RUIN AND BEAUTY

DEENA METZGER'S BLOG

THE ELEPHANTS ARE CALLING US AGAIN

The Elephant Ambassador January 6, 1999, Chobe Botswana

It has becomes evident that the elephants and animals are truly calling us again in this time of such danger to the natural world. I take it personally, but I know I am not the only one to be called. Most importantly, I am not the only one to respond.

I started writing this to recount a series of events that confirm Spiritual agency and inter-species communication. I seem to be directed to review the ways that the elephants have come to me and the community in the last twelve years in order to understand what Spirit’s call might be now.

in 1999 I wanted to sit in Council with the Elephants. I went to Zimbabwe and from there we went to Chobe, Botswana, and that is how I met the Ambassador. He came to our meeting place at five p.m. at the Chapungu tree, at least three times in three different years. His appearance was incontrovertible. The last time and hour we were there in September 2006, he introduced us to his family and threw us a bone. These stories are told in Entering the Ghost River: Meditations on the Theory and Practice of Healing and From Grief into Vision: A Council.

Some years ago, I was alerted to the concerns of elephants in Assam, India who had occupied an airstrip, not allowing military planes to take off or land. Also a standoff between villagers and elephants in India after the death of one of the elephants. Then there were other difficulties between humans and animals and a series of attacks on humans in India, and around the globe, that seemingly had to do with revenging earlier attacks on elephants, the interruption or prevention of mourning rituals, and loss of habitat. It seemed like a global organized activity on the part of the elephants, but it could also have been a sudden global human decision to notice, not the elephants’ plight, but their anger.

I was able to publish a letter or article in English in an Indian newspaper that suggested ways in which these situations might be remedied respectfully. It was translated and distributed in Hindi, and then the newspaper and my contacts disappeared. But the passage was open long enough time for my writing to reach readers in India though without my learning what impact, if any, it had.

However, it is clear to me that the elephants had put out a call, and several of us received it, were willing to ‘pick up the phone.” I am one of them.

Animal agency in initiating the contact and communicating the dilemma psychically is important here. At the same time of the instances of “elephant rebellion”, births and dreams of births of white elephants were noticed and regarded as were similar births of white buffalo in the United States. Spiritual agency and animal agency. Something beyond our understanding is afoot.

In 2006, the annual meeting of the peacebuilding NGO everyday gandhis, working in Liberia, founded by Cynthia Travis, and to which I am Senior Advisor, opened with Charles Seibert’s October 2006 N Y Times Magazine article, “An Elephant Crack Up?” There was much concern among us about events relating to the elephants including the news that the most revered elephant elder of Lofa Country, Liberia, had either died or been killed. Accordingly, there were many elephant dreams among the Liberians and the extended everyday gandhis network of West Africans and North Americans that guided us to remember how interconnected the elephant people and the human people had once been.

In a later annual meeting, the Superintendent of Lofa county, the Northern Liberian district where everyday gandhis is situated, expressed his desire to find ways for the villagers and the elephants returning from their war-long exile in Guinea, might co-exist. There were several dreams told in that meeting that called us to peacemaking on behalf of the seemingly conflicting needs of the two species.

The Siebert article introduced us to the work of G. A. (Gay) Bradshaw. The Spring journal issue, Minding the Animal Psyche, Volume 83, which Bradshaw edited arrived as I was writing this. It contains an essay, “The Art of Cultural Brokerage. Recreating Human- Elephant Relationship and Community” by Bradshaw and Carole Buckley (Founder of the Tennessee Elephant Sanctuary).

I had already read Bradshaw’s essay, “We, Matata: Bicultural Living among Apes” (Minding the Animal Psyche, Spring Journal Volume 83, Spring 2010, P. 171.) about the common research performed by Susan Savage Rumbaugh and three bonobos. Matata, Kanzi and Nyota Wamba, (Pan paniscus) who live in a “mixed Pan/Homo community.” in Des Moines, Iowa. This seminal essay and the quartet’s seminal work confirm animal agency and intent.

The brilliant title “We, Matata,” refers to Matata Wamba’s thinking in terms of ‘we’ as she was “wild-born in 1970 and lived in bonobo society in Zaire until the age of five. She was then brought with four other bonobos to the Yerkes “field station” at Emory University. Kanzi was born to two bonobos …in captivity at Yerkes….” Matata is “his adaptive mother.” In contrast to “…Kanzi, who is a ‘second generation’ bicultural bonobo, and Matata who is wild born, Nyota, Matata’s grandson is a “third generation” bonobo reared in a bicultural environment. ” The two younger bonobos were influenced early on by modern, western culture and so have, as we have, “been honed by modernity’s dualist traditions and the split world St Augustine. When Matata speaks, she speaks of “we” reflecting a concept of self found in collective, interdependent societies like those in free-ranging bonobo groups in contrast to the individualistic, independent, “I” centered culture of modern, western humans”

Bradshaw’s work records and substantiates animal intelligence and agency. It requires us to rethink and re-imagine the world.

What is distinct about my meeting with the Ambassador and the communication from the Indian elephants, is that these events demonstrate animal agency and transmission. Transmission, that is, receiving wisdom or information through invisible, distant or spiritual agency, is not commonly acknowledged by humans even among themselves.

In 2008, a trip to Tanzania was organized for the peace building team of everyday gandhis including Christian Bethelson, Bill Saa, J.F. Sawo, William Jacobs, and seven young, “Future Guardians of Peace” – all traumatized by the brutal Liberian civil war and yet working together on a multi-tribal peace building team. One goal of the safari was to introduce the peacebuilding team to the wild as the Liberian forests and their creatures have been, and are still being, devastated by the civil war and its aftermath, hunger, in particular.

Arriving earlier, Cynthia Travis, members of her family, and I were met by the young elephant, Spirit Sister, in the Ruaha who orchestrated our meeting and ceremoniously invited and then introduced her brother to us.

When everyone joined us in the Selous, we met the bull elephant, Delegate, after ceremonially bidding the seemingly hidden elephants to be with us. Delegate, who had been obscured in the bush, emerged. He came deliberately to within an inch of our truck. The young people knew we had called him to us and they trusted the moment because they were longing for such a reverential connection with the animal world. It was a matter of deep yielding and trust. Every moment tests us. Trust, however, is no guarantee of safety. One takes ones chances and tries to be alert, respectful and not naïve. This encounter is written about in everyday gandhis’ book, Tanzania Safari and in my essay, therein, “Alliance in the Selous,” where you will also find a photo of Delegate.

From Tanzania, we went to Liberia where we met and interviewed an elephant dreamer who had been visited and protected by elephants for all the years of the war. There, we were, once again, informed that the elephants were eating the crops of the poor farmers, but also, that the elephants no longer had the corridors through which they had traveled for centuries. In recent conversations, Superintendent Kortemai has spoken of the difficulties of providing and protecting the corridors which are increasingly interrupted by modern roads, expanding human habitat and other obstacles.

in July 2010, Cynthia Travis returned from Africa, alarmed by the news that the government of Tanzania has approved a major commercial highway across the Serengeti National Park linking the Lake area Victoria with eastern Tanzania. This will entirely interrupt village culture, the migration of the zebra and wildebeest, and the movements of elephants. (http://www.savetheserengeti.org/issues/stop-the-serengeti-highway/#ixzz176Xez6JY)

In May 2010, listening to the news on the way to the airport, I understood the gravity of the recent hemorrhage in the Gulf. I spent the next four months in active concern about the fate of the oceans and the horrific wound to the EarthSea Mother – its extent is still unacknowledged. (Two co-incident events this first week of January 2011: the announcement that deep sea oil drilling will resume though restoration has not occurred and safeguards – if they can exist – have not been put into place while tar balls are, once again, washing up on gulf beaches.)

In Connecticut, I met Ray Hardy, of The Deer Alliance, a Vietnam veteran who attributes his healing to the presence of the deer. He now devotes his life to their protection. His history, and his life, support the everyday gandhis understanding that peacebuilding, environmental protection and restoration are essentially interconnected.

In 2010, I spent the summer attentive to the many on-going environmental tragedies that are the consequence of human activity. They ranged from various oil spills in the U.S. and Africa, the possibly on-going seepage of oil in the Gulf, to the effects of uranium mining on the Reservations and the danger from radiation released from the fires that surrounded Chernobyl.

We know not what we do. Intellectual, emotional and spiritual numbing has resulted from our being immersed globally, for the last hundred plus years, in violence, cruelty, torture, killing and war. We accommodate, permit and perpetuate what was unthinkable a few decades ago. Violence, whether official, as in war waged by governments, terrorist, or individual, breeds violence. ( As I edit these words, we are learning of the shooting of an Arizona congresswoman, a federal judge, a child, and others in Tucson.) A new psychology that is a pathology, is increasingly dominating the human species. Crippling alienation is passed on between generations as the traumatic mind reproduces itself through the cultural change that it generates. This understanding is exactly articulated by Roberto Bolaño in his masterpiece novel, 2666.

Trauma and PTSD, as experienced by veterans and all war traumatized people, are similarly experienced by elephants and others animals. We learned this from Charles Seibert’s article based upon Bradshaw’s thinking and as further articulated in her stunning book, Elephants on the Edge: What Animals Teach Us About Humanity. The effects of trauma in their different manifestations are also passed between generations and between species

In July 2010, grieving, lost, not knowing what I might do or write, I put myself “on the hill” for two nights and three days of solitude. I was, as the Lakota word, hamblechya, implies, literally crying for vision.

Three essential communications came to me on the hill. I have been contemplating them since.

The first was a demand to us from the wounded EarthSea Mother: “Don’t just bear witness. Be with me! Feel everything I am feeling. Recognize the physical pain of such wounding as has been inflicted upon me. Share my great disappointment in the human species. “Don’t just bear witness. Be with me!”

The second is a call to be a medicine woman for the earth. I extend this call here to those with similar inclinations and devotion: Let us become medicine people for the earth.

The third communication revealed that a reliable, hidden passageway to the restoration of a viable world is a true alliance with all the animals and other beings.

Indigenous people have known how to live in such alliances but they are almost entirely hidden from the western, contemporary world.

“Truly learn the way of alliance. Yield to the intelligence and agency of the other species. Consider the future of the earth, rather than individual concerns, in addressing all dilemmas and issues. Let your work be to bring other two-leggeds into such alliances. Help such true alliances become accepted cultural forms.”

At the end of August, I went on a walkabout to Canyon de Chelly with my husband, Michael Ortiz Hill. On the first night there, praying as I do each day for the restoration of the earth, a rainbow appeared in the sky though there were no rain clouds. We knew it was a covenant, but I still didn’t know, pragmatically, how I was to proceed.

On October 31, I dreamed an ocean of stones without any water. I walked far out on the stone sea, climbing to the crest of a great stone wave. From that perspective, as I looked away from the shore to horizons, I saw only wave after wave after wave of stones. If I went any further, I would be lost without any hope of return. So I made my way back toward the shore. An elder questioned me: “Why did you go so far?”
“I had to see,” I said.” I had to see what it there.” Without approving, he understood.

Recently, I felt the call to travel to the stones to see what would be revealed about the dream. I prepared myself for this journey. I also prayed that I would be given specific directions for these last active years of my life regarding the paths i am to follow to fulfill the mandate.

I went into the studio to journey to the stones. But when I began, the Ambassador appeared and insisted I continue the journey with him. I began again and journeyed accordingly. We met at the Chapungu tree as we had in Chobe. I climbed into the open back of the truck as I had when we first met and showed him, as I had, that my hands were empty, that I had no weapons. He looked in my eyes the way he had, in the flesh, ten years ago.

He reminded me that I had been called to make alliances with the animals, other beings and the spirits, and I had, instead, become preoccupied and overwhelmed with human concerns, activities and forms. Preoccupied with stopping or healing our criminal behavior, I was not able to give attention to what truly matters.

He reminded that on my birthday, I had, once more, asked for a path to assist the future of the planet and I had been given a mandate to learn the way of alliance. I had been asked to defer to alliance in order to find the hidden passageways to the restoration of Creation. When I had asked, it was explained to me that alliance, by its intrinsic nature, was a vehicle of transformation. But I had, it seemed, disregarded this mandate by being consumed with the terrible and grievous crisis of these times: torture, rendition, Blackwater, private armies, mercenaries, child soldiers, rape and mutilation, drones, robots, the wars and violence in Iraq, Afghanistan and Gaza, and the on-going war against the land, the trees, the animals, the elementals; horror everywhere and without end. I was reminded of an understanding I had been given twenty years earlier when studying Kaballah and the Holy Letter Nun: “I had been serving Pharaoh when I thought I was serving God.”

Then the Ambassador took me back to the ocean of stones: “The stones are what the human race has become. You are no longer sentient creatures. You increasingly become the drones, the robots, the weapons that you have invented as you disconnect from, injure and attack the natural world and all its creatures. The only way to save Creation is to re-enter it.”

Then he turned, as he had the first time we had met, climbed the hill behind us and disappeared into the bush.

Within minutes, I received a note from a friend announcing the premiere of a film, “How I Became an Elephant,” that documents the horrific conditions of elephants in Thailand. Elephants used in the logging and other industries for years, no longer needed, unable to be return to the wild, constitute an abused, slave labor force performing in urban areas entirely alien to them.

I left the theater in a similar state of mind to the one that overtook me in 1989, when on a pilgrimage to the Death Camps of the holocaust.

This morning, a friend wrote that she had had a dream of an elephant in the woods. In any accompanying film by the same filmmaker, Coming Home, Lek, the elephant medicine woman of Thailand, brings several abused elephants home to the forest. She has rescued them from the horrific painful and inhuman treatment that elephants suffer in Thailand. She has convinced the local villagers to protect them, arguing that tourists will be far more attracted to their villages to see the animals as they are living in the wild than when the animals, in order to paint, play music, dance, do tricks and give rides, endure great pain and suffering.

After this email, another message from am acquaintance in South Africa included a photo of an elephant in Botswana.

Within another few minutes, Superintendent Kortemai and Christian Bethelson, a former General turned peacebuilder, called from Lofa County, increasingly worried about the elephants eating the farmers’ crops. I immediately told them about the film and the solution Lek is negotiating.

2011: The last few days have been filled with grave concern about global mass deaths of birds and sea creatures since December 31 2010:

Google introduced a map of 30 incidents of mass deaths.
Different newspapers cited:
Hundreds of confused birds plummeting to their deaths in multiple locations in the U.S.
8,000 turtle doves falling dead in Italy with strange blue stain on their beaks.
Two million dead fish found to have washed up on shores in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.
100,000 dead fish in the Arkansas River.
Dead birds in Sweden exhibited signs of ‘external blows.”
Other events in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Brazil, New Zealand and England.

On Epiphany, January 6th, the day I met the Elephant Ambassador in 1999, I journeyed to him again in response to these tragedies. He said:

“Live according to the Code of Benefits. Examine every action and behavior: Does it benefit the earth and all beings? Does each activity benefit elephants, wolves, whales, birds, trees, bees, etc,? If no clear benefit is visible, don’t do it!”
“Why should we follow such a stringent regime?” we ask.
“Because otherwise you, your descendants, everyone will die.”

Then he added:

“Think like an elephant, not like a human. 
Consider each being in your heart. Let your thoughts emerge to meet them. To hold all beings intimately in your heart, at each moment, can provide the understanding necessary to meet this moment.”

The elephants are calling us again. Even now, in the midst of events we do not understand, the call and presence of the animals is heartening.

How have they come to you? How are you meeting the Call?

10 responses to “THE ELEPHANTS ARE CALLING US AGAIN

  1. joey claytree January 8, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Over the last twenty-four hours i have been reading about the Ambassador through your writings, reading the news about dead birds, fish, manatees, bees, cranes, crabs, and so many other mass deaths. The ocean comes to mind, the oil spills and the human disregard for all that live in it, that feeds from it, that grows from it.
    It is true what you write Deena, that humans have become robots, have lost our way and are on the path of destruction. We seem to have lost a collective conscious for the lives we destroy, four legged, finned, winged and even two legged.
    It seems the masses are too brainwashed by technology, games, money, gambling, drama, greed, and individual problems to really notice the global emergencies all around. Numb. People are numb.

    Your words are so important. I look for them. I look for the words of others as well, those connected to a larger purpose, those interested in helping the planet and the animals and all that is creation.
    You wrote that you were side tracked by war and rape and human crime, but sometimes attention to human violence and war and what we do to each other is also a part of the journey toward saving/helping the animals and planet. It makes sense, only…only the forces of violence and corruption seem too strong, so the path must change, for many of us.
    I felt close to the elephants today and yesterday. I felt the power of your words and still understand that my pain is a result of constant tragedy.
    But I do believe in hope still, even with the smallest grain.
    And your words about examining our behaviors and living by a code of ethics…and who do these actions benefit? Do our actions benefit the animals and elephants and bees and trees? And if our actions do not benefit other creatures, animals and nature then we should not do them, because all will die. It is true. It IS true. We are seeing evidence of human destruction all over and the death of life to many species. And to ourselves. I know there are no quick fixes or answers, only like-mindedness, speaking out, working on behalf of the planet and it’s creatures, writing, coming together and learning from others….these are some of our tools, and more.
    Thank you for continuing to share your stories about the elephants, their voices, and the people you met along the way on these journeys.
    PLease keep writing and posting. It helps.
    You are part of the council.
    May the ambassador visit you in your dreams.
    Peace and love,
    j. claytree

  2. Teru January 8, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Deena-
    What to say to all this? It appears that spirit is beating us over the head to pay attention. So many deaths and no plausible explanation other than this. I do believe it is bleeding into the human consciousness that our individual small actions mean something. I think what you’re saying about allying ourselves with only what has value is a start. We are becoming focused. Last week in a family meeting at La Casa a member brought up what about sadness and she apologized for being self-indulgent. This represented something to me. We need to think about what it means truly to be human. Once we figure this out then we can make our alliances? No, this has to be done in alliance and no better way than to follow their lead and investigate our interaction. Action hopefully will flow from this. I am interested in the waves of stones. Please write more about this phenomenon.
    Love,
    Teru

  3. ptery lieght January 9, 2011 at 12:01 am

    Return to the Earth was the most important thing I heard.
    Waking up from our state of being stones to being part of the Dirt, part of the Mother-Sea, part of the breath of life, part animal ourselves, that remembers being interconnected, thinking in ‘We’ rather than I.

    These are the important things I heard.
    Me, myself, I am listening to the plants. The plants feed the animals, the insects, the bees and bring me peace.

    Being with the mother is not about being in crisis, but remembering ‘being’ ourselves. our beautiful selves that has a natural tendency to wonder, to find joy and gratitude, being in awe.

    Thank you for your words. They give me much to consider and meditate about here, where I am, camped with the homeless, who are struggling with their own human drama of being refugees.

    Finisia has warned me, to not get into the drama here, but to return to Mother and don’t look back.
    She warns me also, that once I do so, I am also subject to the hatred of the remaining ‘civilized’ people, the same ones who have destroyed the Native Americans in the recent genocidal attempts here, who have slaughtered our elder trees through clear cut.

    Witness, the tree huggers who sat in trees protecting them, as they became targets. This is what we fear the most is each other I think.
    We are cautious in our trying to return, afraid we will get locked up for ‘madness’ or as my friend’s friend who was shot and killed by ranchers for planting biscuit root and camus, for daring to become one with the land.

    These are the nightmares I am afraid of. But, if I am one that returns to teh mother, will she not have one more two legged returned to her, no matter the length of my life.

    Again, Thank you Deena for passing on the messages of the Ambassador.
    The stones, I hear the hardness of grief of all our child selves locked away inside, how to we add water to ourselves?? I think the children will know what do to if we can let them free.
    Blessings on your and our journey to return as The Ambassador as asked of us.

  4. Laura January 9, 2011 at 4:48 am

    yes. i am also to answer the call. i have been at home doing a cleanse and deeply calling out for what is essential and what is next since returning from Haiti. How to act without fear or reaction, but with fundamental blazing action. there is more to unfold. i feel the stirrings. your words give me courage to continue this quest beneath my habitual mind to where my animal heart beats. everything has led me here. and to this alliance.

  5. Riva January 9, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    I’ve just returned from journeying to the elephants.
    I’ve never taken a journey such as this — intentionally journeying into the field of someone else’s (Deena’s, in this case) call to action. I went to learn how the elephants would come to me, to ask for a message when and if they did, and then to allow the response to Deena’s question “How am I meeting the Call?” to unfold once I returned. (I understood that I could have taken Deena’s question, “How have they come to you” metaphorically and spoken of Elephant showing up as Racoon the other day, or as Hawk last week, or as my two-year granddaughter asking me, “Were you born, Gra’ma?” But when Deena spoke of journeying, I had a great longing to meet Elephant and so I went into journey-space and placed the call.

    I was met by the Ambassador who touched my crown chakra and third eye with the tip of his trunk and then turned me over to a group of 5 female elephants and several babies. I felt the Ambassador had both checked me out and, finding me acceptable, he’d blessed me and handed me off to where I needed to be next. I was guided to the watering hole and instructed to disrobe. I was apprehensive — as I sometimes am in journey-space — perhaps anticipatory anxiety carted in from ordinary reality and also that I was starkers. I understood that the clothes were an emblem of the way humans distance themselves from their own animal nature and in so doing place themselves outside the requirements of the natural world. It seems right, fair, and balanced that I should remove my clothes. My wrinkley 62 year old body was familiar to them and I saw myself in them too — something I’ve never experienced before. The elephant mothers recognized from the way my body is marked that I’d given birth and wanted to know about my children.

    Soon, I was nudged into the water. The babies came in and started playing with me and I relaxed completely, marveling that this was possible, easing up the somberness of the attitude I’d come in with — I was here on serious business, after all! There’s a cataclysm happening NOW! But babies need play and, apparently so did I. The information began flooding in:

    I am to make a practice of frequent visits in this way (via journey). The more I visit, the more I will learn about them and their ways and about how to communicate with them; the better I will be able to take the teachings and know what I am to do in response to the ocean of stones. I was made a Spirit Sister of Okapi, about whom I know nothing in ordinary reality but will research and feel into the meaning of that. Any intuitive hits our there greatly appreciated.

    It will be interesting to experience the Spirits of an entirely new locale — my practice until now has been infused by the Spirits of the Land I now inhabit. I’m not what you’d call a well-traveled person out here in Ordinary Reality. Journeying out in this way, intentionally moving out beyond the boundaries of the forces, powers, and Spirits that come to me here, in northeastern US feels, perhaps, like the point of this first foray out beyond it… what we are facing is truly Global. Though this is not news, it hadn’t occurred to me before from the perspective of having been taught to pay tribute to the Spirits of the Land — the particular locality I am in. Spirits of the Land… why WOULDN’T that be Global. It certainly always included the Waters too. And perhaps, what the Ambassador and his People know, with their extraordinary tactile connection to the Earth, where every step they take informs them of Her condition, needs to urgently come to the attention of all humans, everywhere that humans are, which is everywhere on the planet. Getting that information out, that’s what I’m called to do. I will make a practice of visiting weekly, perhaps more if it seems right.

    I’ll keep you posted!

  6. rob January 9, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Dear Deena – you have said so much

    ….and your words have helped me to feel the connection within creation that much more clearly by reflecting and grounding my own feelings at this time…..at a moment when I am reminded that even the smallest things matter

    I work as a healer and artist, try to follow the medicine way; its a daily renewal and a ‘not so much what you do as the way that you do it’ kinda thing – and I also live in the city – even so the animals have come to me and, yes I am answering their call, both in the world and in the dreamworld…..if only in ‘small’ ways

    I have just lost my small wild garden to my neighbour – the details and particulars are superfluous, but, the reasons?

    ……after 20 years of being held within, of learning from, of rejoicing with and of being nurtured by the endless magic of the myriad beings who chose to share this tiny 10×10 meter haven with me, ‘we’ have been rubberstamped by beaurocracy and earmarked for alienation, no access, a 2 meter high fence…….this may seem a ‘small’ thing, and yet, because they hold my heart and I theirs, I am grieving and feeling it deeply……

    it helps that within your words is an encouragement that creation’s voice is not falling on deaf ears amongst us bipeds, and more, that amongst those who can hear are some who have a voice that carries the same song, the same magic, the same grief, earthed and steady – we need this, for each other, and that means ‘we’ and no ‘other’….

    There is another sense in which this personal loss is much larger than the ‘physical’ one – it might not be so bad if I knew that the new ‘keeper’ of this small patch of Earth would honour the ‘true nature’ of his new aquisition – more important to him is the plan that shows the ‘boundaries’, the ‘rights’ this bestows, the ‘seperation’ this endorses – for that is the sole basis of this action on his part – I pray for him – but, he will not hear the voice of nature – he hears the voice of ‘weed’-killer, concrete, and machete, and of neglect, for this is how he has chosen to commune with the larger part of earth to which the smaller part will now be attached, as ‘his’ garden – and in this is a small holographic reflection of the larger problem – your words too reflect the truth of this and have encouraged this response

    I know the ‘true nature’ of our communion is not lost – there are no boundaries in nature – neither is there ignorance or arrogance – these we bring, out of denial, scabbing over the wound of unacknowledged grief, bound beneath old cultural bandages – and your words also fortify for, perhaps, the more those bindings are undone, the more the wound is revealed and allowed to breath, the more our hearts will softened through the expression of that grief and our ‘boundaries’ might also soften enough for us to truly re-enter creation

    I have heard the animals recently – the nesting wrens whose home will be wrenched from around them, the robins and finches, the young foxes who have made a play nest beneath the Hebe and wild-rose, the bees, butterflies, hoverflies that keep balance and fertility alive amongst the healing herbs and few small trees, the Jays and half feral cats who laugh and snicker with each other in their leaf-shade…… in my spirit I hear them still – but, outside, at the back of my ‘lot’, they spoke to me today through silence……and yes, they will move on, regardless of the fence, unperturbed by the ‘new contract’ – but, every small snatch and grab makes a difference and, unacknowledged, unabated, unaddressed there must come a point at which it is we who will fall silent should ‘we’ allow such arrogance and ignorance to continue – so thank you, in continuing to refuse to remain silent

    no great shakes, this small tale, but, yes, as medicine carriers ‘we’ will move on and re-enter creation

  7. joy Seidler January 9, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Where to start. I stand with you and the animals. Have seen an elephant’s eye twice in the past year in visions. Responded to a NYTimes editorial this morning after first reading your blog:

    Until Lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will glorify the hunter.
    African proverb

    In the wake of huge casualties to red-winged black birds on New Years Eve in Arkansas and Louisiana I was horrified that the NYTimes chose to print James Gorman’s editorial “An Environmental Whodunit”. This crass article intellectualizes about the human need to find “ patterns and causitive agents” saying when one can not be found, “we posit a supernatural one”.

    This opinion is voiced even as Gorman acknowledges there did exist a very probable cause. That eye witness reports in Arkansas stated professional grade fireworks were set off near a known blackbird roost, and that flushed into the dark when the birds are unable to see well caused them to fly out crashing into buildings, cars and poles. “Necropsies show blunt force trauma to brain and breast.”

    Gorman then goes on to minimize the notion of “so-called mass die-offs” with statistics that make 5,000 dead birds “really a relative number” if we think of the overall 200 million of these birds. By this logic one might conclude that were 5,000 humans to drop dead ( or say lose their hearing in one night in Arkansas due to professional-grade fireworks) we could also dismiss this as inconsequential in light of the world wide population of our species now at 6,892,451,544.

    This editorial which cloaks the deaths as a “Whodunit” makes light of a horrific and avoidable event. He ends the article saying he’s betting on zombies and envisions humans becoming bird feeders for the beaked undead. James Gorman is already a zombie who has no feeling and compassion for the lives of the beautiful creatures we share the planet with. When we allow ourselves to become numb and to joke about tragedies in our midst we are no better than a zombie. It is jokes an innuendos like these that ultimately allow horrors like The Final Solution to occur. All life is sacred. What happens to the least of us happens to each of us. How disappointing that this was the tack the NYTimes chose to present. Where is responsible leadership?

    Joy Seidler
    Holliston, Massachusetts

  8. diane wolkstein January 9, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Thank you, good woman for your heart and your words. I am especially struck by your image of an ocean of stones. That we humans are turning into stones. The agony and outrage is so great I can feel how I am closing my heart, daily. I don’t have the capacity to live with the fullness of the horror of the brutality that is invading us.
    I was just reading an article about how a Navajo man decided he had no interest in writing in English because English would not allow him to express what he wanted to say. Yes, this is what I want to hear: Elephant messages.
    And that there are living gandhis, a community who is also suffering with the horror from the abuse and going within to find the vision to continue. big hug, great joy that you are on the planet.

  9. Ani Rose March 24, 2011 at 11:32 am

    hello again. This blog entry feels wonderfully familiar to me, now that I am in the last chapter of FERAL. I appreciate the “integration” of your experiences and words. thank you.
    When I “started” an art business I called it, “Living Stones” and have kept the name (not the “business” so to speak). I hear this awareness — again. I have been listening for a good “title” for some Raku and other art-healing experiences I’d like to guide along…. I think “way of alliance” may be an answer. Elephants… and, for me, Whales. But all forms of being, suffering in similar ways, and knowing the capacity to heal in similar ways — if only we can learn to accept these truths. accept.
    My musician son has been an elephant person since he was 3, the first time he saw elephants in a zoo —— he FELT their sadness and told me so. He is a musician, and is headed to Calif. end of June, as he knows it is TIME to live doing music… his heart. I will share this entry with him – and believe he will feel it.
    thank you again.

  10. Deena Metzger March 24, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Alliance, continues to be at the heart of everything I understand about the world’s common human caused suffering, and the path to global and species and individual healing. Thank you for writing again.

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