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Apocalypse Garden

Updated: Jan 8

It feels strange to heal in a traumatized world. I bubbled up to the surface expecting to catch up on what untraumatized people had been up to, but I quickly realized that most people are actually still traumatized. It reminds me of days I spent aimlessly driving through suburban America, lost in miles upon miles of strip malls, searching for meaning somewhere along the asphalt. Millions of acres of indigenous land paved over with the cement of false promises.

I am the most spiritually wealthy that I have ever been. I could never have fathomed a state of existence in which I no longer suffered from anxiety or depression, as I had normalized these states of being over the course of decades. Yet it seems like having a regulated nervous system is a luxury, even among “caring” professionals. Healing from C-PTSD naturally precipitated me into an embrace of the universal consciousness, and these days I mostly exist in a state of acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm for life. The Buddha’s path to the end of suffering involves relinquishing desire, ill will, and ignorance. Each day I meditate, fast, and commune with nature, most importantly my body, and this has brought me simple happiness.

Yet I cry when watching YouTube videos about the mass extinction of non-human species, at a rate thousands of times more than before human impact. My grief is a vast emotional reservoir through which I can also access pleasure, in the same way death brings greater appreciation of life. I water my apocalypse garden as wildfires ravage forests around the world. The climate crisis will inevitably create suffering because we forgot we could simultaneously be both the perpetrator and the victim. At this point, it seems vain to have hope in humanity, the most viable attitude is repentance.

“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. If you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” -Lilla, Aboriginal Elder

Photos: Colman Beach, cockscomb, Cantonese borscht, garden fruit, corn and grapes, Arboretum, Seattle’s Best tomatoes, blue agate, Seward Park, celosia

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