Thursday, January 22, 2009

Searching For the Source of this Particular Grief

Searching for the Source of This Particular Grief

I needed to be out in the ocean, in the canoe.
Thought off-season practice was at 5:30. It was at 5:15 and
when we drove up the canoes were filled and leaving. So headed
to the gym to work off grief by pushing weights.

Why grief? It's there and palpable and I don't know who,
how and why though mentally I can find many sources.
Early this morning I got up with an apocalyptic dream.
It was the kind of dream that is a possible future.
They have a certain kind of tone, of dream reality.
The earth was shaking. Seconds blossomed to minutes.
I watched across a bay and thought San Francisco; it wasn't.
The shape of the city was different. I watched a phallic
black glass and steel building of offices, apartments
and people plummet. Everything was crashing around all of us.
And then the ocean heaved, sick with pollution
and a tsunami consumed the disaster.

That's one source of the grief.

We all know there's a shift. We know we've gone too far
without proper gratitude and care. And we're all a part of it.
Some of us were put here specifically to take care
of this place. We turned from the responsibility.
It's difficult when the prevailing rulership believes
the earth and all non-human inhabitants are dead.
They pretend we no longer exist. And we follow the masses
into slavery to this system. It's difficult not to be
swallowed by the tsunami of false culture, bearing down on us.

I know, brother. I know sister,
I think when passing those who have given it up for drink,
drugs, food, sex or television.
I understand the weight of grief, of shame.

I scan the internal horizon for other sources.
Childhood. My brother who is on disability but can't
get on medicaid. The words of a paddling coach who said
she and her girls have recently paddled past human excrement
dumped from boats into the ocean.

Even grief gets hungry and demands more grief.

I turn the other direction as the sun heads into the sea.
I acknowledge grief.
And we both keep moving.

Joy Harjo January 2007

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