Jonathan Woolson | Facing truth

These are our choices, that we choose to continue,

…and the results of our choices, that we make every day…


…and the fragmented limbs and bodies of South Sudanese, Syrian, Israeli, and Gazan children,

…and the Right of Return is ground into the pulverized dust of Palestine’s concrete and bricks,

…and the hungry multitudes left behind by the “free market,”

…and the energy-hungry multitudes of house lights and street lights and car lights crowding out the watchful stars,

…and the flailing façades of money-glutted “democracies,”

…and the bodies of children and non-combatants smashed, without apology, by U.S. remote drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen, controlled by American pilots from faraway places like Buffalo, NY,

…and the tentacled intrusions of permanent, totalitarian mass domestic and foreign spying and prying into everyone’s affairs, from janitors to Senators, all for our own protection, of course, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

…and the brittle-dry boreal forests of northern Canada and Siberia flashing into ash and acrid smoke,

…and the stinking tar sands production facilities and holding ponds, stretching for thousands of industrialized, deforested hectares, crying toxic tears into the Athabasca River,

…and the drying, dying Californian fields struggling to find water to feed the ground, to feed the people,

…and the burning heart of the Daiichi reactor pouring its ionizing radioactivity into the quiet Pacific,

…and the return of ugly, long ago-repudiated fascisms to the governments of Nippon and Europa while planting new choking roots in America and Canada,

…and the merciless meta-national corporations eating up the land, the people, the water, the sea, the sky,

…and the lies, manipulations, toxic agendas, and paper-thin propagandas pretending to be information, playacting the “the news,”

…and the aspirants of patriarchy in the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress, seeking to control and enslave sovereign female bodies,

…and the lifeless bleached reefs and acidifying ocean ecosystems,

…and the lifeless plastic soup of a throw-away culture, stirring slowly in Texas-sized gyres of garbage, mistaken for “food” by sea birds and fish,

…and the anaerobic dead zones of Gulfs and Oceans,

…and the endless sellout and theft of indigenous peoples’ lands for drilling and hydrofracking and death,

…and the U.S. Navy’s long-range sonar tests, which deafen and bludgeon the bodies of thousands of sentient cetaceans, our warmblood-brothers,

…and the bees fading unnaturally into a future natural history exhibit, slaughtered by neonicotinoids and greed,

…and the rotting containment barrels leaching plumes of strontium-90 seeping through the packed clay toward the aquifers, toward the Cattaraugus Creek and into the Great Lakes of Erie and Ontario, down the Saint Lawrence into the World Ocean, because ALL WATER is connected,

…and the kilometer-wide patches of methane hydrates bubbling lazily up from ocean shelf, through an ever-warmer Arctic Ocean.

…and the glaciers cracking and washing and sliding ever-faster into the patient, rising ocean,

…and each new unconventionally hydrofracked and “accidentally” poisoned aquifer and stream continuing to leech its poisons into the bodies of uncounted generations of animals, plants, and humans, because ALL WATER is life, connected,

…and the human extinction-level limits we choose to race blindly past, smashing through each finite ecological tipping point,

…and the endless crashing waves of extinguished species, each winking out, forever,

…and the ever-present sting of cognitive dissonance each time I turn on a light, or get into a car, open the refrigerator, or start up the laptop,



…and allow ALL OF THIS to pour into my heart,

…almost, but not quite to breaking,

…learning to…

…let go of anger,

…let go of grief,

…let go of blame,

…let go of guilt,

…let go of shame,

…let go of denial,

…let go of fear,

…and remember to breathe,

…transform this weight,

…with love,

…with gratitude,

…within each sheltered moment of precious stability,


…before the oncoming storm,

…which promises to smash everything in its path,

…and listen to the echoing, pounding urgency of this planetary transition,

…utterly still,

…in this dark truthful moment,

…listening, while Great Mother shifts through our wrenching, improbable birth to Another Way of Being.

…and implore, “What can I do to help? Where do we start?”


— August 5, 2014,


Photo credit: Brandon Perdomo, 2014, Birdhaus

Photo credit: Brandon Perdomo, 2014, Birdhaus


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