The following was written by Denis Jackson, and Deep Green Resistance Colorado is very thankful that she has so generously allowed us to publish it here. Look for more of Denise’s writings to come. Thanks Denise!
Coronado was here; I found chain mail, finely worked deep in the gravel near Comanche Springs. The road here is part of a set of claw marks, made by huge, human-made lion machines. “Why,” I asked the VIA* representative whom I had driven up the foothill dirt two track, “have you bulldozed every tree, shrub and flower in this recipe of destruction? It’s visible from my home, 20 miles away.” The cigarette-lipped man replied reluctantly, “We are making clearways, preparation for the buildings we are going to begin in this area.”
This conversation took place 30 years ago, and as yet, no building has appeared, but the giant scratches are still there, as obvious and ugly as the day they were gouged. And the reason they are there? Nobody cares, obviously. The grasses in this dry climate take up to 200 years to recover; one small clump eking out an precarious life in conjunction with the tiny filaments of fungi, called hyphae, which live in the thin soil and dissolve nutrients from the decomposing granite in return for the photosynthesized materials they cannot make, having no chlorophyll. In this way, called mutualism, the plant and the fungus make a deal allowing both of them to participate in the bargain of survival, benefiting both.
The yuccas, snakeweed, cholla, gilia, four-winged saltbush, are also wiped from the ecosystem in such a way that the newly raped earth is unable to recover. Darkling beetles cross the place, faces down, drawn in microscopic expressions of bewilderment. They zig-zag the path searching for their disappeared homes. A lizard, crotifitis collaris, rears up and like the miniature dinosaur he is, races on his hind legs across the barren ground to rest in the shade of a mullein plant on the other side. Almost no habitat exists in these ruts – each 20 feet across! They will soon become wrinkles in time, as the July and August monsoon rains will rush, unimpeded now, down the foothills carrying their loads of silt and pebbles, an occasional ancient arrowhead and shard of pottery down to the wash below. Each rain will deepen these damaged tissues, like a third-degree burn on human skin, ripped open again and again.
These desert places weren’t deserted until recently; not even 100 years ago they had waist-high gasses growing luxuriantly. The deer feed on browse rich in minerals and moisture. Ungainly lubber grasshoppers hopped sluggishly from one blasé of grass to another, chewing and spitting tobacco at leisure. Covies of quail pipped to each other as the downy chicks no larger than your thumbnail ran willy-nilly after their siblings until warned by a peep-cluck to huddle under mom’s wings. Even now, horned lizards live on a cuisine of ants, finding their formic acid a delicate sauce licked happily by a pink tongue as the horny toad uses its front paws to wipe the leftover leg from her lips, finger-lickin’ good. In the seemingly idyllic pace of peace, the rocks, plants and winds of the Manzano mountain foothills thought their thoughts and co-existed with each other in the naiveté of the innocent. Late in the 19th century until early in the 20th century, the movement of white people from the eastern shores and their unslakeable hunger for land brought ruin upon this little valley. Suddenly, after a million years of co-evolution and niche finding, a cloven-hoofed, masticating beast was driven in from another continent completely. Coming with the habits gleaned from a gene pool rich in water, these land maggots trod plodding into the quiet grasslands, sweeping their bulbous eyes and masticating molars over every available grass blade, cutting off a hundred years of growth with one hungry bite. Maybe one or two of them would have been able to co-exist with the rest of the land, but that is not what happened. Every available acre was turned into pasture for these beasts, and they wallowed, waded and defecated into every stream, creek, spring and river they could find. The silt stirred up by their hooves drowned the native fish, struggling for survival in the intermittent rainfall anyway. To the delicate balance was added the land maggot, brought by people with no understanding for the areas into which they were moving, and less feeling about what they were doing as long as they reaped the short term benefit, not caring at all that EVERYTHING changed because of the fencing and over-grazing of these out of space monsters. These people had no idea what they are doing, and still do not. Don’t believe me, ASK THEM! Look at fence lines where one side contains these beasts and the other does not, and see for yourself what damage has been done.
Don’t blame someone else if you go by McDonald’s and buy your junkfood-crazed offspring an “un-Happy meal.” We are individually responsible for knowing what we put into the bodies of our children, and what goes into their spiritual bodies, also. Oh yes, the advertisement says “all beef” but did you know that McDonald’s purchases more cow eyeballs than any other single entity? When you are looking at that Big Mac, it’s looking right back at you!
How do you treat YOUR neighbors? Are you in any way beneficial to each other? Whether or not you admit it, your neighbor’s beliefs and behaviors have an effect on you. But no, we live in our walled societies and fool ourselves into thinking that as long as we have a wall between us there isn’t the same air or the same energies moving invisibly between us. We have become blind in so many of our senses. How long has it been since you sang to a ladybug, worried about her children? When you walk out the front door, do you know from which direction the morning breeze comes.?
Geronimo ran the white soldiers into the ground, literally, by becoming sensitive to the spoken language of the shrubs, the shin oak and the pinon trees around him. His power was not mistakenly tied up in the Hummer sitting in front of his home, but in the hummer with the sparkling purple throat splashing in the sparkling natural spring in front of his eyes. If you wish to have the kind of Power that in connected to your soul body, you must pay attention to the things which feed that body and stop allowing yourself to be tied by the strings of the ‘low laws’, the needs and wants of your material body, which will leave your spiritual body desiccated and thin, ready to be blown around by any small wind from the exhaust of a passing automobile.