School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: March 2013 Newsletter
Effing Plastics

By Susannah
At the Long Dance last year, the year of bats, butterflies and mudů there was a moment when we had to call in help with serious rising water under the ground which was threatening to turning some areas of the floor into a big muddy puddle.

Roland went shopping and came back with heavy duty plastic sheeting, which saved the day and enabled people to have a dry refuge for their sleeping bags, spare clothes and bottoms. There was a collective sigh of relief as the rains went on coming down, and more trenches were dug. On the way to the loos, Ali Young reminded me of a line in my first CD Party for God, in which I sing “fuckin plastics!” We smiled…. “Oh the impudence and arrogance of (my) youth!”

Last year, we started the “Dancing with the Heart of the World” workshop in London on a night with a power cut. We sang and danced to live drums in candle light, which was very beautiful and magical. The next day the power had come back on, and we could use the projector and the amplifier and the mikes. One of the participants reflected that this was an opportunity to remember and give thanks for the gift of electricity, to wake up from the sleep of taking it for granted because we are so used to it being there. Absolutely. What a gift!

I’ve been reflecting on this, and how easy it is to dam something. I know what I meant, I’ve spent enough time picking up plastic litter from roadsides, from rivers, from sea shores, in the woods, and I’ve seen the horrifying pictures about the plastic “islands” polluting our seas. But, of course, (and here’s my update) it’s not the plastics (or the oil they are made from) that are the problem. It’s our throw away, taking for granted use of them. As Julia Butterfly Hill says in the “Awakening the Dreamer” (“Be the Change”) Symposium, “Disposables are a giant mirror of how we have lost our connection to the sacred”.  As well as this,  I see another mirror here of how I had lost my connection to the sacred in everything. Including oil. In human terms, oil is a precious, precious resource from which we can make things which its hard to make from anything else (yet!).  We are currently gulping it down greedily, as a source of fuel, destroying bio-diverse habitats carelessly as we go, and taking this resource for our generation with no thought for the resources we leave for future generations, our own children and their children… What kind of humanity is that!

For me it’s a re-framing of the whole dialogue to think of oil not as something ugly and horrible, but as a precious gift from the earth and from all those trees and all that sunlight all of those many years ago, which we could husband and use very slowly and carefully, with honour and re-cycling. Black gold. Black sunlight.

Through Transition Town Totnes, we found out that, though the rubbish recycling pick up from the house only takes plastic bottles and cans, most other plastics can be recycled if we sort them and take them to the re-cycling station ourselves. Now, when instead of throwing ‘away’ a bit of plastic I put it in the bag for recycling I feel my heart this remembrance of the sacred, this care taking, this love and gratitude fore all of life, and for oil too, as part of that.

Of course re-cycling is only the beginning. I pray for and invoke a world where we do not waste, where we live in the embrace of the sacredness of all life, both within us and beyond us.

Quotes from the Symposium:

“Where is “away”?”-  Julia Butterfly Hill

“Waste is not inevitable, waste is a product of bad design, and bad design can be changed.”

Love to all of us, and bowing in apology for my own words and in fondness for the step by step growing of me and of each of us, and thank you Ali!

Susannah Darling Khan

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www.