There’s nothing like a cool breeze to help my mind relax. And the best breezes come from the sea. So here I am sitting listening to the splashing sound of the waves as they hit the rocky shore. The Greeks have a special word for this sound, φλοισβος (flisvos), and, like a lullaby, it is slowly soothing my soul.
For years I’ve felt the weight of carrying around a box of Broken Dreams, dreams that I had hoped to glue back into place and somehow save. But now, after years of living and reliving my life, I have decided to throw this box of relics into the sea. Now New Dreams are needed to help us survive.
My name is Toni O and throughout the many lives I’ve lived, hope was always there by my side. But, unfortunately, the hopes I had for our home, this planet we call Earth, have now evaporated like a sweet perfume. We have gone past the Tipping Point and the damage done is irreversible. Despite the numerous and insistent warnings, man has chosen to ignore them. Dominated by his greed and his arrogance, he has put us all at risk.
The living world as we’ve known it is no longer able to sustain our avidity. Therefore, the only possible chance for our survival is to learn how to adapt to the disasters we’ve provoked. And throughout the ages, as a woman living in a patriarchal society, one thing I’ve learned to do is to adapt in order to survive.
The Earth is a Mother. And we are her children. Many ancient cultures worshipped the Great Cosmic Mother. Because worshipping a mother meant worshipping life itself. But, around the fourth millennium B.C., many things began to change. For example, warriors from the north began to invade peaceful cultures. These Indo-Europeans were violent and on horseback. Their aim was to invade, pillage, plunder and annihilate existing customs and beliefs. Male gods began to appear. These gods were angry, vindictive, jealous and punitive. And, above all, they hated women.
With force, these invaders dominated and sought to obliterate nature’s plan of having males and females exist in synergy and solidarity. Our complementary role was lost. The world was “materialized” with the concept of ownership and spiritual needs were met with dogma. Their desire and the desire of others like them to dominate without regard to the effect of their actions has put our planet and the life it sustains in danger. We now can only hope we are able to adapt in order to survive.
There is no set rule to adaptation as the situations that will arise will not have standard solutions. But we can start preparing ourselves—like an athlete warming up before the competition. And one way to prepare is to develop an awareness as to who we are and what led us to this disaster. Because, in the words of philosopher George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
I have lived many lives and have seen many things. Now I am tired and ready to go but first I must share my stories, stories I have held within me for too long.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Maya Angelou
(from “TONI O, The Beholder” 2021 ©)
Related: Empathy and Ecofeminism + The Role of Gender Consciousness in Challenging Patriarchy by Laura L. Bierema + Progressive Women: Feminist Consciousness in 19th century France +
Lerner, Gerda. The Creation of Feminist Consciousness: From the Middle Ages to Eighteen-seventy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
Mor, Barbara and Sjoo, Monica. The Great Cosmic Mother: rediscovering the religion of the earth… on archive.org HERE
Thanks Sherry…hope the wonder continues!
This speaks my truth. Thank you. You have always made me feel less alone, now more than ever.
Thank you for your special words that make me feel less alone, too.