Friday, May 16, 2014

Apocalypse Now

In 2007, in conversations recorded with Dr. James White as part of our project, "Trigger Points/ Tipping Points," he said we were entering the fast-phase of global warming, which would accelerate in about three years: 2010. It is now 2014.

Tonight, NYC expects flash floods and my mind is still full of burning California hills. As San Diego cools down, I am considering ... we have entered the fast phase of global warming, in which climate change impacts will geometrically accelerate with all the attendant globalized socio-poitical-economic disruptions we are already observing and consequent loss of life. Geometric means each year, the impacts double. Or triple. They don't go to a steady state where people and other animals can adjust. So, if I apply trigger point theory, the answer is to go into the chaos, dive into the fire and flood for answers, not fight or try to control it but learn it's logic. I don't even know what that means, except that physics and complexity theory tells me it must be true.

My worries are based on films and photos of fires in San Marcos above San Marcos University. I once watched a cougar visit me there. The cougar sat at the top of my driveway. I sat in my car at the bottom and we just watched each other for the longest time.

I know exactly where the photos were taken from on Barham Road. It looks like the flames overcame a house I built there in 1979 on Walnut Hills Drive, as my first strategic design of a trigger point. The beautiful house I built with a wildlife refuge, gardens, orchards and a medicine wheel meditation area surrounded by Torrey Pines trees grown from seeds might very well be ashes now. 

Still from news video.

It looks very likely my former home is gone. The cougar is long gone. In a sense, it doesn't matter- it could be anyone's home, anyone's dream, anyone's life. I find these fires a terrifying harbinger of the consequences of global warming. I don't know how I could have screamed louder over the dangers we've been hurtling towards as either an artist or a person. I tossed & turned over this till 4:AM last night. This AM, I am more in grief than anger. In my mind's eye, there is the fire and the cougar.

I will paint it in encaustics this week, with wax and flame. To the left, fire. To the right, flood.

Sketch for Apocalypse Now.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I'm Aviva. And I'm a recovering human.

The Obama administration has released their report on climate change and it is grim but nothing new. George Bush once said that we are addicted to oil. Evidently, we are also addicted to denial. Obama and the Pope recently met and perhaps planned the timing of this report with the Vatican pronouncement as reported in the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

But human nature is a recalcitrant beast.

In 12 Step relationship programs, what is repeated in those rooms is that we must accept the alcoholic/ insane/ addicted person with love and detachment while working on our own welfare. What eventually changes the dynamic is not trying to change anyone else but focusing on changing ourselves. The critique of that approach, which evolved from Bill Wilson's wife's response to her husband's initiation of AA, is that it's essentially sexist. That is, put up & shut up while her husband cheated on her, underearned and filled their house with drunks.

On the other hand, there's a lot of wisdom in working on the solution, As far as the Dark Mountain project, recently described in the NY Times magazine section, I'm not sure. It certainly represents working on oneself. But on the other hand, the Jewish mandate to step forward when a crime is committed or you are equally guilty, is worth considering. Even in Al-Anon, passivity isn't recommended. People routinely organize "interventions" to confront a person with their effects on others. The trick, is to do that with true love and compassion, not rage, fear, self-righteousness, judgement, pity or contempt. A bit of a task that, sometimes.

As far as working on oneself, the "solution" is to be so deeply grounded in the spirituality, personal responsibility and spirit of being of service to those still suffering & fellowship with those in recovery, that it overwhelms awareness of horrors. A bit of a task that too. 

Which is why I'm sharing these thoughts with you, dear readers, rather than crying in my white wine. And, considering that we have the President of the United States and the Pope on our side, there may really BE some cause for hope.