Ben Weaver’s Climate Story

Ben was a featured storyteller at the Climate Conversation at Silverwood Park in February of 2019 in partnership with Climate Generation and Three Rivers Park District. To learn more about Ben’s work visit: http://www.benweaver.net.

This Story is a Spiral

Ben Weaver

Two birds flew out from a cloud
I looked up as they went overhead
making a triangle down to my heart
I’ve been thinking about how
hope is a form of poverty
because it steals the present moment
it creates debt by nurturing dissatisfaction
promising something or someone or sometime
other than here now with ourselves.
as the birds faded
the point at my heart went sharp
stretching into a slingshot
and when they decided to let go
my eyes turned into the bottoms
of stones and I awoke
in the center of a glacier
history depends on forms of repetition
repeating themselves
but the present moment
offers endless opportunity to
reorganize that repetition
this is what the wind
does with seeds
the fox with their tracks
eventually the glacier began to melt
and a story emerged
collectively we overthrew
the cultural hierarchy
that had embedded our lives
in the destructive patterns and beliefs
that insisted on putting our addiction
for convenience and comfort
over the needs of rivers and butterflies
that viewed Mississippi and Walleye
as resources rather than relatives
that asserted the word of adults was
superior to the voices of children
soon I was engulfed in cold singing water
pools of it in the hallows of my shoulder
all that remained of the glacier
I could smell an ending
like a storm collecting on the horizon
but from here it didn’t go
how you’d think it might go
endings are a liner construct
and this story is a spiral
two runaway horses
came up out of the river
and my breath filled with giant wings
I could blow holes in the rain
and the rain could also come inside of me
it washed out the poverty and sorrow
that had accumulated from so much hope
I was not the only one that this happened to
it was happening to all of us
we built fires in the shadow spaces
where forests had been
one by one we were called back
we planted trees into the uncertainty and loss
transforming it into new systems of regeneration
our wills became feral and regrew tails
as we unbound ourselves from hope
we reorganized the old rutted seams
that had been worn by a residual fear for the unknown
the two birds flew back towards the cloud
the tension of the slingshot relaxed
the point of my heart was still sharp
this is as far into the spiral as I am able to take you
the rest is yet to be written
I will leave with this reminder
the stories support the systems
and in turn the systems support the stories
be aware which system and which story you support
it is a trick of capitalism to rebrand
because it’s extractive nature
is happy to appear as a different form of energy
enabling itself to remain in control
to manage the pace and direction of change
insuring that nothing actually changes
this is as prevalent a concern here today in this space
as it will be at every other moment ahead
if in doubt return to your breath
it serves as a constant reminder of reciprocity
if we give too much we die
if we take too much we die
endings are a linear construct
and this story is a spiral.

Ben Weaver + Songwriter + Poet + Bike-wilder

This story was originally shared at the Climate Conversation: Silverwood Park in partnership with Climate Generation and Three Rivers Park District.

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