the black and white of it

Speaking of emotion health, to my way of thinking both Theodore Roszak and Carl Anthony are whackjobs of the first water, hearing — as they claim to — the lamentable cries of the wounded Earth. Uh-huh. But surely Anthony is the lesser nutcase — the less deluded about the “spirituality” of Nature-with-a-capital-N, and a whole lot hipper with respect to swamps.
The above from Chris Locke’s new blog, in which he continues his personal wrestling match with the demons of Celtic spiritualiy/mythology. (Yes, I still read his blog/s just for stuff like the above.)
Oddly enough, his rant about the fallacies of linking environmental health (both metaphorical and real) with personal/emotional/psychological health is timely — not because he’s right, but because of the opposite approach reflected in the work of the newly annointed Nobel Peace Laureate.
From an Associated Press article in my local paper today (which, for some reason, does not appear in its online version):
To the beat of African drums, Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai received her Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, telling the audience of royals, celebrities and diplomats that protecting the world’s resources is linked to halting violence.”
Maathai, 64, warned that the world remained under attack from disease, deforestation and war.
“We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds, and in the process heal our own, indeed, to embrace the whole creation in all its diversity, beauty and wonder…..
This will happen if we see the need to revive our sense of belonging to a larager family of life, with which we have shared our evolutionary process….”

Such an embracing of the “as above, so below” (big picture, little picture) philosophy toward the natural environment is common to many cultures, not just Celtic and African. It harkens back to our earth-bound origins and destinies. Dust to dust, and all that.
In one sense, it’s not a matter of black and white (small b and small w). In another it is; it’s a matter of balancing the black and the white — earth-centered ancient human connections with the promises of open-sky technology — heart and brain.
The ancient cultures from which we all have meandered, whether Black or White, all understood the physical as well as the psychic connections that humans have to the natural environment.
Writers like Loren Eisley and Annie Dillard and Mary Oliver intuitively grok the the infuence of the natural world on our personal lives.
Personally, I miss being able to walk out my front door and hug an oak, smell wet dirt-y leaves, settle on some old stone and twig a circle, start a cairn, follow some slug into the earth, meditate on the wisdom of major crones such as Wangari Maathai.
Again, Chris Locke inspires me, although probably not in the way he intended.

Leave a Reply