Stripmall Land

Today I woke hopeful and bright-eyed as is possible after sleeping on the floor of a kind stranger's apartment in Tucson. I've seen the surrounding wilderness and today was going to move on to Bisbee after stopping at one more National Park on the east side of town. Chris, the German aerospace student with whom I stayed, was a wonderful and empathic host. He listened like a therapist as I reclined on his couch and told him of my existential woes, illustrated most prominently in points of conversation with the conservative woman I had stayed with in Phoenix.  Together we lamented the blindness of humanity to pressing environmental concerns, the suffering that is caused by unchecked capitalism and an unbelievably growing global demand for meat when the consumption is already so high. As I drove east across Tucson, the reality of this situation caught me up.

Perhaps my emotions were primed from our nihilistic conversations of the past 48 hours, perhaps I'm yin starved and yang poisoned out here in the desert, but either way by emotional sensitivity was running extremely high. A fact I didn't realize until I was 30 minutes into driving across interminable stripmalls and welling up with tears at a traffic light.

So today this is who I am. The woman who drives her car polluting the environment in the name of seeking natural beauty, tears streaming down my face in a full blown waking existential crisis about the toxic role of humanity in the world and just how fucking far we have to grow.

Joan Halifax calls this "empathic distress". When we can't trust that things are simply out of our hands, that every one of this human family has the right to exercise free will for good or ill, blossoming or detriment.

How to trust the big picture? Today the answer is eating a lot of popcorn, asana, and a walk. Acceptance of the inevitable, basking in present truth.

My feet led me to an oasis in the desert, to the palm lined watering hole of Agua Caliente Park.  Improbable things do happen.

Tomorrow, maybe the answer will be protesting or eco-terrorism.  Today, just trying to polish the black marbles to white one step at a time.

Listening :
Jesusland - Ben Folds

Resources :
On Being (podcast) - Joan Halifax


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