth
 
Another letter to this small community, but please manifest this in your own too!
 
 
To the Editor, the Town Council, and everyone else still here,
 
VISION, isn’t this crucial? When we have vision, our lives have additional meaning and purpose. Without vision we are capable of floundering or worse. I’ve moved in and out of each of these states often. So it was that a couple of weeks ago while on an early morning stroll, it just happened. The light was about  to appear, there was no one in sight, and the vision just became manifest within my mind. The strength of it was palpable and I knew that soon I’d share these words. The next morning there was Mr. Reamen inviting us to do this very thing.
 
So where is our culture right now? What vision is paramount and currently offered and espoused within our town? And why is this on the agenda now, when town has essentially been abandoned? On an important cultural property is a sign stating, “See you in Moab”. Really? The fact that many people have bolted is unsettling to me. While the reasons are vast and noteworthy, the ramifications are troubling. What does this say about our town that once the tourists leave, the residents do as well. And how does this relate to vision? This is spring. In most cultures, spring is a time of rebirth, new beginnings and there is boatloads of work to be done. In ours, what are we doing? Well today, here, shoveling more snow, still.
 
The vision that appeared became one of living in a responsible culture, a culture that provided for its own sustenance, a culture that provided every citizen with a job that dearly mattered. We are small and dense enough that so much is possible. Could we become a model society here? Could we develop systems of living that fostered deeper community connections and healthier citizens? Could we take more of what is needed for daily living into our own hands? 
 
 
Instantly, my mind formulated the possibility that we could do this with food, literally. Instead of waiting for corporate trucks to arrive offering us less than stellar options, we could build many large greenhouses, greenhouses that were whole integrated systems, in the way and model of Will Allen of Growing Power in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For much of the year we’d raise our own produce and fish. We’d compost everything, right here. We’d all work in these spaces, jobs would be prevalent, but not in the old paradigm way of solely amassing money. Vast solar arrays would also be another necessary component. With this much sun, we could power the entire town.
 
 
The following questions are asked by one who’s been an architect/builder/artist/potter/musician/curler, so please take these queries in stride. While we desire a roof over an ice arena for games, can we develop the vision and will to adapt the look of town to accommodate more basic human needs? And instead of longing to build the next 8000sf home, or venue’s for listening to the plucking of strings, can we long, as a community to create structures that matter for everyone, and truly impact our most basic survival needs? This would be quite a shift in personal and cultural responsibility. And we are capable of pulling it off.
 
A culture that knows what it needs to live, and provides this is a healthy culture. It’s citizens would be happier internally than a culture that provides for none of its real needs, while expecting others, elsewhere, to do all of the work.
 
I don’t have any idea how to physically or financially accomplish this. I do know though that it has to happen. Sometimes the “what” is needed first, then the “how”comes to fruition with mass input. Remaining tied to outdated visions for why we exist is probably not the way forward. Can we add new elements to the puzzle? Much work is already being put forth regarding food in the valley, and has been for almost the past two decades. Is it possible that now, with the town councilors asking for visionary input, that this is a new moment to coalesce a truly visionary approach to why we exist?
 
My belly is hungry, I sure hope so.
 

One…..More…..Breath,……(part 2 follows)

Posted in Big Questions, Desires with tags , , , , on March 25, 2011 by matthewstruth

 

What an amazing thing. For almost fifty years now I’ve been getting one….more….breath. And you have too. And they just keep coming and coming.

Though for almost 100% of this time, I, like most of us have taken this miraculous gift completely for granted. Not even for a second realizing that without this next breath, this body ceases to exist. And without it all that I love about life will no longer be part of my physical experience. Except for one physical calamity a couple of years ago I have not paid a darn bit of attention to any of this.

But yesterday, while sitting in meditation with my small group early in the morning, something profound transpired. Was it a moment of grace? I was sitting as I usually am following my breath and at times using a short mantra to guide me, all the while a dog barked and barked somewhere off in the early morning tranquility.

It was at this moment that I heard something inside me saying, “Matthew, you could keel over in any given moment”.

Isn’t this the absolute truth? A Deeper Truth. We don’t know when our moment to take our last breath will be. People are keeling over all the time. We’ve all heard the query, “If you knew you only had so much time left, how would you live it?” I’ve heard this zillions of times and never taken it to heart.

Yesterday morning was different—I heard my inner voice—and, immediately shifted. My posture in meditation became even sweeter, a smile came to my face that if I could’ve seen it, I imagine it would’ve been angelic. My entire being became even more vibrant, while also becoming even more still. The energy pulsing through me became more enlivening, while also becoming more contented. Essentially I experienced how much more life-force is available to me, and how much more peace. And how my “normal” way of being is but a pale shadow of what is truly possible in this body.

And the dogs barking ceased.

I took this awareness with me on the walk home, gazing with wonder at trees full of birds, who were deafeningly boisterous in their delight. And all throughout the day.

Oh to become more fully alive— from the simple recognition of the next breath’s gift— mmmm, sweetness.

(Part 2 added 31 March 11)

It’s been a week since my inner voice beckoned to me— “Matthew, you could keel over any moment.” That was it, nothing else was necessary. And the unheard of thing? I’ve actually remembered this calling and have continued to act with the utmost intention.

Wow, change does happen. So often before, if I’d heard these calls, I’d promptly forget. Moments of vast illumination that were relegated back to the unconscious. Well—not this time. Maybe this opening the heart business is actually happening.

I find myself during the day remembering this voice, and rehearing this call, this beckoning…..and lifting up out of my habitual ways of being, my complacency. Opening my mouth with those in my sphere, sharing deeper feelings, ideas, desires, visions. If I don’t know when the last breath will be exhaled, I’d better use ‘em for bringing more beauty, truth, love, and sweetness into my world.

This simple little sentence is transforming my life. Can it do the same for you? What would our world be like if more people felt the urgency in their lives—the gift, the blessing and the miracle of being alive, in this very moment? ………Now this is a question that I’d like to answer!

A Story of Men….a sad intro.

Posted in Big Questions, Men with tags , , , , on March 24, 2011 by matthewstruth

  

The story of “men” has shown its head quite unexpectedly in some recent posts. I have caught myself off guard by some of the ruminations. So with a few recent experiences fresh in mind, the quandaries continue.

Men. I am one. And I can unequivocally say, that even with decades of inner work that the “workings of us” elude me at times.

Just this week I’ve gotten a couple of glimpses of us at our inanest. Being caught on a job in an enormous pickup truck that gets 9mpg with 3 other men, all somewhat physically fit and in their mid 60’s, left me speechless. On this day my “brothers” were incapable of anything close to resembling intelligence moving through their lips. The badmouthing, ridiculing and griping about trivialities, and the utter childishness spewing forth gave me the opportunity to feel such sadness for the state of our society. These men, all successful in that old paradigm way of having made oodles of loot, left much to be desired. As did my impotence in being unable to steer them toward something deeper and potentially more meaningful.

There was then the local event last weekend on the streets of this beautiful resort town. Approaching at 9:30 in the evening I was stunned by gaggles of drunken men everywhere bellowing out utter nonsense at the top of their lungs while the streets smelled of bad beer. Yuk.

Then too, I can’t forget the numbers of men over the years discovered dead from either passing out drunk on the sides of roadways in blizzards or dying in their beds asphyxiated in their own upheavals. True.

And unfortunately I’m not immune to this either. During a period of time living in NYC in my early 20’s I was awakening in my own filth in stairways too many times after parties. Being found once by friends passed out on the sidewalk at Second and Eighth became the last straw, thankfully. I was so lost.

What has gone on? What has led some of us to such despairing calamities? I know books can and have been written about all of this and perhaps I’ll begin my own soon, but now, in these few words? Once again I am struck by the workings of my psyche. Just having written the word “impotence” has got me wondering—could this be a big part of it? Are many of us men essentially impotent? If not literally within the sexual context, though with all of these marketed drugs who knows—then perhaps within the framework of our rapidly changing world? Do we feel like we can’t make a difference? That we don’t know what to do? That all of the old rules have changed and we find ourselves ill-equipped? Is this why we’ve drunk ourselves to death or maybe just not wanted to grow up?

Or maybe we aren’t privy to a higher reason for why we exist as a human being in the first place and so we go about our living our lives from a lower octave of being predominantly? More and more questions emerge constantly. And I get the feeling that many more posts will be forthcoming about “mine” and “our“ story. Hmmmm?

Until then, one of my favorite books about men and the issue’s we and the women in our lives face is “I Don’t Want to Talk About It“ by Terry Real. Enjoy.