WAKE UP: ‘Today’s trouble is enough for today’ (Matt 6.34)

ogham-idad-old-yew-tree

ancient yew tree, sacred to the Celts, like the one at Llanrhidian

‘In avenues of sleep inside the forest
there’s a silent smoke that creeps among the trees
A distant sound like countless fires fighting,
and the frightened giants wait to lose their leaves’

Gower singer songwriter, Paul Carman, is not impressed with the giant fir trees that edge the vicarage garden in Llanrhidian. They are not supposed to be here and they rip all the nutrients out of the soil so that other plants have nothing to feed on. Well that’s what I think he said.

Like his Celtic ancestors, nature is important to Paul, his life tuned to melodies of birds and poetic metre of wave and season. At least, it would be if he wasn’t a musician and so unable to be awake in daylight hours!

In his recent work, Paul has been exploring some of the more interesting aspects of cosmic and earthly experience. In the song, There (Wake Up Brasilia), the voice of the text comes from within the ‘soul’ of a tree in a devastated rainforest. It is the voice of nature responding to: how a human race, at suicidal pace, went wrong, so wrong, so long…

As the song comes to its resolution, the tree’s prayer for forgiveness of her human executioner, and appeal to humankind’s better self, are cut off: Too late, Brasilia – tear up the plan………… there, when I’m there………………

Burning, tortured sap finally explodes through the bark, apocalypse unavoidable:

YOUR DEVASTATED GARDEN,
YOUR DESECRATED WOMB,
SHOULD NEVER BE FORGOTTEN
– YOU KNOW WHAT YOU MUST DO:
UNLEASH YOUR SACRED ANGER,
ALL RADIANT AND BLUE,
TO CAUTERISE THE CANCER;
THE CANCER KILLING YOU……
THESE FOOLS HAVE GOT NO FUTURE,
THE FINAL CHANCE THEY BLEW…

It is ego that causes the human race to be so wasteful, so unthinking, so devoid of empathy that he/she has so deeply damaged God’s Creation. The rainforests are indeed dying, climate is changing, floods and droughts are threatening increased destruction. Scientists are discovering more and more evidence that human habits are endangering human survival and the survival of pretty much everything else. Perhaps, as Paul’s tree tells us, it is already too late. Let us pray that it is not.

Contemplatives such as Richard Rohr and Thomas Merton have written about the false self and the true self. The false self is the ego-centric identity with which we tend to define ourselves. It is fed by success, sense of power and control, competition, public esteem, fame, renown etc. It is fixed on the future and driven by the past, and it will pursue its aims whatever the cost. The end justifies the means. Conversely, the true self is God-centric and ultimately free. The true self is peace, love, compassion, truth in essence. It is met and fed only in the present moment. To find it is to live. It is by stopping and noticing that we can become our true self.

Civil war is erupting in the Ukraine, there are murders and massacres between Moslems and Christians in Africa, and between Israelis and Palestinians, Syrians and Syrians, power struggles, floods and financial crises all over the world. Rainforests, tigers and whales are all but extinct. So much has at suicidal pace, (gone) wrong, so wrong, so long… Is it too late Brasilia?

Or dare we hope humanity may yet find her true self?

‘Look at the birds of the air…consider the lilies of the field’ while we still can. Peace.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              (There © Paul Carman 2011)

http://www.reverbnation.com/quuba

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~ by Fr Tim Ardouin on February 22, 2014.

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