Oh, you wild pendulum ride.
It’s been a week full of ups and downs. Anniversaries : of losing someone I adored, of falling in love, of grassy festival nights, of getting sober. There’s been political theatre: finding strange glee in the disgrace of ‘enemies’, looking for redemption when you’ve lost your heart, sharing in the joyful exuberance of finally hearing the truth uttered, even if it’s ‘only’ a joke. And talk about ecological extremes: it’s snowing on the roof of Africa while shit is literally spontaneously combusting.
Part of me — the anxiety riddled, stress-hormone addicted part — really goes for these extreme high/low rides. A good chunk of my nature gets deeply, deliriously disturbed by calamities such as are reliably delivered every morning with my daily newsfeed. From the raucous warrior-ing at the Paddle to the Peace to the anchor-dragging wrenchings of the RNC, I have been riding Myley Cyrus style and my moods they are a-swinging.
But. Another part of me — the stirring grandmother-in-waiting, who gently shapes her worries into rows of peas, pie crusts, and crooning lullabies — is unruffled by the chaos, the crises, the kaffuffles. There is a part of me that knows full well that though the world is broken, I am not going to go down to the mosh pit tonight. This old me is a crony to swans and lily pads and other unruffled dignitaries who enjoy just being, still, at the heart of the matter. When she is served with all the smashed, twisted, warped and shattered pieces of this crazy world, my dear and dusty inner grandma will, with steady breath, patiently work to piece it all into a new shape, one that (though imperfect) will at least hold together.
This lumpen basket is my art. Though — I never said my hands won’t be trembling as I weave.
The B’s knees. Or the Beluga that swallowed the Siren?
So — yeah. The federal government issued permits for the Site C dam yesterday. I’ve been working against this 19th century boondoggle of a megaproject for a while and frankly — to think that Canada is going to just keep sweeping First Nations Treaty rights under the rug — I’m at a loss for words. But Treaty 8 member Helen Knott isn’t: here are some of her questions for Justin Trudeau:
“Are you going to affirm the vision of the jaded folk that spoke of new lumps already being herded under the rug? Or are you going to help clean this shit up so that we can have a fighting chance and not suffocate under the debris? I think we are as awfully tired of fighting as you are, but don’t mistake that for complacency. We as Indigenous people will keep standing together and making changes at the grassroots and community level and keep pushing for change at the Federal and systemic levels as we have been for years. But I just thought you should know that I see that the Federal Government issued those permits and your new relationship looks a lot like colonization in progress.”
And some more pieces for you to puzzle over….
Indigenous iconography in the Mexico City subway. A dream team: Smith and Weiwei. Rather lovely attempts at camouflage. Social media for eggheads. English is outspoken here. Rampant expressiveness= cephalopod communications. Web design as graffiti. We need to stop treating non-profits like society treats poor people. A wake up call for changemakers.
In other words Life — defiantly, wantonly, lavishly, doggedly — goes the fuck on. We’re going to Grab a Paddle and cruise Cusheon Lake on Saturday. Then we’re going to behold the Art of Resistance. Kinder Morgan is going to get an earful from us and we’ll still have carrots to spare.
The view from the peaks is gorgeous but it sure is cool in the valley. I hope to see you there someday soon.