Food for thought. . .
“Does anybody need another million dollar movie?
Does anybody need another million dollar star?
Does anybody need to be told over and over
spitting in the wind comes back at you twice as hard?”
Grandfather is generally a quiet man. When he speaks, his voice is soft and loving, and his words carry a weight that is often at odds with their brevity. A couple of weeks ago, during the first round of a sweat lodge ceremony, he reminded us that everything is Spirit. “When you stub your toe and curse the rock,” he said, “you’re actually cursing Spirit.” These words, and the lesson they so succinctly convey, have been much on my mind as of late.
Yesterday afternoon, while sitting down to supper, I became incredibly aware of what the process of eating actually entails. Our physical bodies break down the physical bodies of other beings and draw from them the energy that sustains us. This energy transforms into the building blocks of life. Blood, bone, and skin all come about through the sacrifice of others. Grass becomes cow. Cow becomes man. Man becomes grass.
From this perspective, honoring the food we eat – and recognizing the sacrifice that makes it available to us – is just as important as the process of consuming it. How we take that energy in – and how we set about using it – has an effect on everything around us. It reverberates throughout the whole of creation; ripples in the water of Spirit, causing things to grow or decay.
As I write this, oil is spewing into the Gulf at the rate of several thousands of barrels each day. One executive was quoted as saying that the leak was tiny compared with the size of the ocean. Any philosophy that assesses environmental disasters in terms such as these is a precarious one. It seeks to preserve the flow of the dollar and turns its back upon the flow of life. Animals will die. Beaches will be contaminated for years to come. Families will lose their livelihoods. Millions of beings will suffer as a result of this “tiny” leak.
And millions more will sit idly by, watching as it happens.
Cozied to sleep by American Idol and the news of the latest Hollywood affair, they’ll bury themselves in other people’s lives, and cocoon themselves from the “dreariness of the world” as if they actually believe it is possible to do so; forgetting that even sleeping people die in burning houses.
It is time to accept that our primary responsibility is the honoring of this world and all its inhabitants. The two-leggeds, the four-leggeds, the many-leggeds, the no-leggeds. The winged and the finned. The Tree people and the Stone people. All our relations with whom we share this beautiful world created for us by our loving grandfather, Tunkashila.
Even now Pachamama reminds us of our duties. Earthquakes and volcanoes, floods and starvation, disease and rampant extinction. All these things are warnings no reasonable being can any longer ignore. We have drilled too deeply, consumed to carelessly, expanded too haphazardly. Too long have we spit defiantly into the wind. Soon we may find ourselves incapable of wiping it off. . .