The brilliance of a bright day shines through the darkened leaves of autumn trees ready to go to their winter rest. The beauty of it draws me closer to the rhythms of life and beauty, the blessing of going inward, and the mystery of Death as an ally in the journey of Life.
Indeed, we seem to be poised at an extraordinary threshold now as death moves all around us in hurricane, earthquake, flood, fire, human-generated mass die-offs of other-than-human species, and violence on an incredible scale. Our beautiful world is in a state of chaos unlike anything we’ve ever seen before, with some new awful thing to deal with every day, or multiple times a day. And as a society with a contentious and unintegrated relationship with death, we are not necessarily prepared to meet the magnitude of what we are facing with equanimity or poise.
Something is dying. A threshold is being crossed. It could be the end of everything known and loved. I don’t feel that that’s what will unfold, but I know that that’s a possibility. We have already crossed every line that has been named as the point of no return, and there are parts of the human community who are determined to drive us over every imaginable edge for profit and power.
Yet something is also coming to life, another threshold being crossed. In the collapsing of the tower the precious green leaves of the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible (1) is visible through the smoke and fire. The sophistication to which we are currently being invited is in making sure that what is pushing through the foundations of the tower is not destroyed by the towers fall. Delicate and powerful work.
That requires a relationship with death. That requires an extraordinary and uncommon finesse, wisdom, and capacity with that deep mystery of the transition between death and life. We have the capacity, but will we access and embody it in time? The future is unwritten and every moment of each life matters. Are we Living as a Magical Act? Now is the time.
In my own journey, I view every trauma, tragedy, challenge and obstacle as an opportunity. Always I ask the question “what is the deeper invitation here? What is being illuminated? What wound is arising for healing? How can I meet the invitation of this pain and use it to grow, stand taller, root down deeper, show up more fully?” Frequently I don’t want to answer the invitation because it requires that I tend to (or contend with) something that I would rather ignore in favor of “ease”. But of what value is ease in that context? Staying asleep may be easy, but it’s not living, and it doesn’t grow the soul. Truly, it shrinks and retards the soul.
So here we are in a world coming apart at the seams, about to be intimate with some of the most profoundly insurmountable challenges possible, challenges we will nonetheless need to meet with heart, ingenuity, and fortitude.
We will need to make a relationship with Death to navigate through this stage of Life with any grace. We will need to be able to let go of whatever we cling to for safety in order to stand tall with what’s coming towards us. We will need to be able to navigate and even direct the decimation of the tower whilst tending to that precious emerging seed.
We absolutely can. We just need to choose that we WILL.
It is all I can do to stay present and awake to all that my heart is asked to hold in this time, and to the devastating feeling of overwhelm and ineptitude that accompanies full presence. I accept death, but we have not spent much time together. Experiencing the death of my illusions of what the world is, my safety, trees and land that I love, places that I love, people who have died unnecessarily, water that is sacred to me, everything that is dying all around me, crushes me often into a wailing heap on the ground beneath silent trees. But every time I fall to my knees screaming in agony, every time I let the magnitude of the world all the way in and let myself respond from an open heart, I am infinitely empowered when I stand up again.
I would lie if I said I were not inclined to sleep through it, if I said that I never check out and dive into my pleasures and my privilege as a refuge, but I will not tell that lie. I welcome this time as an opportunity, indeed, an invitation no one can decline, to wake up, stand up, speak up, and rise up for all that is good and beautiful in this world that I love so dearly. I will stay awake, gently pulling open the wings of my heart and taking in the pain and suffering of this world alongside the beauty and wonder so that I can be a part of the reclamation and restoration of my home in a beautiful way. It is only in this way that I can truly participate in the healing and transformation to which this chaos and devastation beckons us. Awake, feeling and caring, with all the anger, overwhelm, fear, fury, and pain that that entails.
There is something that I know for certain, and it guides me like the Compass Star when I feel lost in the madness of the world: we were made for these times (2). There is a glory within each of us that can sing the world to life and heal everything that is broken, that can break through every chain clapped around our wrists and fly through any storm with strong wings. I know that it is here, in this moment, that the true magnificence of the human potential ~ as loving participant in the life of the world, as steward of the planet, as kin to all beings, as protector of the beautiful, as beloved of the Holy ~ can be realized, should we so choose.
We have to CHOOSE.
I choose to Live as a Magical Act, my power to create the world of beuaty whole and intact and supported by holy Life itself.
I choose to make a relationship with Death so that I can fully participate in the miracle of Life without trying to shield myself from what scares and overwhelms me. I choose to know my ability to meet the challenge of the moment from the deepest well of strength and love in my soul, and i choose to live from that place of rootedness and potency.
I choose to access my deepest magic and most powerful gifts and to bring them forth as the most powerful medicine available through me to nourish and nurture this world back to health.
I choose to root deeply into the magic of Nature as a way to come home to myself as a sovereign voice of the land speaking, and to take my sustenance from deep relationship with the living earth and the great mystery of which i am one part.
I choose to live as a warrior and a lover, fiercely defending and tenderly caring for all that I love.
I choose Life, that greatest of gifts.
And I choose it now.
Let us rise up together as a force of love and boundary, saying “NO MORE” to the power elite and the industrial growth society that have us all on the brink of an untimely and unnatural death. Let us stand tall, hand in hand, saying instead “ABSOLUTELY YES” to the creation of a life affirming world of beauty, inclusion, diversity, magic, mystery, and harmony where all are held, safe, welcome, and honored for the unique beauty that they embody. Let us take full responsibility for the health and welfare of this beautiful planet Earth with whom we have been gifted a little time and upon whom our entire lives, and the lives of all that we love, depend.
Let us arise as the defenders and tenders of ourselves, each other, all the life we share this world with and this holy world that is our home
Truly, there is nothing else worth doing.
Maitreya Wolf, 10/12/17
(1) “The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible” is a book by Charles Eisenstein. It’s amazing. Read it.
(2) We Were Made For These Times is an essay by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. It’s also amazing. You can find it and read it online.