CS Sherin, June 19, 2019
I started my first ever blog in November of 2007 here on WordPress. It was called “Moonseeds”. The very first title and tagline went as follows: “Moonseed’s Weblog: Soul Songs, Hope, Love, and Art”. By 2009, it changed to: “MoonSeeds: Cosmic awareness, compassionate action, creative healing.” If you look at my website, WildClover.org, you will see that the main vibe of all of that remains true. But, wow, what a blast from the past, as they say!
In visiting the Wayback Machine this week, I found the many passionate posts I wrote as a new blogger. It has been interesting to review. There are many things I wrote about then that I had forgotten. Not to mention, the person I was twelve years ago is, in some pivotal ways, a completely different person than who I am now. I am no longer: a young and new mother, Catholic, or religious. Not only did I lose my religion and gain my own unbound, authentic spiritual center of being, I lost and gained many other things — some of which can be quantified and named, and others that cannot be.
Twelve years ago, I was at the beginning of my 30’s and had been married for about 8 years. Now, I am middle-aged and our 20th wedding anniversary is next month. Even with those numerical facts, there were things I didn’t know about myself (with accuracy and clarity) until the last few years — big revelations that have helped to reframe my life in healthy and true ways…but, alas, that is not what I will be telling you about today.
At the same time, some really big things about me and my writing have not changed at all. What I found and saw in my first blog remains to this day and has expanded. I was writing passionately about Green living and sustainability issues like plastic pollution back then, as I do now. I was writing about dreams and social justice issues, as I do now. I had an unwavering passion to grow, learn, and share goodness along with spiritual/mystical awareness and inspiration. I still do.
What I do want to share with you today is a resurrection of sorts. I find that an apt and somewhat humorous expression for what I am posting here today. My former self, Moonseeds — new blogger, was passionately religious. While I respect and appreciate my past, I just don’t vibe with the fervor that was always under the thumb of Patriarchal, colonized, systemically discriminatory systems/organizations — no matter how mystical the fringes are, or how good some of the people in community are. Direct connection to what is sacred, mysticism, autonomy with inclusivity, Buddhist and Indigenous values as guideposts, and compassionate action remain.
Anyway, this post from my first blog was posted on my daughter’s sixth birthday, and it is a post that still speaks pretty well to issues we face today. In addition, for those of you who have read Recipe For A Green Life, you will see some of the seeds I planted, unknowingly at that time, that led to me writing and publishing such a book.
The following is an edited version of a post that was originally posted on my first blog, “Moonseeds”, on December 11, 2007:
A good friend of mine was embarrassed to tell me that she uses a plastic baggie to pick up her dog’s poop on walks. Embarrassed, because she assumed that I would judge her, and that my own practices in relationship to plastic are pristine — maybe because I bring up the problem so much. I was surprised, and added sadly, that I too use plastic baggies, and am trying to get hold of some biodegradable ones…but they are only available online and in smaller quantities for more money. I remain, like all of us, human, and lacking in various ways…yet still aiming for, with commitment, life-affirming choices.
It is like when I was asked if I eat meat. I explained that I don’t eat farm animals or birds. They responded sharply, ” Do you wear leather shoes?” As if from my one sentence I had asserted that I was pure and separate from the rest of humanity because of my choice to be compassionate. People want things to be cut and dried, black and white, pure or deficient so that they don’t have to suffer through ambiguities — the contradictions of being, and the discomfort of imperfect striving — a part of the complicated living we all do. It isn’t fun to fail, or not live up to ideals, or to disappoint people who want to look up to us.
I look at the packaging of my bread, chips, toothpaste, apples, vegetables…and two of my reusable shopping bags are made with fossil fuels — just as the baggies for the dog walks are. I realize this.
The truth of the situation is that if I were to live separate from plastic, I would not be living in this society. There is no purity or perfection in this human world. Our connections are linked and threaded through so deeply, there is no extrication of anything from anything else — at least not as things are now. This doesn’t mean that all is futile. Action still has great impact, and discernment still has enormous value! Sometimes it has to be “little by little” as Dorothy Day would say.
I cannot look at the daily defeats of plastic in my life and be defeated. This is an issue of great urgency. We need to persist, despite the thorough penetration of plastic excess, waste and pollution in our lives. What a strange problem we have!
Plastic is, as all things are, from the Earth somehow, though manipulated and forced into being. Yet, plastic is not natural, is it? It isn’t even able to fully biodegrade, and instead becomes smaller…microscopic pollution.
Our mistakes, failures, and defeats do not have to be definitive of our identity and value. They can be par for this rocky course. We have power. We can choose how to respond, and maybe, on our better and best days, we do reach our ideals and still fail in yet other ways — maybe in relationships, or in personal or spiritual ways.
There are always ways in which to change and grow…hopefully we believe and know this. Perhaps we will not see the benefits of our positive and rooted actions in this lifetime, maybe we will. We may have to wonder and not know. I want to say for sure, all of this isn’t either/or, it is most often both/and.
I fail all the time. Sometimes it is embarrassing. Yet, I learn and realize perfection is not what is best to aim for, as it is not the point of life. With appreciation, with gratitude, I find and realize beauty and grace-filled moments. Recognition of what awakens this awareness is important.
Compassion literally means “to suffer with”. It is the ability to empathize and provide a safe space of healthy concern and support with others. No matter how much pollution and irresponsible management of resources and consumption our home and lives are involved with, when we stay in a place of gratitude and compassion, when we take time to meditate and reflect — we are able to remain in touch with what matters, with what is most important in life. From there, we can find the strength in each moment to do the best that we can, embarrassments, or not. (End.)
Back to 2019: it is interesting to note, that this was me just beginning my holistic sustainable living journey. I have solved some of the problems that I faced then, but not all of them. I did request that our local co-op carry the biodegradable dog walk bags, and they did (and do). Being a recovering perfectionist myself, I have always been able to hone in on that issue as a roadblock to long-term progress. Ten years later, I knew how to troubleshoot it, and put all that experience and problem-solving to good use in Recipe For A Green Life.
We all have made some great progress in the movement for green living, sustainability, climate action, etc. However, our current administration in power, and similar ones around the world threaten all the progress we have made. Despite this, we have a lot of positive progress that is ongoing in the face of all the opposition. There is still much to hope and to take action for, and the sentiment and need to act (from nearly 12 years ago) remains.