Category Archives: Gaia

Mind Wanting More, and more

I have two folks to thank for this luscious poem. First, of course, the author. Her name is Holly Hughes. I’ve linked to her bio, below. The other is the delightfully creative force behind a blog I enjoy, Beyond the Fields We Know. Here 

Mind Wanting More

Only a beige slat of sun  sunset
above the horizon, like a shade pulled not quite down.
Otherwise, clouds.
Sea rippled here and there.
Birds reluctant to fly.

The mind wants a shaft of sun to stir the grey porridge of clouds,
an osprey to stitch sea to sky with its barred wings,
some dramatic music: a symphony, perhaps a
Chinese gong.

But the mind always wants more than it has— one more bright day of sun,
one more clear night in bed with the moon;
one more hour to get the words right;
one more chance for the heart in hiding to emerge from its thicket in dried grasses—

as if this quiet day with its tentative light weren’t enough,
as if joy weren’t strewn all around.
Holly Hughes from America Zen: A Gathering of Poets

Which reminds me of one of my favorite poems from a beloved hero of mine, Wendell Berry. A venerable national treasure if ever there was one.

The Peace of Wild Things 

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water,
and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.
I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light.
For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.



The Grandfather of Stupid Human Beliefs

I have an A list of stupid human beliefs.

Denying the existence of human-engineered climate change.  Making a woman’s personal choice a political issue. Hate crimes. Opposition to any form of weapons control. Believing the Tea Party. Releasing sequestered carbon, using untold energy, spending megabucks and endangering lives so we can pull  non-renewable oil from the earth while ignoring free abundant energy that streams from the sky and blows in the wind. Transporting GMO food grown by megabusiness around the globe instead of supporting small and local. Overfishing. Continue reading


Tears for Fears

aThe future is now.

The future is now.


Or not. That is the question. First the context — Did you know the group’s name referred to primal scream therapy after John Lennon became Arthur Janov’s patient? Cool bit of trivia, eh. The idea is that neurosis is caused by repressed pain resulting from childhood trauma. Janov believes that when you dive into all that pain and release it you can become a non-neurotic.

I don’t know about your childhood pain, but even to become a super non-neurotic I wouldn’t go swim in that soup again. No way. No how. My point, however is other. Barack Obama makes me cry. I think I’m not the only one. I’ve seen many tears wherever he appears. It’s the weirdest thing. I have two really powerful feelings when I see our 44th president. One is to feel the thrill of seeing a friend you know well and dearly love, and the other is to be reduced  ever more rapidly to an emotional cry baby. 

I know we all connect Obama with hope. It’s one of the explanations for Obamamania. Our nation is in desperate need of hope. But we are a nation living in incredible angst. As a people, our fears are perhaps greater than ever.  We each have our own and we share some collective ones: poverty, global warming, loss of – fill in the blank here — home, job, life style….  

And then comes this man with the million dollar smile and all seems well again. The angst melts even quicker than the polar ice caps. We collectively crawl into his lap and he pats us all and we know all will be well in the world.

But wait! That means he’s like the dad and we’re like the kids. Yikes! I want to start this again. I want to say look at Obama as someone who never quit and never settled. He took on his passions and devoted himself heart and soul to them.

Mine, as you know is Gaia. It’s saving the rainforest. Saving the amazing healing plants of these ancient acres forever. It’s saving the ocean and preserving marine mammal life.

What’s yours? Isn’t that what Obama is really asking us all? Isn’t he really smiling sweetly and saying “people, I love you. Now get over yourselves and follow your passion. Every day. Forever.

These tears of mine. Maybe they’re an energetic exchange. Maybe I’m just trading in my fears for tears.


Don’t you wish Gaia were Gay?


A candid Gaia shot

A candid Gaia head shot

Not in the sexual sense. Sexually I think we can assume Gaia is AC/DC. I mean it in the older definition, as in happy, carefree. Wouldn’t that be great? Instead, according to anyone who’s breathing, She’s depressed and moody, and we’re in trouble.

I’m working on a book about the rainforest and healing herbs (yay!) and one part is about the Gaia Theory. It used to was the Gaia Hypothesis but it has enough validity now to be called a theory. James Lovelock who originated the hypothesis that our planet is alive, was not a hippie, New Ager, or a stoner.

Actually while I’m sure of the first two, I have no proof of the third.  But I really don’t think so since he was a NASA researcher at the time, hired to develop experiments for detecting life on Mars.  He pissed off his employer pretty seriously because they NASA was really looking for a reason to land a rover on Mars.  But Lovelock was convinced there was no life on Mars because it was in a state of ‘dead equilibrium.’  What a cool term. We’re forever trying to get our lives in balance, and what does he say. Too much balance and you’re dead. Maybe we should relax a little. Anyway…

Being inquisitive, he delved into the opposite — Earth, home, imbalance.  He was intrigued by the fact that unlike the other planets in our solar system, the atmosphere of our tiny blue marble was in a state ‘far from equilibrium.’  So maybe it’s okay that we get freaked out since that’s how our atmosphere lives.  It was not easily explained. Especially because the atmosphere not only remained constant and supported life, but was in an ‘unlikely’ imbalance. One quick example. Since life started on Earth, the energy provided by the Sun has increased by 25% to 30%. That’s quite a bit, and in spite of it, our surface temperature has remained remarkably constant.

Lovelock posited that a complex process was keeping our planet in this unlikely state of life-supporting imbalance. He called it by the really boring name of ‘Earth Feedback Hypothesis’ until his friend and fellow villager William Golding (Lord of the Flies) suggested Gaia, from the Greek Earth Goddess.

As to the Theory, while it gathered scientific dust for a while, in the past few decades the scientific community sat us and took notice. Since then there have been global meetings on it and lots of tests and research. It has fared well. The ‘weak’ Theory is supported by virtually the entire scientific community and is directly related to human impacts on our biosphere. The conclusion is that we are putting a severe strain on Gaia’s ability to counter our (thoughtless, shortsighted, stupid and prideful) behavior.

Lovelock turns 90 this year and has lived long enough to witness some of his worst fears begin to materialize. In 2006 he published a book called “The Revenge of Gaia: Why the earth is fighting back – and how we can still save humanity.” He has made dire predictions of late. Not for the planet, which would do very well without us thank you very much, but for us and the many plant and animal species we would take down with us.  

Seems like he’s still pissing off some people, which is no big deal. But we are pissing off Gaia, and that is a Very Big Deal indeed.