We are not victims of the flood. We are the flood. We are running waters, seeking a way, cutting fresh courses when springs swell us with power. We move mountains and break banks, creating. Chase Iron Eyes, Lakota Activist. 3-25-17
These are difficult times, a time of “dark night for a green soul”. I find myself navigating in a forest of heartbreak for our planet. Long shadows of denial, ignorance, and destruction are cast from the current occupants of the White House on a daily basis. The unabashed culture of rape in Faustian alliances with the fossil fuel industry leaves no space for the development of alternative forms of energy. There is a blatant and aggressive predatory nature toward our air, rivers, land, vegetal life and other-than-human co-habitants. I sit, I listen, I reflect and read. The daily CO2 levels are above 400ppm. I privately weep in a lament so anguished at times that the echoing seems to be endless. I feel it resounding in the hearts of all sentients. I see the worn sorrow of people I pass. At times we recognize it in each other without saying a word. The last lines of the song “Praised Be the Ragtime Band” float through me: My eyes are dry and they are open//I keep my grief in my hands.
I come to realize that it is the grief, held in my hands, looked in the eye, embraced in my soul that guides my work in my studio. I am responding to the question asked in the Forward of the book, ROOTED & RISING – Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crises:
…a tsunami of sadness is engulfing us and we need rituals and action to transform our grief into meaning, our sorrow into solace, our loss into hope. Where are the programs and people who will process the mourning at this time of unraveling of ecosystems and social systems in the face of hurricanes, floods, droughts, and wildfires?
Where indeed, I ask myself? Within the mandate, I created for myself with the founding of The Grieving Planet Project – Holding Space for Ecosystem Losses.
Dark Night for a Green Soul, 2014, 24″ x 36″