“..Water, water everywhere…nor any drop to drink’ The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Even though I have never read the poem, this quote keeps running through my head as I witness what is happening with water in the United States, especially here in Montana where clean water is one of our greatest most valuable resources. It reminds me of when I was in college at the University of Montana. I worked at Don Tripp’s Truck Stop (Its where I learned some of my best waitress skills) and an old guy would come in every day for coffee. He would come in at the quiet time of day so we got to talk and he told me over and over that I needed to go to Law School and study water law. He told me that in the future people would be fighting over water. I couldn’t imagine people fighting over water when I grew up surround by water. I have spent my life enjoying a plethora of mountain lakes and streams.
Now over 30 years later his words haunt me. I didn’t go into water law. I didn’t even go to law school like I had originally intended when I began studying at the University of Montana. Instead I studied Russian and Journalism and after getting told by my first editor that he wasn’t going to allow me to be a “muckraker,” I went back to doing what I was good at, serving people. I did learn to write but I have become so disillusioned with the systems in place now that the idea of a “free press” is preposterous. The idea that the press was the “Fourth Estate” and that it was supposed to keep the government honest is laughable. There is very little real journalism going on in the corporate media and so my only outlet seems to be on Facebook.
And it is now that here on a platform of social media that I am being called to report on the Water situation in Montana.
As you may or may not know, Montana has a long history of being corrupted by corporate interests and then waking up to the ruse and taking back our rights. This past year the City of Missoula has taken on Carlyle Corporation one of the largest investment firms in the world and Montana Law supported Missoula’s eminent domain claim to take back the water as a public resource. Since that time, there have been two proposed water bottling companies on the Flathead River and just yesterday one on Blackfoot land. Because I am no longer a journalist, I don’t have to just use humans as sources for my stories. Yesterday when I was in an airplane flying east over the Rocky Mountains, a beautiful, magnificent feminine presence came into my awareness.
She is the consciousness of the water that lies underneath the Rocky Mountains and she helped me understand the analogy of what is happening with water in the Rockies and more specifically here in our valley. She showed me that her consciousness erupts from deep within the earth and manifests itself as the thousands of streams, creeks, and lakes North into Canada and between the East Side of Glacier Park all of the way to the Salish Mountains, west of Whitefish. She erupts from the earth as fresh, clean water flowing down the slopes of mountains, mixing with the rain water and the melting water of the snow. She rushes joyfully from smaller creeks into larger streams and then finally into rivers such as the Two Medicine and Cut Bank Creek on the East Side and the 3 tributaries of the Flathead, as well as the Whitefish and Stillwater Rivers on the west side. As she travels through the valleys she picks up the energy of the people and the animals communicating upstream and down what is happening in the Flathead Basin on the West and the Missouri on the East.
My connection yesterday was more with the energy and facet of the water expressed in the Flathead basin. She went on to put what was happening in terms that I could understand.
In Chinese Medicine, at least according to the tradition I have studied, it is believed that at the moment of conception we decide what our purpose/destiny is going to be. Then our ancestors step forward to give us the gifts we are going to use to fulfill that purpose and then we are given the will, concentration focus to do it and then, finally we are given the chi or life force to fulfill our destiny. When we are born, that chi or life force is stored in our kidneys and we can access it in order to fulfill our destiny.
When we incarnate into human form, there is inevitably chaos. Many of us, in order to deal with the chaos begin misusing our will, trying to control and manipulate things and people in order to feel safe. Ultimately this is a misuse of our energy and will eventually deplete our inherited chi, that we are really only supposed to use to fulfill our purpose. The other thing that depletes us is when we aren’t able
to acquire chi through good, healthy, live food full of chi or through positive interactions with other people and through the life force that comes in with each breath.
Ultimately these attempts to control chaos divert us from our purpose and deplete our store of chi and life force and we get tired and often sick. The consciousness of the water that the earth gives us helped give me a different perspective on Lew Weaver, the man trying to open a bottling plant on the Egan Slough, which acts as the kidneys for Flathead Lake. Not only is he attempting to divert water from its destined path, he also intending to put more toxins into a river that is becoming more and more stressed from municipal and industrial waste.
Because of my spiritual path, I am always try to understand that everything is a reflection of something that is happening within me and that I have something personal to learn when outside circumstances “trigger my shit” as Lew Weaver’s plans certainly have. One of the things that I noticed from this attempt to bottle and sell of a resource that belongs to no one person, not even a corporation is how much RAGE I feel now towards corporate attempts to control water. Metaphysically water can be interpreted to mean spirit and emotions and from a Chinese Medicine Perspective water is associated with Fear and the Wisdom of our Ancestors.
The other thing I noticed was how exhausted I had become. I knew in the fall that I had overworked through the summer but I felt refreshed by January. However, something shifted as soon as the energy moved into spring. My menopausal symptoms increased, I became wrathful about things happening in the world and I couldn’t seem to get enough sleep. Luckily for me, my daughter had given me a gift certificate for some acupuncturist and I scheduled my session. Not surprisingly when she tested my pulses, my kidney pulses were very weak and she said I had a Liver Blood Deficiency.
Finally the Spirit of the Water made it clear to me that I was using my energy for something that was depleting my chi and diverting me from my destiny. She also felt there was something arising that involved ancestral concerns.
So just like Lew Weaver, trying to “steal water from the People,” something I was doing was stealing energy from my soul. And as my brilliant friend Jen said, I was most likely “bottling up some emotions like Lew Weaver wanted to “bottle up the water”.
As far as the Law of Oneness and Reflection is concerned I wonder if all of those of us who are Pissed about Lew trying to divert and bottle the water would be willing to look at what we have “bottled up”, how we are diverting our life force and distracting ourselves from our destiny, would Lew Weaver give up on his attempts to bottle the water and the other companies coming out of the woodwork to bottle and sell off the water that belongs to no one and yet everyone?
According to some, we are living in Destiny Triggering Times. Is my destiny tied to protecting the water? If so, are the water and the people best served by me fighting people like Lew or is my energy best used healing my “resource grabbing ego”? Or would my energy be better spent getting clearer about my purpose. At 53 I can’t afford to squander my energy or bottle my emotions. The power of my hormones is pushing me towards something. I guess I will surrender.
I wrote this on my way to my first week of Plant Spirit Medicine Training and to say that I had bottled up emotions was actually an understatement. As I learned more about the 5 Elements from Eliot Cowan I learned that in order to survive in this crazy culture, I learned to disassociate from my feelings to survive. Feelings, except for anger, were not very well tolerated in my family and as I am learning, in the culture in general. I had a fear at one point during my class that I wouldn’t be able to stop crying. I was crying about things I had only intellectually dealt with that rushed to the surface, like the water to move.
Of course it is very important that we stand up for the water in this valley, but we also have to stand up for all of the elements or like what is happening in other parts of this country or the world, the imbalances created my man will only lead to more suffering in the way of famines, droughts, starvation, cancers and ultimately mass extinctions of plants, animals and even humans.
The beautiful flow of the water, destined for the ocean and its dance back into our valley through rain and snow could be a memory we tell our grandchildren if we don’t all come together to restore the natural flow of nature. While we are working to restore the natural harmony in our outside world, it is equally important to restore the harmony of the 5 Elements in our inside world.