Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A eulogy for the ash

My posting dreams isn't unheard of.  One of my recent blog posts was about a nightmare.  You can compare and contrast these dreams, if you like.  The dream I had last night wasn't a nightmare.  On the contrary, in last night's dream, I visited a permaculturist.  He was, as is typical of organic farmers in Canada, sort of a patriarch and obdurate.  You have to be unafraid to take a go at it on your own, just to be a farmer at all in Canada, and doubly so to be able to strike out against the status quo and do organic farming.  Which is to say nothing of permaculture.  In any case, in last night's dream, this permaculturist man had planted a nursery of rainforest tree species.  I saw the saplings growing on a slope, and I knew that this was the right place.  The trees were carefully spaced for the movement of air to promote healthy growth, and to allow for a good amount of light.  Somewhat more mature young trees were carefully spaced throughout the nursery to shelter and protect the saplings.  Older, mature trees grew up over them, and even taller, enormous ancient giants with trunks as wide as a city block grew up over them and protected the more ordinary, mature, adult trees.  Through the blue haze of humid air, over the very tallest of the ancient giants, I could see at least one truly great tree that sheltered even the clouds and the sky under its branches.  Its size was of cosmic proportions.

... that wasn't the only dream I had last night.  I had a troubled sleep, and so I woke and slept and dreamed a lot...

I awoke finally in the morning to the roar of a municipal arborist's chainsaw.  By the time I left the apartment, the sick ash had been cut down.  It had been the first tree, every year since I moved to Ste-Anne de Bellevue, to lose its leaves in the fall.  It was shaped more like an elm.  It was particularly noticeable because it stood across Rue Perrault from the path by the playground and the public tennis courts.

I am so sick of men cutting down trees as if they hadn't sheltered and protected them their whole life.  They treat the other organisms as if they were so much less then they are.  Human beings, and particularly men in their prime, need to wake up to the fact that the other organisms are their equals, their evolutionary contemporaries, and their lives shouldn't be disposed of for mere convenience.

I just can't handle the fact that people keep cutting  down the trees who I love.  I can't handle that I'm expected to keep my chin up throughout the day, as if nothing happened.  Everybody expects me not to mourn, and definitely not to cry.

I think it's satanic not to mourn these deaths.

When I went out this morning, first a bluejay, then a whole lot of birds all exclaimed about the tree being cut down.  Even a nuthatch, who doesn't always come around, came around and beeped from the trees nearby.  There was a real feeling of curiosity and mourning and loss.

Anyway, finally, because I had that dream, I hold in my heart a sweet hope that someday a truly great tree will grow, who will once and for all protect life on Earth.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Please be sympathetic to Elena Klimova

(I'm posting another one of my Amnesty International letters.  Some the students here at McGill University's Macdonald campus have fundraised for Elena Klimova's "Children 404" project.  So, I was surprised to see Amnesty's urgent action callout. and the letter below is just based on the points in the callout.  There is much to be said about why I am posting this, however, it would be better for these things to be discussed face-to-face. :)



Dear Prosecutor,

I must add my voice to those with deep concern that Elena Klimova was charged with “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations”.

The Russian authorities ought to drop their charges against Elena Klimova and abstain from prosecuting any person under Russia’s homophobic legislation.

I hope that the appropriate authorities - and maybe you are one of those who will - repeal the “propaganda” law which is being used to clamp down on freedoms of expression, assembly and association of the LGBTI community and those who support them/us, as it creates an atmosphere in which they/we increasingly face discrimination, harassment and violence from vigilante groups.

Yours Sincerely,