Spiraling the Drain


These words are a love poem to our broken world, a letter mailed without a stamp. The thoughts that form these words are madness, are a product of a world spun of madness mixed with hope and of a heart pumping madness mixed with devotion.

It’s hard to write lately. I just don’t know what to say anymore. It feels as though the world is falling apart, being torn to pieces by its own uncontrollable impulses – for violence, for greed, for escape from a painful reality that feels beyond help and healing, and certainly beyond forgiveness. We are tearing the world apart in our not knowing what to do, in our not wanting to look at what we’ve done. The consequences loom large, the shadow of a cloud moving across the face of the sun, a creeping illness that started long before the symptoms showed.

How do we even talk about this? All of the fearful facts, trotted out one after another on social media, are numbing in their frequency after that first shock. The shadow looms, the suspicion that one day we’ll wake up and the seas will have swallowed the land, the last of the bees will deliver its suicide note, we’ll have eaten all the food and poisoned all the water; that the finger on the big red button will have fallen asleep and gravity will have taken over and we’ll be scurrying like ants when the big rock we call home is overturned.

The melting ice, the polluted air, the dead animals, the brutalized Earth – will they absolve us of our guilt? Tell us that these things would have happened even if we hadn’t allowed the greed machines to lull us to sleep these last hundreds of years? Will Jesus walk across the oceans with their halted jet stream and their islands of abandoned plastic, flanked by deaf whales and confused and hungry sharks, to bless us, made in his image? Will we ever be let back into the holy garden when we have shown ourselves unwilling, inept caretakers of this plot of land, this perfect rock floating among burning gas and space garbage?

How far will it go before the screen finally flashes, Game Over, and we are free to start over? Or are we meant to look past the senseless killings of innocent people and places and find the sacred within, despite all evidence to the contrary? Are we to refuse to believe in our worthlessness even as we destroy what we touch, what we love, what we need, in our careless automatic consumption? Will we somehow lose everything as a means to appreciate what good we’ve had all along? Can we claw our way back from the brink of extinction in the last moment?

I keep looking for proof that humanity is worth saving, that our efforts are enough. That it’s better to live awake and striving than to anesthetize against the excruciating appearance of the hopelessness of things.

I long for this ideal of the world – water clean enough to drink and to swim; healthy communities where everyone has a home and a purpose, a full belly and someone to hold hands with; freedom, justice, wildness and a life force that permeates the Earth with goodness that can’t be profited by, only enjoyed.

I am a dreamer. I am a lost person. I wake each day not knowing if this is the day it will end, the pain and the questioning; if this is the day we meet the reaper, the calamity, the chaos. I’ve let go of long term plans, of personal success, of illusions of independence and hope for salvation. I search for meaning and for meaningful action. The time for joy is not now, is for later, but I carry the seed of it inside, where it waits for the right time to sprout, to bloom, to fruit, to feed and seed and spread. And oh, the blessed day will come, and when it does I will be ready.


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