Episode 176, Wild Sings of the Daughter of Godcast, Season 5 Climax. The beginning of the end, the pentad.
Can a movie studio make a gentle landing in wilderness? Ok, not exactly wilderness. Can a movie studio have a small footprint on a 60 acre farm that's been mostly left alone for the last 3 to 50 years? A wilderness in training, let's say. Can a movie studio help re-establish wilderness?
We've been put in charge of a little chunk of future wild land, love.farm. How much wild land is needed to make a wilderness? Is wilderness just a place that people don't go or is wilderness a feeling? If humans are threatened by global catastrophe, is wilderness our salvation?
If we are nature lovers, druids, shamans and tree huggers, we might look around at the status quo and opine... not satisfying. We want something else, we want our desire for wilds to be met, but meeting our desires requires an entirely new culture, profound changes in other people's perspectives and behaviors. A transformation in what we are surrounded by. If we don't see an obvious path to that, one option is to ignore our desires as best we can. We try to make do with a patch of weeds stubbornly poking through the Cosco parking lot.
We are creative beings. Ignoring our desires feels a little like dying, self deletion. Imposing our will on others doesn't seem realistic or even worthwhile either. So, what to do?
Rather than evaluating whether our desires can be realized in the next 5 minutes or not, what if we allowed our desires to breathe? Could we play the "what if" game a little longer, give ourselves a chance to explore how a fabulous future feels?
When we order a milkshake at a diner, we typically are not hating on our life until the milkshake shows up, we kick back and expect the milkshake, we know it's coming. Our expectation is solid, unwavering. We might feel hungry but we're also excited because we're pretty dang sure a delicious milkshake is on the way.
But supposedly, life isn't like a diner. Regular rational folks don't believe in cosmic milkshakes or even how one would pay for such a thing. Maybe hard work, that's what I've always heard.
I've worked hard, I've worked smart and I've been lucky. I've gotten amazing results too, but they haven't yet touched my truly grand desires. Could the diner analogy be valid? Is there a currency of the cosmos? And what does all this have to do with wilderness?
Consider the lilies, how they grow: they toil not, neither do they spin; yet I say unto you, Even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Mark's talking about wilderness here. Lilies sprout up and bloom without human permission, without our help or advice. What do lilies know that we don't? What can we learn from wilderness?
Used as a verb, like in the following sentence, "the flying saucer lands." Here's a new meaning for the verb, to land: v creating and enjoying intimacy with a location, merging with the wilds, learning to align with the agenda of Earth. A choice to perceive a place as sentient and brimming with wisdom to anyone open to receive. Could be the flip of farming.
How about a little landing with me?
A brief history
Long ago, this old farm was an old growth forest. Then the forest was clear cut after the American Civil War and some of the land was eventually planted with cherry and apple trees and pine timber. Starting in the early 1900s to the 1970s, the orchard was treated with toxic chemicals including DDT and compounds containing arsenic and lead. Lead and arsenic are heavy metals and remain in the soil indefinitely, they don't break down as DDT does over time. The amount of lead and arsenic present slightly exceed Michigan's safe levels, taking over the farm required filing a BEA or Base Environmental Assessment with the state.
In summary, this land was severely damaged by human presence within the last 4-5 generations. Human beings had been on this land for thousands of years prior, what changed in the last 100?
10k year perspective
Rather than dwell on mistakes, I'd prefer to focus on rediscovering and re-implementing the 1000 year perspective. Or rather the 10k year perspective. Before that, glaciers covered Michigan and much of the midwest United States. Compared to 10,000 years of benevolent human presence that followed the retreat of the continental glaciers, a 100 years of misuse doesn't seem so daunting. We can do this!
Conditions for life are optimal on Earth because the planet has (or is) a life support system. Maybe a sort of consciousness is involved, or maybe it's a kind of big machine. You decide. Certainly, optimal conditions are being maintained and wilderness seems to be significant. What is wilderness? A facile definition might be, "any place where people don't go", but this land had a human presence for 9000 years and the outcome was a climax forest. So the absence or presence of people does not determine what is wilderness, human presence has supported the global life support system and can again.
The word wilderness might be considered synonymous with nature, but is wilderness human nature? I am bored by debates about what's natural for humans, whether we are fundamentally selfish or altruistic, wild or tamed. The only universal I've observed in humans is choice. We either reinforce or reject the dominant culture, we support or undermine wilderness, we love or hate our lives. Whether or not we are consciously aware of our past choices, we can make a new choice at any time.
A working tagline for love.farm could be "a choice to thrive". Aligning with wilderness and the global life support system is a fundamental choice that makes all other choices possible. On this messed up old farm, a gang of the profoundly curious will explore what thriving might feel like for us.
Notice I haven't mentioned carbon or climate change. IMHO, that's a weird distraction which has nothing to do with what matters to me - wilderness. I don't agree with touting carbon as the be all end all of environmental awareness, smells like a scam. What does lead and arsenic in the soil have to do with carbon?
I've talked about intuition, about becoming tuned to our full experience and learning to trust. I think getting into whatever wild place we can find helps. Even a patch of weeds pushing up through concrete and asphalt in your suburbia or urburbia reminds us of our full power. Tenacious optimism, go get some.
Episode 176 Wild Sings, Daughter of Godcast Season 5 Climax. I'm Dan Kelly, an Earth man - pure fun propagated in delicious physicality. We've mused on the nature of nature and our nature or lack thereof. This will be the last longish episode for awhile, many mini-episodes up ahead, bite sized snippets, brain snacks, butterfly kisses. Streamlining, throwing luggage overboard, clearing the decks, getting svelte. This podcasting is one component of the perfect life, an ideal existence. I am tickled to be sharing my corner of the universe with anyone and everyone, we're riding on a wild woman, she sings with wind and waves, we share breath with mighty pines and slender grass blades waiting under the snow. We are everything or else we are nothing, say yes to either and both, neither and none. Sleeping or waking, first and last, open or closed. Woman, Man and other. Birth and Death. On and on and on.