we, as Nature

I find it sad, and wasteful, and hurtful
That “man” is separate from “nature”
That we build to “keep us safe” from her
That we “battle” climate change
That we throw things “away”, 
thinking that that place is anywhere other than here,
where we are, when it is in truth on/in/of our home.

I find a revelation in reading
That this used to not be
This “we”, and “other”,
Existence of apartness, not a part of:
Separate, mistrustful, and abusing.
We used to be nature, and work with the soil, and the wind,
and the sun as we perceived it moving across our shared sky.

Making something “other” diminishes it
Makes it cheap, unworthy, unsophisticated
Makes it usable
Makes it a righteous thing to profit from it
Makes it okay to subjugate it, fight it, fear it, toss it,
rape it,
and confine it,
Even while we still see the sun moving, nurturing our home,
we think that measuring its path makes it ours.

We even label cultures and sexes to lessen them.
The female and the indigenous are cycle-based, of nature,
(as are beasts, insects, plants, microbes...)
“simple”, uncultured, incapable,
Begging to be controlled, “unsophisticated”
We allow us to devalue them,
Control them, and profit from their work
With no guilt, no understanding of mutual interdependent needs
and gains that make us all imperative, contributing elements
of our shared Nature of being.

Is it science that is at fault? 
Or man’s hateful use of it?
Francis Bacon said “science should as it were torture
nature’s secrets out of her”
When real scientific curiously can engage with Nature to
teach us her wisdom.

Is it religion?
Giving us dominion over the earth?
So many say that we are in god’s image and the world is
for us to enjoy (aka “use up”)
When religion also teaches us to love one another and to be
stewards of each other and all creation.

I know we are moving through chaos and anger and apartness
To clarity of purpose and connection of systems.
We are here, now, in this present to


Change “nature” to Nature, revered and of us
Change “away” to a non-existence, achieving truth
Change “unsophisticated” to unfettered and limitless
Change “uncultured” to innate, earned wisdom, valuable for us all
Change “battle” to a quest for understanding so we may work
with systems and the current shifts in them.

Change - which is hard
Change - which is uncomfortable
Change - which did happen, and will happen again,
and can happen without us or 
Better, for us, and with us all, human and more, with no “other”
but we,

as Nature.

-Jodi Smits Anderson

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