When You Say “New Year” – how “New?”
Something broad and deep about human nature is deleted now. The evolution of fight or flight has been reversed, apparently. The most obvious crime, call it the Willful Ending of Life, is world-wide in its scale. Yet someone has persuaded us that reports of the earth’s death are greatly exaggerated. We listen for some message from the silent nation-states, religions, corporations, armies. There is an astonishing hush across the planet by the leaders of the species that is killing it.
The New Year won’t be New if we don’t figure out what is happening to human nature. Our basic qualities as a species are changing in the crossing over from private property to the public world. At that border, we are met by the mental police, phalanxes of lipstick, the human products called celebrities… If we enter public space – where we could talk to one another in an original way about this emergency – we must be sponsored by a corporation. Maybe the authorities aren’t afraid that we will talk to each other. After all, we can blog ourselves silly. Is the public space that is calling out to us, the commons itself the big threat? The old green space at the center of town, universally ignored behind the war hero on a horse statue – is there a terrorist conversation we might have there – with a tree? With a bird?
Last week, the 20 million citizens in the New York City part of the world, were confronted by a snowbank and couldn’t get out their front door. For about three days, nobody could move. This is the Earth’s tough love brilliance. We couldn’t hear the snow screaming its ancient instructions, of course. But New Yorkers vaguely noticed that their mayor was counting money at 35,000 feet and the deputy mayor was in London for the New Year. So the tabloids could get into the hate-the-fat-cat comedy. Then the blackbirds fell on the Ozarks. That was folded into a bible story. Then, 100,000 fish. Soon, the Earth will talk faster than the papers can speed type.
I’m dreaming of a Church of Earth-a-lujah, where we would just accept that part of the developed culture of the West is to restrict the languages that we understand. Our church’s faith would be that the wind and water and earth are talking to us in a dialect we once knew. There is a calling out by non-human life. Perhaps we will be offered a “New” arrangement for the humans, an accommodation for us on this planet, even as we poison our partners in life. But we would have to be able to communicate with that life. We must have that conversation, which is a language we haven’t practiced since indigenous wisdom was called the Devil. Can we pray and sing and dance our way out of Consumerism and Militarism? It will have to be a self-induced Rapture! We must return to that talk.