Friday, October 4, 2019

Geologic Love

by Jonathan Billig

What does a glacier say?
Let the mice declare, “striation! striation!”
Geologists and the keepers of the holy names.
Glaciers proclaim hilltops
With impossibly slow song,
Glaciers sing rivers,
Fjords and moraines,
Million-year cycles repeating refrains.

Listen, O children of your own creation,
The cosmos is our body, the cosmos is
Wounded here at home,
Where squirrels lie open in the roadways,
Children of our parkways,
Heavy with oaks but few foxes,
And flowing with rivers of cars.

What is the sound of a glacier not coming?
What is the sound of a glacier of flesh?

Pebbles in my hand
Weighty and cool as the hand of a loved one is warm-
Billions of years,
Nebulas flaring and spreading.
Coagulation in space from a dust cloud of rocks.
Water condensing on turbulent volcanic surface,
Until somewhere in the oceans lived
A smattering of molecules-
The world decided harmony.

Oh rocks whose name is breakdown layer transform,
Oh elements holding my hands up and down,
Oh cosmos, oh God, oh fellow humans,
Will we avert our harsh decree?
How does a human glacier learn to love?

Jonathan Billig is a connection educator, exploring diverse fields as mutually reinforcing play-grounds for who we are and could become. He has worked as an education coordinator for public gardens and synagogues, taught aboard a sailboat and at outdoor education centers, and spearheaded the design of the volunteer program on Mount Monadnock, the most climbed mountain in the United States. He currently works as a consultant in Jewish, outdoor, science, and mindfulness education. He is committed to the ongoing process of seeing and transforming systemic societal injustice, while diligently practicing love of people and the more-than-human world.

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