This morning, I watched some youtube videos of the tsunami in Japan. In one, taken from a helicopter, a regiment of waves marched forward in straight white uniformed lines, like the earth’s own special forces coming to its rescue. And like a knife spreading soft butter on a bagel, it smeared its surface clean. Houses, cars, buildings, people, tossed like toys into a stew of garbage. A revelation of garbage. All this stuff, garbage. And this horrible stew, this stink, just the first rinse. She will wash herself clean.
I considered myself in that garbage. As that garbage. One minute, I’m on the computer obsessing about my friggin’ stupid blog when I hear a rumbling in the distance. It’s a noise I don’t recognize, a stampede of hungry giants. Huh? More construction? But before I can swallow the question, the noise grows exponentially and I think, yay! The aliens are here! Then the trees outside my window suddenly crack, fall, get knocked low behind the knees, buckle. A window in the back smashes. There is a terrible wind in the house. A terrible slapping wet wind. Where’s Chulo? Cyrille–
And then, I am just a part of the stew, too. Part of the human garbage stew. Silenced with the tvs and billboards in a roar of waves. The earth mother has vomited all over me in an attempt to expunge the virus I have become to her. She needs to rid herself of me and Heineken bottles, of me and chemicals, of me and books, yes, even those, of me and computers, of me and plastic, of me and my ideas, of me and cars and flytraps and Doritos with a capital D. Of me and toilet paper and hair products and too many sandwiches gone to waste. Of me. Of me and my mother and my condo and my Le Cruset pots and pans and my facebook friends and my actual friends and my saved cds and my little bags of money.
She will replant her crystal sages back into their caves, away from the sun where they can sleep and grow. She will take care of herself again, like a divorced woman coming into her own without his money. She will take her children back. She will take her temperature. She will even take our garbage back and wipe her big beautiful black and blue ass with it. It is all hers. Never ours. Never ours to take. Only to borrow and replenish.
With the decimation of indigenous cultures, we killed ourselves. We forgot the wisdom of praising and giving to the earth, giving back in full measure to what was taken. We forgot to make sure all got fed. We forgot that houses are meant to be rebuilt every so often, more often than is convenient, for the cost of building a house meant to last forever does more damage to the earth than it is worth and costs too damn much in terms of what has to be given back. The indigenous version of Cost Benefit Analysis. We forgot that there are certain gazes held by certain beings from whom we cannot hide. We forgot that the earth is our mother-queen/father-king and made it into our slave.
And she will take us back into her watery breast. And we will cry like children again.