Not yet!

No, no baby yet, although I do feel like it’s coming very soon… not due until Monday, although practically every phone call I’ve received today has started with a "So? What’s happening? Any baby?"… I’m fairly certain that this happens to practically every full-term pregnant woman, so I just roll my eyes and say "Yep! Forgot to tell you!" I should joke about how I birthed it hours ago while I was taking a bath and should probably go check on it… But then I smile because I know they are just as excited to meet this little one as we are. Except, you know, the eye roll is very necessary because I’m the one who has to push it out here! So I’m pretty sure I’ll let people know when I’ve gone ahead and done that… silly.

Of course I’m reading and picking away at my thoughts when I get a spare moment here and there. There’s a theme lately, as there always seems to be when it comes to these kinds of things. Anyway. I’ll give you a quote:

"The evidence of interspecies communication and the fundamental beingness of nonhumans is so obvious as to render my previous skepticism embarrassing. To attempt a proof that nonhumans communicate would not only be degrading- imagine a book purporting to prove that blondes can think- it would be silly, like proving the existence of gravity, love, death, or physical existence. It could be written in two words- pay attention– or better, in one- listen." (Derrick Jensen, A Language Older Than Words)

I’ve been really thinking about human entitlement lately… or I don’t know what to call it exactly- but the concept that we’re somehow above all other animals and beings, or sent here to govern and mold it all… This kind of thinking runs incredibly deep- it’s practically bred into us at this point. The evidence is all around us- from our blatantly destructive lifestyles all the way to our "green" solutions, it’s all completely human-centric. What’s really sad is that even from the activist ends that are seemingly in favor of rights for other living things and habitats, it’s usually still riddled with inconsistencies and human-centric values. From the time I was born I’ve been taught that humans are the only ones with souls, that we are favored by God, etc. That was just my religious upbringing, but even in my separation from it I met very few challenges to that philosophy. This is what humans think. We are always assessing whether or not something is of value simply by it’s relationship to us. To some degree I think this is natural. Of course we favor our own species and think in relationship to ourselves. This makes sense. However, it’s catapulted us into the realm of insanity- where we are actually destroying everything and ourselves in the process, and doing things that we think we want, convincing ourselves that this toxic way of life is convenient. So we aren’t even able to benefit ourselves with this kind of thinking any longer, it’s only a matter of time before it brings about our demise. Crazy, no?

Don’t get me wrong, I think humans are great. I think we have a capacity for creation and love that is really special. I don’t even think this kind of thinking is natural to us- I believe it’s come about as a result of this destructive culture and our saturation in it, and really just whittles down to a few sick individuals that continue to hold the power and perpetuate it. But here we are. I guess my point is, I’m realizing that I don’t believe we are meant to be at the "top" like this. I think we’re animals, and we’ve lost our language. It’s funny- my first inclination was to write "just animals", and then corrected myself. You see? It’s all pervasive. We’ve lost our ability to relate to the natural world in the way that we were meant to. I’m barely scratching the surface, but I’m starting to see all that I’ve missed out on- and more urgently- all that I have to unlearn. 

Anyway, I was watching this episode of "30 days" and it was one where the guy went to live on a reservation. It was pretty rough, all said, but the thing that really stuck with me was this scene where a woman was brought to tears at the idea that their language would soon be forgotten. I thought about it, and thought it was sad, but couldn’t really see why the traditions and spiritual concepts couldn’t be passed on in another language just as well… but then it hit me. We are so absorbed in this culture that our languages can’t even express the concepts that exist in that way of life. There aren’t the words. Losing native languages is like losing the key to another way of life- one that’s at the brink of extinction. Just like when I hear the idea of asking the land what it needs- I’m starting to realize that it’s not meant to be taken metaphorically. We actually can communicate with the land and see what it needs, we just don’t know how anymore. 

I’m just starting Ishmael at the recommendation of my friend, and it’s pretty interesting so far. I’m sure I’ll be talking about that book soon. I know this is kind of a ramble. I’m hoping I’ll have more concrete thoughts to share soon. I feel like this is a really important lesson I’m learning- one that will affect my whole understanding of the world.  

And of course some garden. Everything is so beautiful right now. I even love the weeds. I’m not really one for weeding… but it doesn’t seem to really bother the garden. I mean, I’m probably rationalizing. It would likely do better if I did weed, but I find that the occasional weeding session is good enough. Plus the chickens love it! So I’ve gotta grow a bumper crop of weeds for the chickens, right?

My lovely clothespin bag in action!

Quote of the day:

"I have amazing news for you. Man is not alone on this planet. He is part of a community, upon which he depends absolutely." (Daniel Quinn)



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Comments (13)

  1. yayhappens

    I saw a documentary a few months ago that wasn’t specifically addressing human-centric thinking, but in a sideways sort of way, it really did. It is called The Botany of Desire.

    Your photos always make me smile. I love watching the progress of things growing and developing. Especially plants. And then I saw the photo of the clothespin bag and I’m grinning cheesily because seeing it in action vs the previous photo of the finished product is bonus awesome. I love it.

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      You know, I think that’s actually up for instant watching on Netflix… I’ve been thinking of watching it! Now I will. Thanks for the recommendation, maybe we can exchange thoughts when I do (I’ll have some late night time with baby very soon, so any recommendations are welcome!)

      I love your photos, too! It seems like it’d be time for another update on your plants, unless I missed something. 🙂

      1. yayhappens

        Oh perfect you have Netflix. ^.^

        There is another documentary that speaks of our connection to the earth and is so, so, beautiful and spiritually moving, I think it is a must-see for everyone. It was nominated for Best Documentary and a whole bunch of other things. In this documentary they bring up the topic of how fast we lose a language. I think it was like one endangered language every week or something like that. It is called, Encounters at the End of the World. It is really incredible!

        I do have photos of the plants to post. I will get them up this weekend. ♥

  2. thesynergizer

    my dad has just started a non-profit based on the work of daniel quinn. he is hoping to save the world. perhaps i should put you in contact with him 🙂

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      That sounds really interesting. I’m definitely interested in what that kind of work would look like. I’m only just starting Ishmael, but feel free to give me info. 🙂

      Nice to meet you, by the way!

  3. pithy_epigrams

    I have been thinking a lot about the whole human vs. animal lately. As a child, my mother made sure to tell my brother’s and I to remember we are animal’s, not some superior species. Human’s tend to hold our species on a pedestal. In the anthropology classes I’ve taken, student’s have become insulted when the professor refers to human’s as primates. Interesting huh? Well, I know it might seem corny, but this video really reminded me of those first lesson’s my mother taught us. But it even goes into greater depth, reminding me that we are all connected, even to the stars!

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Totally corny, but I love it. Thank you. It gave me chills!

      I have to say, I really really love the things you say and believe (or what I know about it all), and about your parents and what they taught you. Jeff still mentions your parents and how they sort of opened up new avenues for him in some ways. I hope to pick your brain someday soon- especially now that I’ve got a little one to teach who will have a lot of questions for me… I’m glad we’re friends. Also, I think you’re really blessed with your parents. 🙂

      1. pithy_epigrams

        Ok, so these people who make these song/video mash-ups are called “Symphony of Science”, and I really recommend them to everyone. I love them.

        And my folks? I must agree. I feel so blessed to have them, and to grow up in a household with these values. I’m glad Jeff remembers them, they remember him fondly too. I’m glad we’re friends as well. As you said, kindred spirits. It’s funny how we rarely see each other, but when we do we can’t stop talking!

        I’m so excited for your new babe! Can’t wait to see pics!

  4. purerandomness

    Ugh. weeding. It has to happen or my poor plants will be choked and not grow, but still! One of my non-favorite chores.

    Hope you’re resting and mentally preparing! Every time you post, I expect to see something like “It’s labor time.” or “The baby is here!”

    Held a newborn yesterday (well 12 days old) and the snuggly squishiness and soft breathing of a new baby… I miss it. And just think: you get to experience all that wonderful-ness very very soon! I’m so excited for you 😀

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Yeah, weeding has it’s zen appeal, I think, but it can also be so easy to get backed up on… I hope your back doesn’t hurt too bad!

      Thank you- I’m doing my best to stay rested. Truly this new one will be here before we know it! One of my friends had a baby just a few days ago and posted on his FB “Why does the baby always smell like marshmallows?” I thought it was cute. 🙂

  5. pearlstreetdiva

    yes, thats one off my top favorite books, ive read it like 5 times! It’s one you want to own and re-read to kick you in the butt!! can’t wait to hear what you think…

  6. cknk

    About a week or two ago I read a book called “A Rat Is a Pig Is a Dog Is a Boy: The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement” by Wesley J. Smith. I had picked it ouf the library on a whim, and found parts of it quite interesting and I found myself wondering what you would think of it – even before reading this post of yours.

    Part of the argument in it is that we need to develop an ethics of animal welfare, based on the notion that humans are the exceptional species with a sense of morality.

    Part of the book does come across as a silly attempt at justifying not having to change our way of life but that doesn’t stop me from trying to reflect on the rest of the book anyway. The author’s concerns about animal rights groups are partly based on the growing eco-terrorism. So I thought about Derrick Jensen’s writings.

    Eeek, I wish I could get my thoughts on this organized. I’ve held off replying to this post trying to get organized but I don’t have time to right now.

  7. Anonymous

    hey you have the baby yet? ha!

    i might do a garden next year if daily weeding isnt necessary!


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