Tuesday, 26 February 2008
Ever since watching Quatermass and the Pit at the tender age of ten or so, I've had a great...well...fear of the praying mantis.
I've never been tremendously keen on sharing my bed with the huge and hairy rain spider, either.
But lately I've been breaking new ground.
We hosted a rain spider for some weeks a couple of months ago, first in the lounge above the front door and then in the kitchen.
I'm aware of all the good these useful beasties do in the way of eating flies and mozzies, yet it still took me a while to be comfortable with standing under it.
Then I started talking to it, and all was lost. The fuzzy arachnid was my friend forever.
Since Derrick Jensen has formed me into a seedling Savage, I've paid more attention to the insects who cohabit with me.
Last night, after sunset, with a big storm brewing , we were honoured by a mantis who flew onto the TV (I was watching the news, don't ask me why-another one of those toxic habits) and stayed awhile, gently feeling out the static surface of the lighted screen with her front legs.
I was fairly proud of myself that I didn't back out of the room very fast. I looked instead into her triangular green face with the pop eyes and asked her if she wanted perhaps to go back outside. For I was going to go to bed and my dogs would surely eat her if she stayed inside.
I haven't got to the stage yet where I can pick up a mantis, so I asked Warren to put her outside in the jasmine instead. But it's progress, for what it's worth.
I'm sometimes amazed that all Pagans aren't incipient Black Bloc anarchists-hurling bombs and abuse at Starbucks' windows when the WTO meets-for we're supposed to be attached to the Earth with reverence. Half a minute spent thinking about what corporate and governmental citizens are doing to Her-have been doing to Her for a couple of hundred years now-should bring us almost automatically to the point of cell-phone-tower razing and shopping-mall blasting.
But it doesn't.
It may take a Jensen to put the case for violent resistance in a way which makes the logic inescapable, I don't know. Maybe all those dioxins in our systems are fuzzing our little minds up.
But I do know that, halfway through Endgame Vol 1 I was looking for points of structural weakness in every cell phone tower I came across, and now, about a quarter through Endgame Vol 2 I'm urging on and applauding NUMSA miners (whose jobs Goldfields have threatened as a result of their partners-in-destruction, Eskom's, failure to provide enough power to run the mines at full capacity) in their looming strike action, which promises to be characteristically violent.
We who claim to love the Earth- we need to learn how to do that, too.
We truly live within a culture of death. My Lady needs us to act, and act soon dammit.
Consumer boycotts and class-action suites have done very little so far. (Maybe because they're consumer boycotts?).One of the ways in which I've started to fight back is this: I carry a little bag of wild seeds with me. At lunch time, in the cement horror where I work, I sprinkle a handful into the pristine formal flower beds, or onto the cracks already appearing between the newly-laid flagstones. Or after work, at a very similar horror where we purchase our bread and milk, I do the same.
Do you know, no-one seems to see me, let alone attempt to stop me? How very strange.