When I returned home last night in the throes of challenging revelations from an evening spent with old friends, it was salving to read this facebook post by my dear friend, David. We had just watched the documentary "Chasing Ice" about the courageous work of photographer James Balog who worked tirelessly and through much sacrifice to make some extraordinary time lapse photos over a number of years all around the globe of the recessions of glaciers to provide strident evidence of climate change. Watching just how much the glaciers had receded in a mere couple of years was totally terrifying. I was constantly on the verge of tears and beset with harrowing misery. James notes at one point that watching the 'dying glaciers' (as he calls it) is both a miracle and a horror. This sentiment rocked me more than others and left me with a powerful inquiry that still charges me now: if we can unconsciously wreak so much destruction on the planet, what could we create consciously?
The film is a document of humanity's incredible impact on nature and illuminates our tremendous power as a species to effect the massive environmental cycles of the planet. As horrifying as it is, it reveals that humanity has reached a point in its evolution of great power. What is lacking is a deep understanding of that power and a virtuous context to aim it in the right direction. This is where miracle and horror converge.
I was left reeling thinking how pointless so many aspects of my urban life are in the face of ecocide and the potential end of our species as we know it if we don't turn things around radically. And yet, seeing our power on display left me with great hope knowing that perhaps for many it wasn't until now that we were aware of just how much power we wield. When we step into that power, take responsibility for it and use it with conscious intent, I do believe miracles could become so boundless that we could turn the direness of our situation around rapidly.
I am left shaken, knowing that all of us need to take this on. This transcends all other concerns. This is a matter of life or death and the choice is for us all to make. As David's sentiments point, this is the breakdown to breakthrough (to borrow a phrase from my friend Michael Eisen) we collectively must face. And what an opportunity it is by coming together in unified activation to take on these great adversities of our time that can initiate us into mass heroism and restore our lives with the impassioned meaningfulness that many traditional and ancient cultures displayed. We are human and of this Earth. We must fight for our planet and for our own survival. For our children and our children's children. May these adversities reveal the great, indomitable power at the essence of us and all life, which I know and love more each day. And may we fall in love with earth by saving it, ourselves and, most importantly, let the earth save us...