Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Aprovecho Internship Manifesto


In unity and solidarity with all those who are working toward an earth worth living on, a culture worth celebrating, and a philosophy worth sharing.
A personal manifesto, a declaration of independence and of interdependence. I declare independence from the life that is being sold to me in the media and by my peers. I declare a life of interdependence with my fellow beings.

Independence from agriculture, from oil, from clear cuts, from suburbs, from toxic chemicals, from war, from malls, from cars, from a culture of death.

In solidarity with Frankie, Phoebe, Alex Hessler, Alex, Mat, Abi, Emily, Mellissa, Nathan, Sam, Angie.

With the rough skinned newt, the spotted owl, salal, Douglas fir, and the white tailed deer.

I declare to you all that I will not stop working until we have created the world we envision. It will not be perfect, nor necessarily achieved in our lifetimes, but perhaps the saplings that are just now beginning to emerge out of the moist forest floor, will witness the great change, when they reach their branches far into the air, 5 or 600 years from now. They will see a humanity that has lost its poison, its oil, one that lives simply, in harmony with its surroundings.

Sometimes I catch myself getting excited about the ideas of Permaculture, that upon further examination seem as old as time and as simple as could be. Are we really fighting an uphill battle to keep poison out of our food and homes, to maintain our communities, traditions and cultures, protecting the life support system we call earth from degradation, poisoning, and extinction?
It will be a long and tired battle. But we must keep fighting.

I will learn to grow food, to prepare it, preserve it. I will learn to plant trees and harvest them. I will learn the names of the life forms that are in my bioregion, and make sure that they have a home here in perpetuity. I will lessen my dependence on cars and fossil fuels. I will put down roots in a place, learn its history and become a part of its history. Know my neighbors and community. I will renounce war and proclaim peace.

Mom and Dad, this is not a hobby. It’s not a phase. It’s not even a career. This is life, as it should be lived. In community, in sweat, in laughter.

I am far from perfect, and embrace my challenges and weaknesses. I am not very good at living with others yet. I am selfish. I have so much to learn about myself, about how to be part of a family, a village, a bioregion. I admit the fear I feel of my own body, of work, of sweat, and will continue to work toward the synchronizing of my body and mind into a soul.
I will live in a village, even if I live in the city. A place of Human scale, a natural habitat for humans.

I will work in defense of the Forests for they are our greatest ally. They create abundance without a drip of human toil, and yield generously to us air, water, and medicine. I will fight the WOPR. I will fight the old paradigm of forestry that seeks to maximize profit at the expense of the whole. Sustained yield is not ecologically sustainable. I will work for a paradigm shift.
The movement of which we represent is not new, it is timeless, we are but its current stewards.
When it is done we will be better people for having fought the fight. And even if we lose, the spaces we create will be refuges for the Spirit, for culture, happiness.

I will continue to struggle with methods. I will ask myself what the appropriate role is of militancy, activism, violence, non-violence, working within the system and outside it. These are questions that are not readily answerable in my mind. But I declare that I will do anything and everything I must to win. Even if that means after much thought picking up a weapon, god willing my weapon will be my words.

I pray for the humility to stay focused on my core values, and to not dogmatize my solutions. Care for people, care for the earth. I must have faith in and love people.

This is my declaration! In defiance of those who would profit from the destruction of earth and the exploitation of her creations!

1 comment:

Amy said...

Amen, love.