Talking, yes Turkey, on Thanksgiving
I’ve grappled with writing about the election for the last sixteen days, since You Know What befell us here in the land of the now increasingly overtly Disunited States.
During this time I’ve read seemingly innumerable editorial responses to You Know What, and You Know Who. I can hardly stand any more prophecies and predictions of doom, as they appear to be to me, a middle-class woman with undeniable white privilege, exacerbated by a doctorate in how we think about, how recognize, that we do, actually, create our realities.
But I can’t help throwing my own typing hands into the written ring today as one way of celebrating Thanksgiving. What I’ve been grappling to articulate is not so in fashion right now. I offer it aware that I may be proven just plain wrong, over time, though I sure hope not.
The only vision that I truly want, in my heart of hearts, to contribute to our current collective dialogue is this: that we will come through this almost inevitably catastrophic upcoming time into another that we can as yet barely imagine. As the shaman/teacher Jose Stevens wrote:
“…according to the Mayan elders, the sixty years after 2012 hold the key to this planet’s future; the world will go through such a dramatic transformation that it will be hardly recognizable by 2072. This will be for the great good of humankind. Much of the time in between will be something like a construction zone, with chaos as old systems collapse and are replaced by better ones.”
As I look at the swirling mass of probabilities - almost, but not entirely, unknowns - that we’re all facing right now, whether we're looking forward to them in hope, or facing them still in shock - it seems that what came into more crystallized form sixteen days ago is an intrinsic, necessary part of the dying away of the historic realities that led us directly towards where we are now. If only we could, collectively, be less frantically bound and determined to try our darndest to hang on to our past! Imagine how we could maybe then, together, create a very different kind of world. Many of us, myself included, are so pulled between the old and the new, to holding onto at least the best of what has been, even as we hope for and dream of, plan for and experiment with building towards, an ahistoric new world. Because our infinite human possibilities do include actual democracy, and nurturing and cherishing this our only home, planet Earth. But for now, we sure are way into the chaos of the construction zone that the Mayans foresaw.
The scholar and environmental activist Joanna Macy wrote of our choice between the Great Turning and the Great Unravelling. Right now we’re zooming at high speed towards considerable unraveling. I pray with heart, soul and intentional far-vision, that this will be revealed over time as having been a necessary phase before we incrementally but surely choose the Great Turning. That this is how our world, our reality, our choices, have to get worse before they can, and do get better.
I pray this. I dunno what else to do, since planetary suicide is such an irreversibly terminal act.
I am, and will be, taking this long view, because I simply cannot bear to do otherwise, and because I decided long ago that investing in worst possible outcomes only makes them more likely to come true, and that investing in our highest and wisest possibilities may hopefully help them come true. In the meantime, I’ll do my best to embody Democracy in all ways I can, to organize, per Gloria Steinem's “This is not a time to mourn, it is a time to organize,” and to contribute to the ACLU. To cherish the Earth, the sunlight coming through this window here today on Thanksgiving (no matter what!), the ultimate, undeniable privilege of having Life.
I sent a friend the draft of this. I love what she wrote back:
I’ve heard it said the Dalai Lama has said (and I paraphrase) that western women will save the world. Maybe that’s why we have the privilege, because we need that platform of support to speak and fulfill our purpose. Let’s kick some butt and let’s do it like Kali not Zeus. We need to bring people’s attention to the fact that when the earth trembles ready to erupt, it’s time to hold onto each other for dear life and not shoot arrows and throw spears at the volcano. A ho.