Sunday, November 15, 2015

It is said that the heart has to break to hold more

Good morning everyone,

I hope this note finds you well.

Some days are more full than others.

Wednesday through Friday I and a friend spent many, many hours travelling by car between London and Ottawa for a conference: Food Security in a Changing Climate. It was organized by the Canadian Climate Forum* - itself begun by scientists from a disbanded Canadian federal government department, along with other climate scientists and people in other professions and avocations.  The conference was more than worth the travel time, and rain on the scary 401 highway at night!

To be in a room with activists, politicians, scientists from many realms - all people who care and think and act - is amazing.  Mind and heart filling, physically felt ... amazing.  Tho' there were ideas I'd have liked to have heard brought forward at the sessions, given the format and the 1 1/2 days of meetings, nothing else could have been squeezed in.  And we've got time to go forward and bring in more people and ideas and actions ... especially actions.  Dr. Richard Hebda** helped sum up our time and was emphatic that we have to keep in touch.  I'll be mailing him a real card soon, thanking him for two kinds of bean seeds.  His research and that of other presenters was as sophisticated and done-by-protocol as anyone's ... that he is at heart a gardener touches me and confirms that that sort of connection keeps us all stronger.  I got to have a chat with Elizabeth May, head of the Green Party of Canada, and an ongoing inspiration for all the environment-related work I do!

In the way of our contrary universe, I returned home to a plumbing problem (at least we now know where the smell was coming from and can begin to fix much).

In the way of the universe that smacks us upside the head to put things in perspective, I returned home to hear about the shootings in Paris. They had been happening just at the time our conference had been wrapping up. 

At the food security and climate change forum we'd heard about a six year drought in Syria that had begun well before the current military horrors ... and that, very likely, the disruptions caused by 80% reductions in crops (climate change related!) are as strongly related to what's going on there as any political infighting.

What grief were the organizers going through as they had to clear up after the conference, a time when they should have been excited and planning forward?  The French ambassador to Canada had been guest speaker at a Thursday evening dinner, speaking about the upcoming climate change conference of parties.  What shift in heart and mind has he felt in the last two days?  

The above is such a short note to cover 5 days of life!

How is it that an "empty" feeling can be heavy and physical at the same time? 

Twenty years ago I trained as a yoga teacher at the Kripalu Center, and over the years did much reading.  Many times I've come across the idea that a heart can be so full of emotion that it breaks, so that it can heal and be able to hold more and help a person give more.  I explain that badly, no doubt.  And no doubt the psychologists have a different take on things.  I do know that the emotion of deep grief "bursts" and moves to a fatigue and other feelings and can, with thought and time and compassion from onself, lead to greater strength.  I've certainly had my most recent break in these last few days ... and I'm glad to know that I've experienced that regrouping before and will again.

Namaste dear people,

Why's Woman

* Canadian Climate Forum:
** Dr. Richard Hebda's short biography:

Monday, November 9, 2015

Something to say again as Canada changes government


I hope this note finds you well.  There's been a lot happening in the last while.

People who know me would not believe that I can be lost for words.  I'm usually writing a letter to the editor or to city council, researching something, or posting on a sister site Community Gardens London.  For a long while now, posts here have been infrequent.  I'm hoping that will change.

On the CBC news and vaulting through Facebook is a post by journalist Jody Paterson, beginning with some thoughts from her scientist son and continuing with her own relief at being rid of Canada's just past prime minister.  (Paterson's blog: here )

Paterson's son wrote about the un-gagging of Canadian government scientists: "It is official. At an all staff meeting today with some of the best scientists in the world, certainly the ones who know our coast better than anyone (and I am lucky enough to work for some of them), we were told that it's ok to talk to the media or anyone about what we do without permission. That's how surreal it was. That's how things changed over night."

Journalist Paterson followed with: "What I have come to see through the popularity of that post is just how oppressed, bitter and sorrowful Canadians had become under the Harper government, and how hungry they were for optimism and hope again. I wonder if we even knew how dejected we felt until the day of the election, when even apolitical types like me felt our hearts lift at the prospect that maybe, just maybe, the Dark Lord had been vanquished and hope was possible again."

On the morning of October 20 - the "morning after" Canada's federal election.  I scanned news sites to double-check results.  And somewhere along the way my shoulders relaxed.  Something inside got quiet in a way it had not for a while, in a way that's different from meditation. 

Over the last couple of weeks I've identified the feeling as feeling hopeful about an array of things, including: that Canada just may be able to contribute something useful to the upcoming climate talks in France; that perhaps Canada may be able to get itself out of a trade agreement that gives 12 more countries the right to sue us when they cannot take over our economy.

I've been fighting with myself to not smile when I hear our new prime minister Trudeau make a speech.  That fight comes from the years long habit of worry and fear for our country.  As "a Taurus" astrologically (even tho' I profess to not put any credence in the characteristics given) I am slow to change.  My head also realizes that fear is pervasive and moving from fear is not an overnight trip.

I've also spoken with acquaintances who are members of the NDP and Green Party who question what is going to happen next ... and then - to a one - make a positive comment about Mr. Trudeau along with their "we'll see" comment.  From these people, this is high praise.

So, I'm taking a breath, smiling a bit as I write, and expecting that I'll be writing more. 

Very best regards,

Why's Woman