Tuesday, March 8, 2011

An Affirmation to the Earth

Youth activists have arranged a series of events in Beirut for The Week of Resistance Against Israeli Apartheid and Colonialism.

Across the globe, numerous events are being held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day.

Today is both the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day and The Week of Resistance to Israeli Apartheid and Colonialism, and, as the ongoing organizing for these two events suggest, there is much work to do on justice, gender, anti-colonialism, apartheid and their associated concerns and oppressions. There is no end to our work, to the work we all must do, offering our small contribution to larger struggles.

I am sometimes overwhelmed by how much work there is to do and where to find the energy to continue? Of course, I am reminded that that is a position of privilege; there are many examples of resistance and struggle that show it's not about choices, but about realities, as the people of Palestine, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, and Yemen make clear.

In Canada, I feel that there is no end in sight because of the apathy and the ignorance of so many despite the increasing regressive actions and policies of our governments; indeed, I would argue, the work is getting harder and more of a struggle as we are not only struggling against social, political, economic, racial, and gender injustices, but also because so many people -- those who are privileged, even in the smallest ways, to make the choice to turn a blind eye or stay dumb -- are being seduced by media culture, capitalism, and lifestyles of entertainment. These are swamping our youth even while social media and digital technologies show promise to move us forward. The conflicts I experience everyday as I move from the different spaces that I enter are unsettling, to say the least, and sometimes strike at my heart as impossible to overcome.

So, I do small things to keep myself sane and committed. I practice yoga. I go out for walks along the creek and the lakeshore. I shovel snow to make a path to reach the far edge of my yard so I can feed the birds who make the city their home in winter. I sit together with friends laughing uproariously at stupid ridiculous movies like Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo. I read poetry and creative non-fiction, and when I can scrape together some time, I write poetry and creative non-fiction. With my family, I make food for friends so we can sit together in company, enjoying and tasting the gifts of Mother Earth.

Today, I share with you a prayer. It's a simple prayer, really. A reminder to do one's best, to cultivate a gentle heart, to honour the Earth and all our engagements with all Her beings.
my nephew and my sister-in-law walking in High Park, Toronto.

"An Affirmation for the Earth" by Carollanne Crichton, from her book Earth Medicine and Healing Stones (2006).

In the awareness that our Earth is eternally responsive,

may I choose right action and wisdom today.

May I choose to cherish the Earth in my stewardship of it,

so that it may continue to be the source of all vitality.

May I bring my best self to this Earth,

knowing that her wholeness lies within me,

knowing that my every thought and action touch all.

In this awareness, may I claim my true power.

May I be guided to make my inner world more gentle,

harmonious and joyful, so that I may offer these

qualities back to the world and to this Earth.

May I cherish the Earth and all those with whom I share it.

In the awarness that our Earth is eternally responsive,

may I choose right action and wisdom today.


Merche Pallarés said...

Beautiful and moving poem! I hope young Canadians wake up and fight for their rights and for the rights of the under-privileged of the world as my generation and younger ones did in the sixties, seventies and eighties. Hugs, M.

Ari said...

Your writing was so good that I can't say anything more.

northshorewoman said...

Hello MP and Ari,

Isn't that poem a chant for healing, a way to remind one to walk softly on this Earth.