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Rekindle Your Wild Joy and sense of deep Belonging through spiritual ecopsychology and the arts, incl. bioregional awareness, animistic perspectives, strategies for simple living, & low/no-tech DIY fun.

COVID19 as Shabbat March 13, 2020

Filed under: Arts,Resilience Solutions — BrujaHa @ 10:07 am
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isolation wizard
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A wise friend of mine, Lynn Ungar, wrote this magnificent poem about the current COVID-19 situation.
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I love her perspective and thought you might enjoy it too. To me, these words are like medicine, and with no need to do insurance paperwork to get it. There is often a gift carried with the wound, which can be had if we only change perspective to find it.
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This poem also reminds me of the something writer Anne Lamott once said:
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
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Pandemic

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.

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And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

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Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

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Lynn Ungar,  3/11/20

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And then one of my grad students wrote the following.  I love this too, as it ties together traditional Chinese medicine  with current events, thereby reminding us humans of our vital inter-being with the living Earth, our larger body.
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A Thought on Coronavirus

by Andrew Somps

There exists a curious and poignant connection between the way in which this new virus targets the lungs and an ancient theory of traditional Chinese medicine which sees the lungs as the organs that house feelings of grief.

Given such a connection, one might begin to imagine how Coronavirus could be the earth’s way of nudging the world’s citizens to turn inward and grieve for the quite unprecedented disconnection that exists between modern, industrial society and the natural world…and the resulting loss of the body’s felt sense of home in a world desperate for healing.

That something so small and invisible can do what it’s doing serves as a terribly beautiful reminder of the fact that the individual body and the life of the earth are inseparably bound to each other, that we are all bound to each other.

I offer this connection between grief and Coronavirus to stir the imagination and bring reflection to something that seems hellbent on only inducing panic.

As the world puts on the brakes, we too are called into stillness and silence. Perhaps, hopefully, into grief as well…where grief is anything but a strictly personal emotion, but rather is world-oriented, living in the potential of every cell of the body to feel pain on behalf of the world and thereby gradually redeveloping a sense for what is essential.”

 

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Finally, even if we should limit contact with each other as physical human beings for awhile, this does not apply to contact with other-than-human beings or nature at large.

As Tom Fleischner of Arizona’s Natural History Institute recently remarked, “Immersion in nature can boost human immune systems and provide many other health benefits.  We encourage you to get outside and connect with the more-than-human world: practicing natural history, now more than ever, is good for you.” 

 

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NOTES:  
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Lynn Ungar‘s poetry and more can be found at lynnungar.com
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The wizard meme above was made by Rob Brezny. If you aren’t yet familiar with his humorous and deeply philosophical astrology column, hie thy eyes to any syndicated publication or https://freewillastrology.com
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Anne Lamott‘s wonderful quote I got on social media a long while back; it was part of a longer list she created, so I unfortunately can’t provide a proper citation. If you know what publication it’s in, please tell us in the Comments below. Thanks!
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Tech note: For some bizarre reason, WordPress won’t make proper spacing for this post unless I stick something like these stars in-between the lines. It just all melds together in a sort of word blob. Sheesh. Simple-fix advice is always welcome.
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Just wash your hands March 11, 2020

 

Afraid of contracting or passing Coronavirus 19?

JUST WASH YOUR HANDS.

Often.

For inspiration, check out the results of this science experiment, done at an elementary school in 2019:

 

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“We took fresh bread and touched it. We did one slice untouched. One with unwashed hands. One with hand sanitizer. One with washed hands with warm water and soap. Then we decided to rub a piece on all our classroom Chromebooks,” adding that the school normally sanitizes their computers but didn’t for this experiment.

“Each slice of plain white bread — which was taken from the same loaf on the same day — was placed and sealed in a freezer Ziploc bag. Due to preservatives, they waited three to four weeks for results and found that most of the bread slices were full of mold. “This is so DISGUSTING!!!” wrote Metcalf. But there were two exceptions: The bread that hadn’t been touched and the bread touched by hands washed with soap and water looked fine.”

 

Soap and water is the best deterrent for spreading illness.

The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) has guidelines that back up that statement, adding, “Handwashing is a win for everyone, except the germs.”

The guidelines are to scrub our hands for 20 seconds. That’s long enough to sing a couple rounds of Happy Birthday, or 1/47th of an Irish ballad about love and death.

Hand sanitizer is useful, but mainly as backup when you can’t get to soap and water.

The average person doesn’t need disposable gloves, which will carry the horrific side effects of 1) making them harder to get for those who actually do need them, and 2) after they’ve been discarded and made their way to the Pacific Garbage Patch, killing sea turtles when they try to eat them.

On behalf of the earth and all of our health, thanks for doing the simplest thing that turns out to be the most powerful, and also carries the least long-term environmental consequences.

Stay healthy out there, friends. And peaceful.

 

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Image source: https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/the-school-science-experiment-that-will-make-you-want-to-wash-your-hands-this-is-so-disgusting-213514712.html

 

 

I Adopted a Hero-Rat December 30, 2019

Magawa HeroRat

In good Hobbit fashion and in gratitude for my life, I like to give something good away on my birthday.  This year, I’ve adopted a “Hero Rat” through the organization Apopo.

These are a large rat species who are trained to sniff out hidden land mines left all over after military conflicts, thereby allowing people to then dig them up and get them out of there.

The rats are highly efficient landmine detectors because they sniff out explosive chemicals but ignore uncontaminated scrap metal. Many lives have been saved, and now these communities can once more farm their productive land. And for you animal lovers like me, it’s important to know that these rats are not endangered by this project: they are light enough that unlike people, they don’t trigger the mines by walking on them.

The rat I adopted is named Magawa, and last month alone, he unearthed 4 hidden landmines in Cambodia. Apopo claims, “Magawa can search a 200 square meter minefield in 20 minutes. This would take a technician with a metal detector between one and four days.”

They go on to explain why this work is so needed. I think this also demonstrates why US Americans should help be part of the solution:

“Over 1,000,000 tons of bombs were dropped in Cambodia during the Vietnam War. More than 100km2 of the country is contaminated with landmines and explosive remnants of war, creating more than 25,000 amputees, the highest ratio of mine amputees anywhere in the world. …Cambodia is the second most mine affected country in the world, after Afghanistan.”

Yay Magawa!

The $ gift was inspired by my wise friend Erfert Fenton who first told me about this worthy endeavor, and given in honor of my colleague and friend Sue Chambers Wallingford’s deeply life-changing art therapy work with victims of sex trafficking in Cambodia.

Thanks to all of you reading this for whatever you do to make this world a better place. These acts can be big or very very small, like smiling at those who check out your groceries or letting some car in ahead of you while driving, as those everyday gifts quickly add up to more happiness and kindness in this world, which is sorely needed right now.

Please feel free to tell us about your own acts, received gifts, and experiences in the Comments below. It’s great to inspire one another.

For further information, here’s a 45-second video about APOPO’s projects:

 

 

 

Insight from a Partial Eclipse August 21, 2017

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96% totality experienced.

Even at that much shadowed occultation, the sun offered a surprising amount of light.

The profound takeaway I got is this:

If we consider the parallels between the larger natural world and our own psyches, it’s a sweet reminder that even if we’ve sabotaged our lives a lot through our own BS patterns, our pure original nature still shines more brightly than we realize.

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Paris Climate Agreement: We Are Still In June 6, 2017

cleanup on aisle one

I feel proud to be able to tell you that my employer, Naropa University, joins other college and university leaders, mayors, governors, investors and businesses in declaring that regardless of current decisions made by the Republican president, we will continue to support climate action to meet the Paris Agreement.

This action thereby continues alliances with other countries, businesses, and systemic thinkers around the globe. More basically, it is a step that helps ensure that large mammalian life on this planet (such as humans) can continue.

This is the only smart move.

Companies like eBay, Netflix and Microsoft are in. And you can add your company’s name to this pledge as well – link below.

You may be as surprised as I to learn that even ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips, two of the world’s largest oil producers, pledge to abide by the Paris Agreement! They recognize that this change to alternative fuels is inevitable, and that being on board is the best choice for their business’ bottom line. From Bloomberg.com:

“President Donald Trump faces some unlikely opposition to the idea of pulling the U.S. out of the 2015 Paris climate accord: Exxon Mobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips, two of the world’s biggest oil producers. 

Both companies reiterated their support Wednesday for the global agreement to cut greenhouse gas pollution amid reports that Trump planned to ditch a pact he says hurts the U.S. economy. Their argument: The U.S. is better off with a seat at the table so it can influence global efforts to curb emissions that are largely produced by the fossil fuels they profit from.

…ConocoPhillips, the world’s largest independent oil and gas producer, also expressed support for the climate agreement on Wednesday. “It gives the U.S. the ability to participate in future climate discussions to safeguard its economic and environmental best interests,” spokesman Daren Beaudo said in an email.

BP Plc CEO Bob Dudley, another oil executive who supports the accord, said that even if the U.S. quits, the nation should find new policies to support the inevitable transition to a low-carbon economy.”

Every one of you, please stand up and act with us – the majority.

climate change rift w world

Here is the formal statement, with signatories visible below:  We Are Still In  Note that you can add your company’s name to this pledge as well – see link at the end.

Open letter to the international community and parties to the Paris Agreement from U.S. state, local, and business leaders

We, the undersigned mayors, governors, college and university leaders, businesses, and investors are joining forces for the first time to declare that we will continue to support climate action to meet the Paris Agreement.

In December 2015 in Paris, world leaders signed the first global commitment to fight climate change. The landmark agreement succeeded where past attempts failed because it allowed each country to set its own emission reduction targets and adopt its own strategies for reaching them. In addition, nations – inspired by the actions of local and regional governments, along with businesses – came to recognize that fighting climate change brings significant economic and public health benefits.

The Trump administration’s announcement undermines a key pillar in the fight against climate change and damages the world’s ability to avoid the most dangerous and costly effects of climate change. Importantly, it is also out of step with what is happening in the United States.

In the U.S., it is local and state governments, along with businesses, that are primarily responsible for the dramatic decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in recent years. Actions by each group will multiply and accelerate in the years ahead, no matter what policies Washington may adopt.

In the absence of leadership from Washington, states, cities, colleges and universities, businesses and investors, representing a sizeable percentage of the U.S. economy will pursue ambitious climate goals, working together to take forceful action and to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing emissions.

It is imperative that the world know that in the U.S., the actors that will provide the leadership necessary to meet our Paris commitment are found in city halls, state capitals, colleges and universities, investors and businesses. Together, we will remain actively engaged with the international community as part of the global effort to hold warming to well below 2℃ and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit our security, prosperity, and health.

Click here to read full press release.

Companies, investors, mayors and governors wishing to add their name to the statement can do so by registering here. Colleges and universities wishing to add their name can do so by registering here.

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trump baby earth

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ON BEHALF OF THE EARTH AND HER CHILDREN OF ALL SPECIES, THANK YOU ALL.

Thank you for being responsible adults who take care of our home, despite the short-term difficulties we face from the current White House now.

In the wise words of King Solomon, this too shall pass. According to the New York Times, the withdrawal process from the Paris Accord could take four years to complete, by which time the regime will have been changed. So let’s just keep steering our collective boat of systemic wisdom through these jerky rapids until the river flows freely and easily once more.

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The terrific political cartoons in this post are by Dan Wasserman, Monte Wolverton, and Christian Bloom (from Norway).

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