General News · 30th October 2018
EACH OF US IS A HEALER
As a revered mentor of mine used to say: “We are all healers, every one of us.” And there are no exceptions. So as we gather ourselves back together after a busy smokey summer and a challenging election, it is perhaps timely for each of us to ask ourselves how our healing work with our island, our planet, and with each other, is going? As John Lennon said: “Love is all you need”. As Tom Waits said: “I got tears in my ears” and as Leonard Cohen said: “there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” So here we are: cracked, tearful and with love as our only practical option.
It seems to me that our world is drowning in an ocean of division, fear, and doubt. Unity, confidence in our shared humanity, and recognition that so much more connects us than divides us, these are the breathes and inhalations that will keep us above the flood. Sinking or swimming together. When my family and I gave up coming to Cortes just in the summers and finally moved here, a friend said to me: “John, as you know Cortes is a very magical place, but it can also be a very cruel place.” This is an image of Light and Dark working it out in the community and in each of us individually. Some of that is just the eternal nature of things, and some of that is choice. For me it is time to reaffirm my vote for the magic in each of us.
I have many teachers on Cortes. I asked Lisa Gibbons, who is one of them, whether there was any secret to living here. She answered: “Forgive easily and often.” I learn from Guy Bentley who tries to teach me about the forest. I learn from Brian Pfeifle about recycling. Adam and Tamara teach me about growing food. Bill and Tammy teach me about practicality and the power of relentless positivity. The Glickmans teach me about generosity. My wife, Fawn, teaches me about compassion . David rousseau teaches me about public service. And Jack and Erika teach me about tasteful self-reliance. A full list would take many pages. In fact, if I know you and you are reading this, you too are perhaps a teacher of mine.
In each and every one of us I see Light. I can’t help it. And its how I get by. Fortunately, it’s really there. It is hard to admit, and unfortunately true, that when love does not come easily, hatred does. The dirty secret about Hate is that we can enjoy it, and so indulge in it. Its easier than Love and can even stimulate us more. With the socio-political situation in the USA, I have to really watch myself so as not to sink there. Let’s not sink there here. When grievance is cultivated it should come as no surprise that the harvest is grievance. I would predict that in the not so distant future we will all be needing to trust and rely on each other more. More heat, more smoke, more deluge, and more stress on our natural systems. To consider what nourishing crops to cultivate ahead of time seems wise to me. There is no past to go back to. Self reliance is always good, but how about mutual appreciation and kindness to go with it?
One definition of enlightenment is wanting what you already have. How about we choose each other now and into the future? We could do so much worse. For my part, I choose you all.
PS As a community let’s here from each other.
Thank you John
Comment by Tammy Allwork on 6th November 2018
Thank you for this John. I know I have found myself with a heavy heart over what has been happening on our beautiful island. Sometimes it just takes a good read to put things in perspective. To look at all the good around us instead of the negative. There is so much more love and light to heal all of us if we choose to see it.
Thank you for your kind hearted post
Comment by Heather B on 2nd November 2018
I live in the States part of the time and was surprised that recent Cortes election had some flavors like the kind of thing I see down here. Scary! I was warned that Cortes is magical and can be cruel, too...but then, it appears that can be a problem everywhere..... Forgiveness....yes. Compassion and Empathy.....yes.
Thanks for posting this thoughtful letter.
Great Gratitude For Your Truth Speak
Comment by Victor Dancing Wolf on 31st October 2018
SOME POEMS POUR INTO THE HEART
OTHERS SPLASH AWAKE OUR MINDS
STILL OTHERS HAVE AN IMPOTENT PART WARMING THE FRONT OF OUR BEHINDS
CATCHING THAT KINDLING TO WELCOME FLAME
THE LINEAGE OF INK ADDING TO THE HUE
TELL ME NEIGHBOUR, IF LOVE DOES NOT BLAME
THEN WHAT PART OF ME IS LIKE YOU
THE POEM THAT GOES UP IN SMOKE
WAS IT THAT BAD OR WAS I JUST SCARED
TO REVEAL TO FAMILIAR FOLK
MY HEART SO BRUISED AND BARED
IS JUDGEMENT A POVERTY OF SPIRIT
THAT KEEPS SO MANY OF US DIVIDED
ARE PEOPLE SO AFRAID THEY CAN’T HEAR IT
AND IF THEY DID WHAT WOULD BE DECIDED
CLEANING OUT THE STOVE THE NEXT NIGHT
I FOUND AN UNBURNT PIECE OF PAGE
LOOKING CLOSELY IN THE LIVING ROOM LIGHT
IT READS “WHEN ARE WE COMING OF AGE”
TAKING THE ASHES TO THE FADING GARDEN
I AM GIFTED BY A RASPBERRY IN NOVEMBER
THEN THE THOUGHT: WHEN I BEG ONE’S PARDON
TO ALWAYS IN LOVE REMEMBER
NOV 1, 2018
Thanks for Peacefulness
Comment by Lovena on 31st October 2018
Thanks John for your peaceful Tideline posting. It was like a breath of fresh air. We were travelling in Sri Lanka and India for the two weeks leading up to the election and every time I looked at Tideline or the Cortes FB page I found myself cringing, almost holding my breath. I wanted to stay informed as to what was happening in my beloved home, but found it hard to read the divisive, angry, accusational postings. Especially given the perspective that travelling offers.
Sri Lanka is an island nation that tore itself apart in a brutal civil war for 25 years. At the most basic level, the conflict arose from the ethnic tension between Sinhalese and Tamil citizens, with bombings and killings happening on a regular basis. Then, in Dec 2004, it was hit with a Tsunami, killing 40,000 people in Sri Lanka alone. That was a full 4% of it's population. Everyone was touched - it's an island after all.
What do we really have to complain about? I believe seeing the state of the world, we can choose something different. We can choose peace every day. We can choose to communicate in life affirming, positive ways even when we disagree. We can express our frustrations and disappointments, but not degrade each other. We can make a difference in the war torn world by choosing something different here. We can choose peace!
Comment by Maureen Williams on 31st October 2018
Thank you for this lovely note, John.
Today I count you as one of my teachers.