I started to write about making my own oatcakes and out came all this!
Several times over the last few months I have heard things which alarmed me, information which suggests the global collapse is upon us, disaster imminent.
I freaked out. With no reference points for how to handle global meltdown and ensuing catastrophe I could not cope. It’s bad enough already; the mass extinction, human misery and despair, wars, political mayhem, please don’t tell me it’s going to get worse.
I really do not want to hear that!
I tend to avoid the news and draw back from the human suffering. Ranting at the political ineptitude is common and then I fall back into a semi-denial. Bearing my heavy load of pain for what is occurring on my planet home becomes muffled in a thick blanket of busyness, not stopping, not thinking, not feeling anything about anymore. Respite.
I am however cursed and blessed with a body who tells the truth. It regularly hauls me out of my fug. By creating pain that I have to respond to, that cannot be ignored, it gets my attention. In this ministering to myself I am reminded of where this pain comes from; it mirrors my pain for the world.
I am called to action in defence of life on earth. I am a Shambala Warrior.
How can I do this though, it does feel too big, too scary and too much for one little human like me to deal with?
It turns out oatcakes tell the story of how I can contribute, the little daily changes I can make which on the face of it may seem simple and fairly insignificant. I believe they are symbolic and therefore enormously powerful. They carry a message of hope, of empowerment, of independence, freedom and choice. They represent the revolution I am part of, the Great Turning I am taking part in, the direction in which I am moving. Please read this extract it explains far more eloquently than I can what the Great Turning is.
Here’s how the oatcakes spoke to me.
I am part of a buying group where we buy in bulk and receive a discount. We buy from a food cooperative which feels better than supporting the multinational supermarkets.
I usually buy oatcakes which come in a box of 12 packs, inside each pack there are several separate cellophane packets of oatcakes, so a lot of packaging. Even in my state of denial it’s hard to avoid the truth every time I put one of those wrappers in the bin. I know it’s contributing to a huge waste problem stretching out into the future which will affect future gernerations, people I am connected to who are depending on my contribution to the stewardship of the earth for their chance at life.
Making my own
This time, I bought oatmeal instead and I have started to make my own oatcakes. Here is the first attempt.
Part of me says the problems of the world are so much bigger than this; my pathetic attempts to change, but I know that every time I take this sort of action, where I say no to the processed packaged stuff and yes to good wholesome, home-made nourishing food I am taking a stand. It’s part of my personal revolution, my two fingers up at the big multinational companies, at anyone trying to tell me there’s nothing we can do, it’s all too big or too far gone.
The impact of my oatcakes may seem tiny but if you and you and you all take a stand with me. If you look in your bin and decide there is something you can do without, or you could make for yourself, and you tell others and they do it too, our actions become something larger, more powerful, WE together become a force, a band of Shambala Warriors.
When it all seems to tough, too hard, there’s not enough time, the effort……..it’s all too much we can support each other, help each other, cover for each other. Like a gaggle of geese we can honk each other on and maybe with luck we can reach our destination, a place where we know we at least tried, we gave it our best shot, even if we only ever made our own oatcakes.
“The smallest act with the clear intention has repercussions through the whole web beyond your capacity to see.” Joanna Macy.
You can find the oatcake recipe here.
Love this article!!!! I feel prayers are somewhat the same. Or steps down the beach. I remember that every step can be a prayer for the earth, a kiss on the earth´s face. The other day there were starfish marooned on the beach away from the water. My son and I started returning them to the ocean. I chuckled at the similarity with the story. Have you heard it? About the boy returning starfish to the ocean… and a man questioning him because to him, that small acts wouldn´t save all of them, wouldn´t matter in the grand scheme of things. And the boy threw one in and said ¨to that one, it mattered¨.
I loved remembering that story, because no matter how small, our acts of love for the earth, of rebellion against an oppressive economic system, of kindness to each other, they all matter because they add up. The doom is only upon those who have no hope. As long as we have hope, we will have the drive to keep adding up seemingly unimportant acts of beauty and kindness and love.
Thank you. Your message spoke to me on so many levels. Thank you.
Oh Paula I am so with you on the need for hope. I think this is what sustains me. Sometimes in life when my hopes have been dashed I am devastated, and people have tried to get me to give up hoping but I just can’t, it seems to be something within me that just keeps on going no matter what. I do get very upset and enveloped by despair at times but hope springs again and on I go. I love the starfish story, it’s so true that one act matters. XX
I really relate to what you have written here, Mairi, in fact I have written a similar piece and referenced Joanna Macy for inspiring me to not give up. https://achangeintime.com/2014/10/29/sometimes-you-need-to-have-a-chat-with-yourself/
Thanks for sharing the poem, it really does describe ‘the great turning’ in a way I had not appreciated. I have copied it and will share it with my friends and family. I look forward to reading more of your posts.
Wow Ruth I just read your post and I soooooo agree. I too love Active Hope. I was lucky enough to participate in one of the on-line 6 week webinars Chris Johnstone runs, it was so nurturing. I love the poem too and have now stuck it up on the wall in my house. I’d love to give it to everyone. X
Hello there, I’d love to try making oatcakes so this is a bit of inspiration. I do manage to collect plastic wrappers and bags and can take them to be recycled at Woollies. That does feel good as we use a few. Plus we can recycle lots of other stuff, and soon all our food scraps will be taken away to be composted… I do my own at the moment but love the idea that everyone’s craps will be composted. Little things do make a difference.
Good stuff Seana. X