Anchor for this item posted by Bernard (ben) Tremblay at Monday, March 18, 2002; Monday, March 18, 2002

I would weave, but I have no loom, and no wool. I would garden, but I have no tools, no seed, and no land. I would make a piece of cloisonee, but I have neither metal nor enamel, and no kiln in which to fire the work. I would play music, but I've too often played alone. I would create a painting, but I have no canvas ... not even paper. I could buy some paper, but that would take at least five of my last ten dollars, and I have few groceries. I would busk to make a bit of money, but it's cold out and even here at home my feet ache terribly. I would bake, but even the porridge and apples I brought to Tent City the night of the freezing wind depleted my supplies. I would make candles, but haven't got wax. I would work stained glass, if I had some. I have been productive in all these ways but now, when I need it most, can do none of this. And so it occurs to me that 25 years ago, five years after abandoning my military carreer, when I steped aside from bourgeois success in order to explore the poverty of wealth, I took precisely the right turn.
Now that I need most I see my need most clearly. Remembering my times of conventional plenty, and contrasting them with what I experienced as the last gasp of communalism, I can compare the two. Doing so I am disgusted at the prospect of adopting a position that would validate or confirm the ideology of nuclear self-sufficiency. Yet no alternative exists!
A quarter century ago, with a promising post in public broadcasting (fairly close to "right livelihood", I think most would agree), I declared that there needed to be less "stuff" and more of the good, not just for myself but in general. And so now, having made due with progressibely less (ironic how my computer hardware is on its last legs, and here I am in the IT age with so much knowledge in that field!) I find my initial convictions confirmed: the addictive syndrome that is consummerist materialism leaves us so prone to victimization and manipulation that we haven't the wit and will to defend our biosphere, our social environment, or even our own rights to security and dignity. We have been systematically misinformed and dis-educated, to the point that we stubbournly and wilfully confound the instrumental tactic of wealth with the strategy of developing self and other with the aim of fulfilment and happiness. To play a variation on the poem, the best lack all direction while the worst and inspired with imminent destruction.
But, to in deed stay true to the activist's method, what do I actually do?! Well, re-placing myself in the moment (I hope to describe the method of "linking back to spontaneous presence" sometime soon) I plan the rewrite of the G8 Call to Action for the G7 Finance Ministers' Meeting in Halifax to have it resonate with local groups' present activities, I write this, and I have a cup of tea! *smile*

* My morning began with hearing that the Pentagon has issued a list of targets under consideration for pre-emptive nuclear strikes ... and Russia is on it. I wrote a letter to my local piece group (" Paroxism of Greed"). Included were these two links: " Pentagon Bootprints Around the Globe is by Ramsey Clark's International Action Center, and "Stepping into the Fire" is in IONS Review #59, the journal of the Institute of Noetic Sciences. IONS will the holding a Community Conference April 19-21 in Vancouver.


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