And So I Live: Surviving My Solstice Vision Quest ~ Aphorism(s)

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A few days before last year’s December Solstice—just preceding a flight to Cordoba,  Argentina—I had finished drafting My Thoughts Inexactly ~In Exactness~ S is for Solstice, and set it to publish on the December 21, 2017 solstice time of 11:27 EST (the time of the exact event being 13:27:50 in Chilean Time, where solar noon would be).

Realizing how dangerous my journey might be (and simultaneously not at all Realizing it), I included one of my boldest declarations in case I did not return, which prophetically had come to me in the waxing of the previous winter solstice on December 20th, 2016, with full blown solstice insomnia, whereby I declared “Be a Goddamning animal”. And in recognition of the insanity I was embarking upon, and that I knew I had to go and that I might very well die, I ended the series of aphorisms with acceptance: “And so I die…” It almost proved itself…

Por Que?

35298574_669097290103264_4160131831443750912_oMy mission (several months later described to me by an elder as my “Vision Quest”) was to get to the inflection subsolar point on the Tropic Of Capricorn where it was solar noon at the moment of the solstice. This is only one of two zenith points every year that the sun does not cross, but rather kisses; the other zenith being somewhere on the Tropic Of Cancer. The years that it falls on land in the southern hemisphere is a stark minority, and
IMG_20181223_020232very rare to fall on Chile—one out of every 107 years on average—one of the narrowest countries in terms of ratio in the whole world; and not coincidentally (so I now believe most especially) the land of Pedro Pascal, the actor who brings to life my prominent fictional hero Oberyn Martell and whose shirt I wore at bottom layer for defiant strength on that fateful day.

Enter the Desierto

A few days later and several thousand miles, now in San Pedro de Atacama on the night of December 20th—after a mad scramble from Argentina up and over to the Atacama region of Chile and a long exhausting day trying to find a ride up the desert “ramp” plateau for the next morning and then a wandering altitude acclimation near 20171220_185221Volcán Licancabur—I found myself in my lodging for the night in great distress over my next day’s seemingly-impossible journey, and was acutely uneasy about leaving the ending aphorism “and so I die”. I decided to log in to Subverses and after some debate deleted the aphorism, knowing (and not knowing) that I had the choice whether or not to fate myself to death.

“Today Is Not The Day I Die”

The next day—the day I successfully avoided an Unexploded Ordnance left over  from Pinochet, the day I almost died from heat stroke, the day I almost died from lack of atmosphere and altitude sickness, the day I almost died from despair in the face of extreme concentrated solar energy, the day I almost died from 12 tornadoes, the night I almost died from exposure to extreme cold—I kept saying to myself “Today is not the day I die” (Oberyn’s last words to his paramour) and at night, OTHERS pitched in and started saying this for me, carrying and caring for me. The Universe conspired to keep me alive, and I affirmed to myself that I am just as important a part in determining the course of the Universe as any other.


*That day, one of the most common points of reference for me, was too look to my west and try and see volcán Láscar (pictured at top) and those in its chain, remembering the unique community I was a part of. These images are burned in to my mind.

**There is so much more to say and note, but this is not the place for it. This was merely a place for me to recall the un-fateful writings and epitaphs I tempted in the leading and following through with my vision quest.

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Speech to The Pinelands Commissoners (6 of clubs)

 

**Note: The orated speech was under a three-minute time limitation, and so pieces of the speech below had to be edited out in order to fit. This was not the first time the commissoners used the time limitation to marginalize anticipated dissent in their pro-corporate, anti-life decisions.

September 14, 2017

I commend [the 4] of you who voted “No” to this pipeline. Your work is not done, the pipeline is not built, and you don’t know what you don’t know about your real power. I will return to this in a moment.

First, for [the 8] who voted to approve the SRL pipe: though it would be just to say this is a date that will live in infamy, you will not be remembered in infamy. Because the future generations will not exist to remember you. Yes, anyone concerned with life continuing on this Earth should know about the Sixth Mass Extinction Event, the Holocene or human created MASS Extinction. The extinction is caused and accelerated by a wide array of factors, certainly including the unnecessary and dangerous extraction and transportation of fossil fuels for thoughtless burning of that energy. We are in the middle of the sixth mass extinction event, and all you can do, charged with protecting the pinelands which sit atop a fresh water aquifer, is PASS a high pressure gas pipeline. This egregious act has earned you all a place in a special club. For being out so far ahead in actively accelerating the sixth mass extinction, you each get one of these a six of clubs [I hand out the six of clubs to “yes” voting commissoners).

You might say I ruined several decks of cards, but there are no escapes to card games as an extinction event progresses. Anyone and everyone needs to be reminded of what the future holds, lacking the six of clubs… I hope this spreads, and every deck of cards in the world has the 6 removed, as a small honor for what we are surely going to lose if we do not wake up and put the nightmare to sleep. Besides, it’s fitting that three sixes are left behind.

As harsh as extinction is, it is really still a euphemism. Because it is caused, and accelerated, by a species with choices, it really is a genocide. Are you proud of yourself for rubber stamping a piece in the grandest genocide humans have ever undertook? From the killing fields to the killing forests to the killing of oceans…

What I see here are mercenaries, paid through back doors. Mercenaries of the corporations, in the war against the environment, in the war against the world.
And as far as combining today’s pipeline vote with the affirmative vote to have trails marked to limit off-road vehicles, I have coined a saying for just such political maneuvers – “When one in power throws you a bone, you have to ask whose corpse it is coming from”.

Ironic that we are in Patriots Theater—I don’t know what kind of patriot forsakes their land for corporate colonialism. Your treatment of the land and of Mother Earth is perhaps best responded to by the words of the late and great Oberyn Martell: “You raped her, you murdered her, you killed her children.”

If this was a lot for you to absorb—a lot of cognitive dissonance—then maybe you should walk home to have time to think about it.

For those of you who voted “No”, and have shown that you are an ally of the Pinelands, and life on Earth, I say this: The pipeline is not built, you have more power than you think; nobody condemns Martin Luther King for challenging and breaking the precedents and legal boundaries—it is for doing such that he is a hero to people everywhere. He did the right thing irregardless of the laws. The laws of the land are destroying the land. Use your power to pass a motion to stay this vote, along with the SJG pipeline vote. Add ambiguity wherever you can. Make decrees, do the unprecedented. It might seem like magical thinking, imagining that [4] of you can take on [8] of you, but I think it is much more magical thinking to believe that humans can continue to survive on this planet if we continue to treat it this way—the higher calling is to keep the planet intact, to keep the pinelands intact, and let the natural world heal itself without humans interfering. Business as usual will result in extinction. We have only the planet to lose—please think outside of these confining, suffocating, boxes that erroneously have the name “representative democracy” printed on them.

 

notes 4 today: 2016-12-06 (I Wish My Grandparents had; Bad Earthen Methylation To Destabilize Climate Cycling; Pregnant With; Our Aversion To Vigilance 2015)

title: I Wish My Grandparents had…

“I wish my grandparents had fought these forces when they had the chance”
“I wish my grandparents had fought these forces when they had the chance”
“I wish my grandparents had fought these forces when they had the chance”

—will say our grandchildren if we fail them now.

title: Bad Earthen Methylation To Destabilize Climate Cycling

The Earth is constipated by human shit in all sorts of systems that are not used to being clogged with it. The extracted purities, the volatile metals brought to the surface, the energy being floated out of the Earth’s concentrated mass and atmosphere (when bringing this up in conversation I’ve been referred to an article called Earth Battery—link to be provided when I find it), the non-ice-age die offs, and other symptoms the Earth is subjected to, are pulling all the parts out of sync with each other, which is in many regards the death of the whole (by my expression of mereology). I don’t doubt that eventually the Earth can regain some of its former glory and avoid becoming a sister planet to Venus in climate regards—just how much before the sun finishes its 10 billion year life cycle, is an important question to consider.

With ice-age die offs that are mentioned popularly to assuage those who have fears that the current species extinctions has precedence and is “natural”, I think the causes and the timing are quite different (making them unprecedented); also, the former die offs are bounded by an oscillating rhythm, whereas the contemporary die off is under unbounded human control which is unrhythmic and antirhythmic, and hard to adapt to (in evolutionary terms). It is sure to continue to cause new damage until some sort of ethical awakening to what humans actually are—as told to us by the rest of the planet, not by our own artificial ideologies—comes to pass.

After learning about my own methylation problems, thinking of the Earth as having off-kilter methylation is not my merely personifying the Earth (although the Earth should be conceived of as a being rather than a mere sphere), but it is a profoundly real and relevant phenomenon that science would shy away from because of conservative scientific dogmatism and its generally brutal western imperial disposition that has scorn for anything “woo woo”. This of course leaves so this and so many other things scientifically unexplored, keeping it “woo woo” (a catch 22).

Return to the ice age? The die off that comes with a global cooling may be when some of the most creative and important developments to the life attire emerge. There is a healthy cycle of regeneration of these frost-tolerant (or cold thriving) species, that maybe need to reemerge every several thousand years for some unbeknownst diachronic role to the larger biosphere. But these species, at risk of being killed now—along with all other species inhabiting the planet during this Holocene die off—are at population nadirs that may go lower and preclude them from ever re-emerging; or if an ice age were to come with accelerated vigor, their time might not have yet come (perhaps something to do with their genetics), and they might not contribute what is needed to the rest of the living populations that ushered them in to existence and ecosystemic relevancy. They might have provided and be mutually leaned on to provide, among other actions, some sort of digestion in the gut and soil microbiome.

We don’t really know what great swaths of populations we are killing and what small niches of populations we are fostering with our climate destabilization, beyond the shallow studies done by the scientific community. But we can with good reason say that we are and must be killing some species that play crucial roles that we are not yet aware of, because we aren’t (and will never be) aware of them. We may find their fossils, or we may find their fossils next to ours.

title: Pregnant With… (meme)

0009-death-of-birth

 

title: Our Aversion To Vigilance 2015

Vigilance is constitutive to life, and humans have not needed the faculty (for lack of a better word) of vigilance. It hasn’t been part of their needs, so that’s primarily why things go to shit so frequently/easily, because of a lack of vigilance. Not because of our programs, but because we don’t have the life energy to we used to, to be vigilant and watch and protect things with our bodies (but with paper, the way we throw paper money at things). Laws aren’t our version of vigilance, they are our aversion to vigilance, and they display fully our lack of it as we have to write down codes that are not naturalized within us, and we need to hire enforcers to be the bodies that have it as a job to monitor these laws.

with respect to my olders

they plan to be cremated
they dig holes for others
a disdain for all sexuality
functionally inadequate lovers

before their gallbladder
does go their brain
spoon fed more than food
lengthiest time to wane

calcified ghosts shadowing the young
with their cultural mores haunting
demanding their praises be sung
leaving the living with tasks daunting

knowing that their death’s day
removes them from a karma repay
they do not die, they continue to slay
then with grand cowardice, slink away

Other Antagonistic Writings

The Graduation Speech They Deserve
The City Is Dead, And We Have Killed Him
Cersei as Mother—Oberyn Martell’s Lost Poetry: A Game of Thrones Extension

Ode To The Young (in fore verses of thought)

Children are the cure, to any and all ailments that might plague life. What ailments have children not endured? Children right before us (¿and after us?) are breathing, running, surpassing. They are life’s commitment to continue—made tangible. Though it may seem it at times, they are not in our way; rather, our way is wrong! They are the way, the only way. They are not a prison, they are the corrections.

Children are the “im” prefix we can add to our “mortality”. They beat back death, and enough of them have always survived the events labeled extinctions. Children are far from species’ specific, even farther still from individual specimen specific; they wander in both form and content, they move in curious unpredictable directions as has always been life’s way. They are the vital group, around which to center this planet’s regrouping. Children keep us forever young, and they should be our ever after. When we include them in our count, we’ll see that we’ve aged less. When we exclude our individuality, we’ll see all life as ageless. We have children inside us, but we must release them outside us, before our death becomes theirs as (un)well.

Religions stole from children the role of the afterlife. Our lambs are our God, and our chief ministry is parenting to keep them safe from becoming sheep! Better to defy God than defy our children; no need to deify God when we deify our children. This child worship is not written in a book, it is written in us. Historically it must be so, that from the deeps of time there is a very long line of children looking up to us; we must align with this life and look up to our own children (rather than catching a mirror’s glance that has us confusing our children with our elders).

So what is my religion? The next generation! Focusing on seven days of primordial creation is a weak prospect; I want seven generations, on in to the immortal! Children are my afterlife—please join me and give them your life, so that they might be your afterlife as well!

many of those trees were my friends: documenting a contemporary genocide

many of those trees were my friendsIt is quite possible that this aerial view offered by google maps is the only picture remaining of the trees and smaller lifeforms now entirely destroyed (everything inside the yellow boundary). It’s doubtful that any of the construction (destruction! → yet another normalized example of Orwellian language) workers snapped pictures of the intact trees with their smartphones before cutting them down and plowing all the soil and subsoil, turning rich earth in to inert dirt. The groundbreaking ceremony set for March 29 was well over a month late, the ground being broken several weeks earlier by a cadre of earth moving machinery. Many denial and defense mechanisms of the human creation exist in the minds of the perpetrators and onlookers that won’t let them cognitize that the animals dwelling in this forest home will be dead in short order—without habitat, they simply die. No, they don’t build apartment buildings and deforest other land to monocrop their food production, then build a national highway system to ship that food across great distances. No, they just simply die, but few humans really consider this.

This particular development—or growth—is to be a corporate “technology facility” for UPS corporation. Interesting how many stagnant and static spaces have to be created (while sacrificing natural spaces) just to allow for our transportation dependent society to keep moving stuff around. Surely some feeble and sheepish minds in the locale think this is a blessing and will create additional jobs to keep people bustling around, not thinking about the detrimental realities contrived by adherence to the property concept. War has long been touted for stimulating a troubled economy, and the sad thing is that war on the natural world was never taken off the table (and only a fundamentally troubled economy would consider making war to cure itself).

Anyways, I guess this is the UPSide to genocide.