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Death Song of the Arctic Ice

by John Omaha

© 2018. All Rights Reserved.

I feel lonely.  For aeons I was known by polar bear and fish and krill and seals and Inuit.  These friends and companions held me in their awareness and mattered me with their awareness and I existed in their consciousness.  For aeons before the fish evolved I was unconscious, held only in the primitive awareness of the krill. With the arrival of the fish, I was conscious in the field of their awareness.  Then aeons later, the seals evolved and came to live here, and I was held in their consciousness, and then in the consciousness of the polar bears and then the Inuit. We were a family.  We lived. We suffered together in icy storms. The Inuit cut blocks of me and made igloos and sheltered themselves. I was the context. I was the house, the home where we lived in harmony.  Anyone unaccustomed to life in my home would have said I was an inhospitable environment, but my family did not think so. We thrived. The Inuit had dozens of words for snow and the weather that coursed across my icy plains.  The Inuit and seals and polar bears and fish mattered me. I mattered them. We were a mutuality. I was never alone once the family arrived. I was never unmattered.

Then the contagion appeared.  In the time as I and the krill and the fish and the polar bears and the Inuit measure it, the contagion came on slowly.  It began someplace else on this planet. The contagion began on the planet before the Inuit arrived here in the arctic. Polar bear knew nothing of the contagion.  Krill was unaware. Somewhere on the planet the people, white-skinned people, lost connection with their environment. They began to use, to take, and they began to extract.  The connection was broken. The contagion prevented them from self-reflection on the consequences of their extractions. They were self-absorbed. They took and took, and the contagion spread and infected every culture it touched.  Soon the two-leggeds discovered oil beneath the surface of the planet, and they began to extract it and burn it. They had invented money and banking and they made money from the extraction of oils and they burned the oils and the planet began to warm.  Slowly at first, but the warming gained momentum as the population increased and the contagion grew in size. As the planet warmed, I began to weaken. The great mass of my icy sheet, billions of tons of frozen, solid water began to melt and to retreat. I began to die.  I am almost dead now, and these are nearly my last words. There is no antidote for the contagion. These words will not stop the warming or change the behavior of those infected. The contagion is a cancer. It is carried in the humans and spread to their children. The contagion prevents the humans from self-reflecting.  They think only of themselves. They have lost their spiritual connection to me and to the planet. I am speaking these words for my benefit, to tell my story before I go. I do not expect change to happen because I am telling my story. Those infected by the contagion cannot feel the emotion in my story. They are closed off.  They are emotionally immature.

I feel alone.  I feel lonely. My polar bear family is dying because the home I have been for them for all these aeons is disappearing, because I am dying and so they have no place to live.  No place to hunt. No icy, snowy expanse to travel. The Inuit have had to move on. Without me, they too have no icy, snowy expanse to travel in their hunts for seals. No longer do the Inuit and polar bears hold me in awareness.  No longer do they experience their identities at one with me. No longer are we united in the Great Mystery of existence. The spiritual bond is sundered. Fractured. I am fractured just like the spiritual bond. Once I was whole, complete, entire, expansive, and seemingly endless in all directions.  Once I was solid, hundreds of fee thick. Now I am diminished, reduced to little patches of floating ice separated by expanses of liquid water. My own spiritual bond with the Great Mystery of existence is fragmented. I feel lonely and alone and empty without my family of Inuit and krill and fish and polar bears and seals.  I am not seen. I am lying on my death bed alone. I feel devastated. I feel confused. I do not understand how it came to this. I had believed, as had the Inuit and all the rest of my family, that our arctic home was forever. It had always existed, and we believed it always would. There had never been contagion before. We had no defense against the contagion.  We anguished at the destruction of our home that was brought by the contagion. We anguished at the spills of crude oil from broken tankers and broken wells that poisoned the krill and the birds and the seals. Yet the people infected by the contagion could not feel or recognize our anguish. They were closed off and shut down. The contagion did that to them.

Thank you for listening to my dying words.  Thank you for hearing the story of my life, the story of my family, the events and experiences that gave my life meaning.  All gone now. All gone. Thank you for hearing me express my emptiness and powerlessness and anguish and loneliness. Thank you for mattering me and thus manifesting my existence one last time.  This is a good day to die, and now I do.