Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Drums Along the Seine

"When we are told the hoop is broken, this is the meaning. It is not difficult to understand."

Some years ago on this site we described the ordeals we undertook in search of extrascientific cures for the seemingly intractable imbalance of climate. And although that is what we would always ask our spirit guides to give us we never felt answered, although we often took away, without asking for, at least some ineffable balm to help heal our own disabling ennui from this isolating knowledge we share.

At the 2009 COP-15 we roomed at Hildur Jackson's farm, just outside Copenhagen, with an Estonian Kriya yogi, a Buddhist priest, an African aid worker, an Irish diplomat and Maurice Strong, who only recently passed now, before the start of this Paris summit. Maurice was one of our guides — “satgurus” — in this life's strange odyssey. Maurice was Founding Executive Director of the UN Environment Program and not a believer in summits as an end in themselves. Rather than setting up his UNEP shop in Paris or New York, he established a global headquarters on what was then a coffee farm at the outskirts of Nairobi. Maurice was Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Human Environment in Stockholm (1972) and the Rio Sustainable Development Summit (1992) and he launched both the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity. 

Copenhagen, 2009

His partner Hanna invited two Ashaninca shamans to Hildur's farm and one night convened an impromptu ceremony which was, for us, overpowering and awe-inspiring. While we have yet to experience a vision of universal peace and harmony through international law, as we have often asked the Abuelita to provide, we persist in this long winding path that Maurice laid out for us. We continuously marvel at the places it takes us. 

And so it was, when we received a late night call from Helen Samuels, Ambassador of the Muskogee Nation, to join the elders at a prayer ceremony on the Seine, we did not hesitate. Parenthetically let us say that The Farm ecovillage in Tennessee, where we have lived since 1972, inhabits a small 20 square kilometer portion of former Choctaw Muskogee land, on the Swan Creek upstream from the Singing River, so when we are summoned by our esteemed landlord we would only naturally go out of respect. Which is not to say we do not respect mysterious guidance at any time, whether in the call of an unusual bird, a voice in our head bearing the words of departed ancestors, a messenger from our plant allies — there are no coincidences. 

At the Seine we met Jane Goodall's Paddle-to-Paris contingent of original Americans and boarded a river cruise boat with them for refreshment and relaxed conversation.
The author, Helen Samuels, Rex Weyler,
Ellen, Jan Lundberg
We were joined there by many old friends of like guidance and smudged alongside ecovideographer John D. Liu, Greenpeace founder Rex Weyler, and Sail Transport founder Jan Lundberg. As the boat slipped its moorings and moved out into the current, the elders began a ceremony to join our minds and purpose.

On deck were the Four Worlds International Institute, Embassy of the Earth, Fundaçion Cuatro Mundos, Front Siwa Lima, Salish Sea Foundation, Netherlands Centre for Indigenous People, Compassion Games International, UNO Foundation, Choctaw Musgokee Yamasee Nation, Ihanktonwan Dakota Treaty Commission, Brave Heart Society of Ihanktonwan, Consejo de Visions-Guardianes de la Tierra, Tsleil Waututh Nation, World Conscious Pact, and the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. 

“Science confirms the warnings and prophecies of our wise ancestors and elders,” said Chief Phil Lane Jr., Ihanktonwan Dakota and Chickasaw Nations. “Our new vision is, in fact, an ancient vision. We must leave the destructive path that has created these global challenges, and walk the life enhancing, principle-centered path of protecting and restoring the Human Family, our future generations, and our beloved Mother Earth.” 

As we passed beneath the Eiffel Tower, the amazing bridges of Paris, Grand Palais, Petit Palais, Louvre, Les Invalides, Cathedral Notre Dame, Consiergerie, Place de La Concorde, Palais de Chaillot, L'Assemblee National, Musee d'Orsay, and Institut de France, there was a steady drumbeat, the scent of burning sage, and prayers. 

We had the sense, however, that we were not at a healing ceremony, rather a funeral. The drums beat a dirge (click here to listen).

When we spoke at LeBourget the day before, we provided the antidote to the poison, and it had been a gift from these people, the ones on the boat. It had cost them 100 million souls, or many times that. It was the gift of good land. It was the ability to make soil, to take nourishment and then to give back; to close the circle. 

When our ancestors speak of the sacred hoop, this is it. The closing of a circle. When we are told the hoop is broken, this is the meaning. It is not difficult to understand. You can call it shamanic, or magic, or superstition, but this simple story has kept us alive for millions of years and in close families with our relations, through many ice ages, and even a few periods of significant warming. The Haudenosaunee refer to this as the original instructions, given to us by the Creator. When we built our cities, stopped sharing, locked up the food and medicine, and forgot where it all comes from, we lost our instructions.
Chief Phil Lane

In journeys like this, the original instructions reappear. We can choose to take them home with us, or we can forget them again. It is always a free willed choice.

1 comment:

Danny C said...

I speak hopefully for others as well as myself, there are many of us who have tuned into this wonderful, terrible, challenging epoch we are in and, yes, we are in deep.We know, as the drum beats, its the last beat of courage as well as fear....and I choose courage as did many before who are gone now but link arms with us as we face this time of peril. Dylan Thomas said,"Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light." Rage on friends!




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