As 2020 kicks off my heart goes out to all Australians affected by the current bushfire crisis destroying homes and lives across the country. As an Australian who has experienced so many wonderful times in the bush on the N.S.W South Coast, now a massive inferno, how can it be anywhere else. My news feed is full of terrible and devastating stories in places I know and love well and I can barely believe what I am seeing. My heart is breaking when I think of all of those beautiful innocent and voiceless animals and people trying to protect their homes and lives. I don’t want to switch up my feed focus though, because this IS happening, this is not #fakenews and I want acknowledge this. In this post-facts era, where our idiot heads of state are peddling delusion, I want to stay awake. I want to stand witness for all those who have been affected by greed fueled lunatic policies. The time of heads in sand is long past.
I know what it is like to be in a natural disaster zone, to have all the order around you turn on its head. I also know what it is like to lose a home and all material possessions in a fire. It is scary, and completely surreal and the support and acknowledgement of people around is tremendously powerful. So even though I am far from home I won’t turn my head here. It’s blazingly obvious that we are facing a weather and climate change related crisis on an unprecedented scale and things will only get worse. Preparing for a time of massive un-ravelling is probably necessary though of course I pray that technology and the enforcement of saner policies will see us through.
I also want to acknowledge those who have already experienced such apocalyptic crisis’ that we collectively fear. I met many of these people when I was running sewing projects in the camps in Greece. Mostly Syrian and Iraqi families, fleeing from their own Nation’s apocalypse. A friend recently relayed to me that they had heard an Indigenous Australian elder during a symposium about this upcoming climate crisis, essentially saying that indigenous Australians have already lived through multiple apocalypses so when things start really unraveling they can offer some solid council. This is a truth sadly echoed by nearly all indigenous cultures, still surviving today. I’m sure they have a lot of wisdom forged from their resilience that we could learn a bunch from.
What gives me hope, as it did when I sat in sewing groups with some inspiring young girls and women in Greece, who had just survived the annihilation of their home towns, is that hope and love can still survive all this. The love of those holding space and holding out a hand to those who have lost all and the love, hope and strength of those who have survived. As these events driven by climate change and shifting weather patterns increase, and its quite certain that they will, I hope we can hold these humanitarian values of love and compassion that bind us to each other, and hold our politicians and the corporations they protect, accountable to these values too.
My love and my heart goes out to all those suffering through the fires now and those people around the world already surviving their own versions of an apocalypse. My contribution is to maintain my commitment to creating beautiful, ethical, sustainable, heart centered spaces that defy the rhetoric of fear, prejudice and separation for as long as is possible. I know the problem is extremely complex and this post a little intense, naïve, depressing and possibly futile, but I feel that 2020 is the year when we are forced to pull our heads out the sand, wake up to the reality of what is unfolding and start taking action to uphold and protect the spaces and values that should never be left to the sociopathically merciless agents of chaos and greed fueled destruction. Please, not on our watch.
Many overseas friends have asked me where they can donate. Here is a sampling of some organisations doing great work that have come to my attention. There are many more out there if you get online and google search ‘how can I donate to Aussie bushfire crisis’.
Animal Rescue Collective (ARC) (facebook group)