Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Paddle, paddle your boat gently, merrlly down the stream, life is but a dream (don't make it a nightmare...

 dear Tomas, this answered the question I asked you about paddling when the wind and tide against you, thanks. "had to paddle really hard to not be blown backwards. great exercise and love feeling that power."  POWERFULLY, MERRILY PADDLE YOUR BOAT GENTLY DOWN THE STREAM, LIFE IS BUT A DREAM (otherwise, it could be a nightmare, saying you were trying to get home against it, and it is getting dark, knowing your wife is worried?) All depends on our attitude right.

hola relatives - just went out kayaking into a really big wind with tide going against me.  had to paddle really hard to not be blown backwards. great exercise and love feeling that power.  on the way back I didn’t need to paddle, the wind and tide had me hauling. i actually used my paddle like a sail holding it up to catch more power dipping it to one side or another to control direction and i was back to my home dock just like that.  very cool. loved it.  


saturday evening i slept out on top of the roof on a  house which itself is on top of a mountain east of Reno in huge winds that blew away anything that wasn’t weighted down by something pretty heavy. heavy winds are good teachers of humility because if you want to accomplish something while the wind is blowing you have to pay attention to a power that is bigger than you, get its information which then you can use to create relationship with it wherein you tap its power to help you successfully do what you want to do and have a good time doing it. 


big winds come in many different forms.  big winds challenge us. they demand that we pay attention.  the big environmental,  climate, social, health and cultural challenges we face today are winds with big forces empowering them.  i think there is much we can learn from indigenous people who have been paying attention and have learned how to cultivate skillful relationship with big winds.


Here are some wisdom shares from that come from that kind of listening reported by Natasha Deganello Giraudie, a documentarian,  in Yes Magazine. 


All Blessings

love, tomás

1. WISDOM.  Indigenous wisdom is human wisdom, which has been miraculously preserved by Native people. 

For thousands of years, as people indigenous to the Earth, we all prioritized a relationship with nature, grounded in kinship, centered around reciprocity, and infused with reverence. However, when faced with the forces that, to this day, threaten to destroy this way of life, Indigenous wisdom keepers have been the ones who continue to preserve this treasure of humanity against unthinkable odds. The people most capable of guiding us through the transition from exploitation to regeneration are the experts who have preserved the lineage of living respectfully with the Earth. By deeply appreciating and enthusiastically supporting the leadership of Indigenous wisdom keepers, we can all get back to remembering a way of life that any child knows is right, a way of life that can take us all into a future beyond our wildest dreams.

2. LAND. Environmental resilience requires Indigenous land to be returned in a significant way. 

The treasured Traditional Ecological Knowledge of how to live in good relationship with the Earth is not learned through books. It’s transmitted through first-hand, place-based experiential learning. Just like you wouldn’t be able to swim in the ocean after reading books on how to swim, we cannot give ourselves our best chance for environmental resilience without preserving Indigenous science. This is why U.N. climate scientists have affirmed that giving back the land is one of the most important things we can be doing right now to overcome the climate crisis. Even though Indigenous people now comprise less than 5% of the world’s population, they are protecting 80% of global biodiversity. The more land Native knowledge holders steward, the better off everyone will be.

3.  LANGUAGE.  Preserving native languages will give us the direction we need for renewal and restoration.

 Preserving Indigenous languages is not about preserving thousands of ways of saying “banana.”  Preserving the 7,000 Indigenous languages which are now endangered is about rescuing our place-based instructions and understanding for how to survive our current crisis and how to thrive. UNESCO recently declared the entire next decade to be dedicated to Indigenous languages, in acknowledgment of the depth of wisdom held in the untranslatable words of these languages. In these ancient words, we have the opportunity to offer our children the vocabulary of our future. 

4. SPIRITUALITY.  Remembering life-centered ways calls for spiritual commitment. 

Our current environmental crisis is the result of misguided policy, economics, education, and commerce, but at its core, it is a spiritual crisis. As such, it requires us to recognize ourselves in nature and nature in ourselves. It means being in relationship with nature, which requires the acknowledgment of the natural world consisting of beings rather than things to be consumed. It means that in all our decisions, we consider the well-being of all humans and the more-than-human world for generations to come. It means rematriation, which Indigenous people around the world are urgently calling for: rendering the Earth sacred again. Spiritual awareness is the often unsung and dismissed form of intelligence, which is meant to complement our rational minds. Spiritual commitment requires humility to learn not only about our animal and plant and mineral neighbors on this Earth, but to learn from them as our elder teachers.

5. FRIENDSHIP.  Developing authentic, supportive relationships can’t be rushed.  

Any friendship takes time to develop, especially when the pain from countless cumulative injustices is real and raw. Well-meaning people might try to discourage you, but if you are clear on your intentions, you can go into it prepared to be extra patient, quiet, humble, curious, and open. Expect to make mistakes and be ready to do the work to recover. One day as I unsuccessfully tried to keep a production day “on schedule,” I finally realized that my best bet was simply to turn the cameras off and go see whether anyone needed help in the camp kitchen. Those hours of carrot-peeling and potato-chopping with the community helped me get into a much more fruitful rhythm of friendship-building and did more for “allyship” than any filmmaking skill I could have offered that day. 

6. ALIGNMENT. The deeper our relationship with nature, the more fulfilled we are with less.

Nature is our home. More than that, nature is part of us. So by enclosing ourselves indoors (90% of the time, on average, in the U.S.) we experience the painful effects of biological homelessness. We then try to fill that numbing void by overworking, overconsuming, and overmedicating. This in turn fuels the vicious cycle that results in society’s biggest problems, from the environmental crisis, to poverty, to our health emergency, to violence, and beyond. As we restore a nature-centered life, we reverse the negative feedback loop. We experience more regular wonder and awe. We naturally become happier, more deeply satisfied with less, and our actions become more aligned to our well-being and to the Earth’s.

7. HUMANIZATION.  Uplifting storytelling is at the core of overcoming invisibility.

In the U.S., Native people are now so underrepresented in education, media, business, and policy that the extreme stereotype they are facing is known as invisibility. Storytelling is at the core of unraveling this dehumanization.  But if the stories focus primarily on Indigenous victimhood, they do little to dissipate the stereotypes. We have an opportunity and urgency to learn and share more stories of Indigenous contributions, especially within a modern-day contex

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