The undivided self

I have a memory of how it started.

I was visiting my Dad in New York and my big sister had taken me and a friend to the fairground. I was thirteen years old. It was summer. I was dressed in shorts and t-shirt. When our turn came for the Ferris wheel my friend and I went to take our seats. As the fairground worker placed the safety bar across our laps he raised his eyebrows and nodded towards my lower half. ‘Nice legs’ he said, directed not at me but at the man operating the controls. I remember feeling both strangely flattered with the attention (were these nice legs like the ones I had seen in magazines?) and confused (why was a strange man who barely looked me in the eye commenting on my body?) and in that moment I did for the first time what I would learn to do habitually for the next three decades: I looked down at my legs and experienced them not as belonging to me, but as separate entities open to evaluation by others, who seemed to know something about their worth that I didn’t. Continue reading

Another day, another climate talk

“For sometime now I’ve been terribly worried. I wish I didn’t have to acknowledge it, but everything I have feared is happening.”

Dr Sarah Perkins, Climate Scientist

Another day, another climate talk. And as the climate march leading up to it, the summit itself and the various analyses fade into the media background within a week, I sense that I am another day closer to the conversation that, for the last nine years, I have been hoping and praying I would not have to have. Continue reading

Bird song

“Until we can expand our scope beyond self-centred and purely human concerns to hold in mind the trillion worlds alive on this one earth at any moment, and to glimpse ourselves exactly in that vibrant, seamless web of interconnectedness, we are living in a kind of madness – which is to say, not living in reality.”
Susan Murphy – The Koan of the Earth

There is someone slowly dying in my living room. A small and fragile someone, only just born, too weak now to feed, just sleeping. Sleeping and dying. I have been told to put him out of his misery, but I am not sure what that means or I just can’t do it. Continue reading