The Long and Winding Road
I first heard about World Pulse in May this year on Women’s Magazine (www. kpfa.org, a California public radio station) and immediately posted the link on Facebook. How did I find kpfa? I used to live in San Francisco and it was my favourite radio station back then. I lost it for about 10 years when I moved back to England, but rediscovered it online in Asia.
My personal story is a long and winding one, but it seems I have always had a penchant for being on the side of the abused, oppressed or disenfranchised. From an early age in my native England, I was an animal lover and greatly distressed by the cruelties I discovered in the slaughterhouse, the circus, the laboratory, as I still am. When I was pregnant in my early thirties in Hawaii, I woke up suddenly to the environment. Protecting and respecting our Mother Earth has been a driving force in my life since. Here in Vietnam, I watch the march of “development” with dismay - the destruction of mountains, trees, rivers, communities – for resorts, agricultural land turned into industrial “parks,” rivers dammed and polluted, the ocean full of plastic...
Conservation has become my cause célèbre in my writing, as I learn how the wildlife trade is emptying the remaining forests to feed Vietnam’s and China’s appetite for bush meat.
For 25 years I have worked variously through art, education, example, direct action and more recently through writing, to raise awareness in the hope of effecting change. Since those first days of heady idealism, I have become more cynical*. In spite of overwhelming evidence that human activity is causing the collapse of ecosystems, mass pollution and climate change, corporations and governments (the patriarchy) continue with business as usual. Industrialisation, globalization and wars are destroying, degrading and desecrating our planet and our future, while women are hanging in there, nurturing, caring, supporting, teaching, growing food, healing, grieving... Yes, our voices need to be heard, yes, our energies need to be deployed, yes, our potential needs to be fulfilled, to balance and counteract this relentless plunder. It has to be a movement, or many movements, connected and working on different levels, on different things at the same time.
In Voices of Our Future I saw an opportunity to contribute more effectively through the written word and other media. However, through the website, in just the last week or two, I begin to understand the great potential we have collectively and how much my personal vision of a healed, regenerated Earth reverberates in so many women’s hearts around the world.
* I just want to clarify what I mean by "cynical" - I have come to realise the enormity of all the problems and recognise that not only those in power, but the majority of society want to go on "business as usual," which means the challenges are huge to really turn this around. But I am not without hope, or I wouldn't be here now!