A thousand butterflies
kiss the sky with their wings
as an offering
to the magic you are
in this moment
A thousand butterflies
What would it be like
with hearts wide open
as if before we knew
what it is to be hurt
disappointed and disillusioned
What would it be like
to hug and hold
as if before we knew
what it is to be hit
and hurt and shamed
What would it be like
with no limits
or borders or boundaries
as if we and the clouds are one
dancing in the sky
sailing into infinity
julia butterfly hill October 2009
Hello, Whoever You Are!
Funny—I feel like my blog might as well be a food blog for the amount of time I spend talking about eating and drinking. I just can’t help myself. I love good food and drinks. I especially love the experience of sharing a delicious meal with others—no matter if it is from a tin in the car to a fine dining restaurant. Good friends, good food, great memories.
I just had the exquisite pleasure of eating at Pure Food and Wine again in New York City. The first time I went was about three years ago and I was by myself. But this time I went with friends which made the experience all the more fabulous. Pure Food and Wine is all raw vegan goodness. The appetizers we shared were out of this world! My favorite was a nut cheese plate with rosemary crackers and blueberry spread. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Truly, the best cheese I have ever had in my life—better than any cow, goat, or sheep cheese. My main course was a wild mushroom roulade with dehydrated herbed bread. I think out of the main courses, my friend Paul’s was the best. He had an enchilada that defies description. But the over-the-top, beyond belief, blow your mind magic was the mint sundae that all three of us shared. CAN NOT BELIEVE it was raw vegan! Eat your heart out Name Brand ice cream. You can’t even come close to this delightfully delicious decadence!
After a great meal and wonderful conversation, we hopped in a cab and went to the Yippie Museum where Mike Roselle was doing an event touring with his newly-released book, Tree Spiker, and his co-author, Josh Mahan. The event was a fundraiser for the work happening to end mountain top removal mining. Mike Roselle is a legend. He has been a tireless activist for close to 40 years. He co-founded Rainforest Action Network, Earth First!, and Ruckus Society, three of the most important activist groups of our time. It was an honor and a joy to happen to be in town to be able to show up and support him and the event.
Please buy his book TREE SPIKER—From Earth First! To Lowbagging: My Struggles in Radical Environmental Action. Written by Mike Roselle with Josh Mahan. Published by St. Martin’s Press. It is a great read!
As for mountain top removal mining—unfortunately we are seeing all too clearly that President Obama says he is for green jobs even though he keeps appointing dirty industry execs to high levels of leadership. Obama got LOTS of money from the coal industry. Hence, his way of trying to appease all sides was to talk about “clean coal.” As if there is such a thing. Go look at Kentucky; West Virginia; or Big Mountain, Arizona and it is all too clear that there is no such thing as clean coal. To me, Obama is looking more and more abysmal. I wish I could say I am surprised, but I am not. We know that by the time someone makes it to the White House, they have slept their way to the top—getting in bed with one major corporation and dirty and exploitative industry after another.
Damn, I wish we lived in a country where people took to the streets and didn’t go home until a massive shift occurred. It seems that part of our history is now a thing of the past. We like our comfort way too much. We like rationalizing our complicacy and pointing fingers in order to not be accountable for our own role in the mess. We like pontificating and attending conferences in order to feel enlightened and superior.
I wrote a poem while I was in Luna that has a line, “Wake UP! It is time for Revolution!” But we freak out from the term, “Revolution,” because it scares us. We think it only means blood and war. But what it really is about is us being willing to risk our comfort, break free of our addictions to comfort and consumerism in order to be free. We have traded freedom and justice for consumer, comfort addiction. Keep an addict addicted and you will control them. From a Joules Graves song, “What are you willing to do, for what you believe? Are you willing to get up and take a stand, or roll over and go back to sleep. On the rickety raft rides the refugee to brave the winds and the wild, wild sea. And risks it all to be free. And risks it all to be free.” We say we want freedom. But we are not willing to let go of our addictions in order to earn it. We suck on the pacifiers of cars, home mortgages, clothes, tv, shopping, and fear.
It is funny to look at the beginning of this blog with me talking about eating at a high-end restaurant and ending with rabble-rousing, get off our butts and DO SOMETHING! I have been unsettled lately. The urge for Freedom is stirring in my bones. I am tired of living in a culture that is so damn complacent—even so many of us who think we are not. I am usually the one who sticks it out. Who stays and fights. I have been knocked down time and again only to drag myself back up and stand again. My belief in humanity is waning. I think I would rather get eaten by a shark in the Ocean than this numbing stupor of a death called, “America.”
I find myself less and less interested in the USA. We have become profoundly uninteresting, boring, and obnoxious. And I do include myself—which is why I say, “we.” There is something stirring in me. Maybe, I will go make trouble. Maybe, I will just disappear. In many ways, the latter feels more effective these days.
These are the ramblings I type into my expensive, consumerist bought computer while travelling on a train. The irony is not lost on me.
That is all for now. Over and out from a torn between worlds view.
OK. So no matter how good my intentions are, the reality check is that I am just not going to get around to covering my Italy trip. I am in New Jersey after having been in New York for a week and then headed back to New York after my Jersey trip. I had such a wonderful, amazing, awful, gut-wrenching, annoying, disgusting, fabulous, incredible, beautiful, magical trip in Italy, and the reality is that I don’t have it in me to power out all the details of that and keep up with where I am now. So… I am choosing to be here now. Which means, I am choosing not to go into the Italy trip even though there is so much to tell.
So, to be here now. I am visiting a dear friend in New Jersey. It is beautiful here. So many trees. And the leaves are just beginning to change color. I did a benefit last night in New York City for my friend’s Kavitha and Jeff and their organization Common Fire. The event was in a penthouse in an eco-tower in NYC. It had a beautiful view of the river and the crazy city and the sun-set and the moon-rise. It was a cage with a grand view. The wild animal that I am can’t help but feel completely alien in moments like that. A cage, even one made of gold, is still a cage. And yet, so many people do not experience places like New York City as a cage. Somehow, the animals that we are are so adaptable, that after being in cages for a long time, we recognize them as home and don’t feel comfortable outside of them. But the wild animal that I am cries out for space, silence, sunshine, trees, ocean, sky, moon. The wild animal that I am feels protective walls building up around me as a way to handle the onslaught of sensory overload. I need space to breathe. I need space to be. I need space.
I took a fun test with my friends, Sharon and Julie the other day. I had to answer questions by placing an “x” in the appropriate box in lines with letters associated. There was one and only one column, where I had an “x” in every single box in that column. The column was the letter “I.” When the test was done, I asked Sharon, “What does ‘I’ stand for?” She laughed and smiled her knowing smile and said, “It stands for ‘Introvert’.” But of course. The irony of my life is that somehow I feel compelled to share my life, my experiences, my learnings with people, even though, what I most long for is silence, alone time, to disappear.
So I sit here in a kitchen in New Jersey, writing bits of pieces of windows of my reality knowing that when left to my own devices, like a wild animal, I just disappear.
Here is to the silence, the breathing, the being, the heartbeat creating a cadence that each of us must follow.