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Friday, September 21, 2007

"How can you poison some thing so beautiful?"

One night during a San Pedro long dance ceremony with a South American shaman I was sprayed by some perfume he had made during a dieta in the amazon, made with amazonian flowers.
In the perfumero curandero practice they take the perfume into the mouth and spray it on you in a mist from the mouth, the breath carries the and charges the intention to heal with the perfume. This is called Ch'alla, and is done primarily as a ritual action for cleansing.
I opened my self to receive the medicine. So many times healing is a painful process, cleansing is allot of hard work and I find my self resistant to it as I think many of get some times, this time I opened up, and "took my medicine".
I started coughing so hard it was like puking from my lungs! Once my lungs were cleaned out the scent of the perfume of the amazon flower people could find their way into my chest and deliver their message of healing to me.

I heard this very beautiful collective of voices say within me..."Why would you poison something so beautiful?"
I broke down in tears! A harsh question to be asked, I was racked with quilt for poisoning my body and at the same time feeling the message of the flowers telling me and affirming that I was a beautiful being, but I could not personalise the message completely. As the message expanded I saw how I was participating in poisoning the earth with pollution through damaging ways of relating to that which is around me and actually is me. The message expanded even larger and I could see that this was a question to my whole species.
Much of the work I am doing here is a response to this question, and a way to reciprocate and give thanks to the flowers of the amazon that healed my body and spirit that night. That night they showed me ways to not have to poison my self and my environment, showed me alternative ways of relating to the world, not out of guilt, shame or fear, but out of love for all that is.

Since that night I have been looking at the social and environmental impact of importation, out sourcing, and air travel. My partner is an ecology student ( go figure eh?) and allot of what I learn from her is very helpful. During one of her sustainability classes her teacher pointed out the immensely negative impact of air travel. A round trip ticket creates as much pollution as 100,000 SUV's driving for a full year. I began to look into it more feeling more an more drawn to bioregionalism I wanted to look at more and more reasons to embrace it. I found out that air planes dump the rest of their fuel from the air before landing to prevent explosions due to crash or some other potential landing problem, the chemicals in jet fuel are carcinogenic and mutagens, they have been found in nearly ever sample of breast milk in mammals as well as breast tissues, they are a major cause of breast cancer as is the same with PBDEs used as fire retardants in plastics. the chemicals can be found nearly every where in the world in water samples soil samples its unreal!

It is humbling and extremely scary to think wow when I eat a banana I am contributing to the poisoning of a mothers breast, to all mothers breasts, I am poisoning that which nurtures billions of babies, something beautiful.
Air freight is one of the fastest means of transporting food especially perishable fruits from other places in the world. When ever we eat a non local food that is out of season where we live, we can count on the fact that the majority of the time, it was flown to us. It is a horrible irony that the way wee feed our selves is killing us and others and not in the balanced cycle that life normally functions. The chemical found in the breast milk also keeps babies from gaining the immune boasting qualities of the breast milk, eating a banana makes babies sick... I have to hold my head for a moment and just allow the nausea to pass just from the thought....

I am in no means attempting to create motivation for change through fear and guilt. "My god look what your doing for shame!" I don't go for that I feel that with information like this we can make more intelligent decisions on how to live our lives and be motivated instead out of love then fear and guilt.
I think its more important then ever to attempt to look at what you have in your life, what you need and see if you can attempt to replace that with a local alternative do I need to travel by air? Why am I motivated to travel? Where does my food come from? Could I really fulfill my needs from local sources? More times then not we can! Though we do not have to work with just native regional foods and materials and life ways, we can work with what has been imported to our life places and integrate them and adapt them into our lives in a sustainable way.
The Polynesians for example have what they call boat plants that they took to Hawaii. Plants that were not native to Hawaii but were integrated to the ecosystems there. These plants were essential to their survival there, as was the pigs they brought with them.
With a knowledge of permaculture and ecology we can create natural holistic alternatives needing to import very little, working as a community, the development of cooperatives, collectives, and farmers markets in your local area can help immensely. Once systems of relationships are strengthened and old habits of relying on out sourced foods and other needs are changed, you will be surprised as to how much of a difference your making both socialy and ecologically. There is simply no need to import every thing we need. It appears so now but that's an illusion we are all going to have to face together, through working together to establish alternatives.The answer I give to the flowers of the amazon "How can you poison something so beautiful?" is..."I cant, I wont! Please show me ways to live advise me help me generate wellness for all. Aid us in finding alternatives. Be our allies?" If you ask the spirits of nature to help you in this way you discover they are more then happy to help! you can learn allot from a flower!

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