Sunday, January 29, 2012

of ruin, insanity and the quest for inner peace

There is light snow, at last. It is morning. The tea is hot, the raspberries are washed, the room is warm and lit. I read of rain forests being devoured in Peru; earthen floors raked bare and mercury dumped at will into Amazonian rivers, all for the sake of our world's insatiable appetite for gold. Peru, the article says, produces 165 tons of gold per year. That's incomprehensible destruction of leaf, insect, feather and fur.

I read, also, about the 50th anniversary edition of a land mark work of history~ The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by the American William Shirer. In 1960, it was the book that brought America out of its 15 year amnesia of the atrocities of WW2. It sought to chronicle the reasons (most of) the German nation united in a horrifying, frenzied mass movement of self-delusion and destruction.

But there is snow falling on pine trees just beyond my window. The heat clicks on and the cats are drowsy at my feet. If I gave away my gold jewelry would it help? Would it make a moment's impact if I vowed to acquire nothing new in karats? And the war. The one of the homeland of my mother; she born into it's start. Would knowing the details of its horrors, would understanding the hows and whys help me stand apart from the potential of a future loss of sanity by the masses? History tends to repeat itself, after all.

Or is it just best to live in the present, the storied and perfect "now", content in my small corner of the world? Is it just best to stay alert and go about the business of honoring my daily needs and the calls of my heart? It feels selfish. Yet, I know that the butterfly wing fluttered across the world eventually reaches my corner of it. The ruin of the rain forests affects me, as well. The war, certainly, gave trajectory to my life even before I  drew breath. So, in turn, will my quest for peace within myself and the actions I take to lead a life of meaning and compassion somehow, someway effect the forests and play a role in quelling extremist domination?

With snow falling on pine, in the warmth of the morning, I can only hope that the answer is yes.

1 comment:

  1. I think about this sort of thing often, mainly the selfishness vs. survival part. Is it really selfish to attempt to ignore what is happening in the world in favor of our own sanity? It's a question that cannot be answered. And yet it rolls around in my mind just the same.

    We do what we can, each in our own small way, and like the butterfly, I think that somehow it makes a difference.


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