Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mother Dirt

This morning I sat at Parker Mesa Overlook in Topanga - while resting after a steep hike, I inhaled the curved expanse of Santa Monica Bay. Today was hazy, but the sun was working to break through. It was my fifth time up there in the last couple weeks and I am always intrigued and surprised by the amount of "hellos" and "good mornings" exchanged between fellow hikers.

Why are we more motivated to reach out and say hello on a trail than on a sidewalk? Why does the loose dirt beneath our feet uncover a humanness usually trapped by solid pavement?

I spend most of my day ensuring the cleanliness of my dress shoes, my professionalism - when maybe I should be working to kick around some dirt, scuff up...

This past week, I was in Monterey for the annual Sustainable Brands conference. The most sustainable part of my week came when I hiked through Los Lobos State Park around sunset. A pleasantly shaded hike brought me close to harbor seals, sea otters, sea lions, and a variety of seabirds. As I sat on a rock watching the sun tick down, a family of deer came to feed fifteen feet away.

Again, the dirt under my soles and the welcoming wildlife reminded me that, throughout my day, I primarily worry about the wrong things.

Bringing out and sharing our humanness is whats important.
This dirt, this imperfection - these deer, these wild things help us get there.
What if the role of commerce was to help enliven this humanness, this wildness? rather than suppress it...

And tonight, coincidentally, I just returned from hearing some invigorating words. A very passionate person told us that today presents a moment to "reorder ones life," to focus on whats important and to loosen the grip on those things, those fears that keep us from freedom.

I am very thankful for those reading this blog, the dirt that invites me back, and the wild who step softly - for you help me loosen the grip and search for the courage to fight for open space within myself and within this great earth.

I wrote this two years ago just after finishing my graduate degree, unemployed, struggling to understand this friction between ecological value and economic value - I think it fits...

Mother Earth, diminishing
The echo, that quiet
Rumble of hummingbirds falling dust.

That call of water,
Not pouring, but rippling
On and on

To a time that opens my
A movement of distant meaning
And origin, indeed,
It was her.

Once, yes I faintly feel,
She awakened me before Stromboli
Spewed fire and swallowed blue

And when her olive branch, her secret,
Confirmed Noah’s toil.
The ringing in his ears and the repetition of hammer nailing nail
Were surely en-sync.

The sound trails, from me,
And now only the elephants seek refuge
In the hills, as they
Watch me unknowingly swim towards her
Roaring belly.

What happens when I only hear
The dropping of fresh quarters
Fall from their tightly wrapped paper?
And miss her interjection:
“The caterpillar upon the branch
Does know your name!”

Like the waters of Victoria, or
The stars of Orion, she will
Continue to
Fall and shoot
And will not entirely diminish as much as I
Shoo or squash.

I need sounds that tie my shoes and
Firm my handshake,
Not the inch-by-inch stretch
Of branches around my soul
As if a hug to dull the
I don’t want to hear, or feel.

I walk forward, she remains.
Seducing the premature hairs of my
Inner-ear, and cracking
The jaw of my agape mouth.

There is no doubt she inhibits my progress!
I think,
Maybe she will stop
If I swallow her…

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