An Anthology of Misfortune

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Birth as a Grave Misfortune

For additional information, see the Global Shipping Program terms and conditions - opens in a new window or tab This amount includes applicable customs duties, taxes, brokerage and other fees. Facing into and accepting such a challenging reality as ecocide with integrity may bring profound transformation. He characterises the strength of Dr Rieux as the acceptance of not being able to stop the looming catastrophe and yet not giving into this. This dichotomy between strength and weakness may be too polarised; splitting the heroic character that endures suffering from the martyr who seems like a victim.

This letting go is not of the past but a letting go to an unknown future. Typical clinical examples would be from those who have suffered a tragic event, such as a car crash, loss of a loved one or serious illness and have found through therapy that this creates an unexpected opportunity. The apparent misfortune opens a different door. This is the initiatory threshold that leads to a different life despite the defences against pain and re-traumatisation. As a species, we humans seem to be hesitant to open this door as if a cultural complex is attempting to defend an old collective trauma.

Bachelard Hence, a highly vulnerable system is one that is highly sensitive to modest changes in climate and one for which the ability to adapt is severely constrained. IPCC So after millennia where we have treated the Earth as invulnerable, exploiting her resources and using her as a dumping ground for our waste, the scale of our misuse has reached that unexpected tipping point where we finally realise she is vulnerable. Although common with many indigenous peoples, recognising that we can and do injure the earth is a significant shift in awareness. I can painfully remember enduring weekly attacks from a client who ridiculed and denigrated my attempts to say anything. I knew I had not only to survive her bile but also to continue to offer interventions even though I knew they would be scorned.

I destroyed you. I love you. In that setting, it took courage to speak such an unspeakable utterance and it relinquished any illusions that we were simply lovers of nature. Recognising our ambivalence towards the Earth — both our love, our adoration and our envious hateful feelings that are so often in the shadow — is an important if salutary acknowledgement. We witness this regularly in the out-pouring of remorse from participants in ecopsychology courses. It is also witnessed by Antonio Machado is this poem:.

Melanie Klein pointed to how children may symbolically attempt to make reparation to the mother after a hate-filled action. We could characterise this as the positive face of guilt that leads to remorse and the desire to repair rather than guilt as an experience of failed responsibility for being an agent of extinction.

Transported: Tales of Misfortune & Roguery by Brian Harrison-Lever | HB & PB

While we will not be able to repair the damage done to the body of Earth through our ruthless technological exploitation, we can act to mitigate its effect. This need for reparation links with social and environmental justice where exploiters can be brought to trial. Such conscious soothing of our troubled feelings rather than indulging in the escapist comforts on offer from our dissociated society may allow us to engage living and loving in a world quite different than the secure one with which we are familiar. We might even forsake our role as spectators, as tourists on the outside of this planet and become inhabitants of earth!


Bernstein J. London: Routledge. Spring Publications. Machado, Antonio The wind, one brilliant day. Bloomsbury, New York.


Sealers, Harold. Unconscious Processes in the Environmental Crisis.

Psychoanalytic Review, Vol 59 3 , , Chelsea Green Pub. Well-being of Misfortune: accepting ecological disaster. As Paul Hoggett writes in Climate change and the apocalyptic imagination , The two world wars, the Holocaust and the Cold War, with its attendant possibility of nuclear warfare, can be thought of in this light — each left an imprint on the collective psyche that could not be assimilated in some way.

Gardner Michael Ortiz Hill also perceives a collective rite of passage in his fascinating book, Dreaming the End of the World. Though elements of colonization do present certain challenges and malady to a natural world inhabited for tens of thousands of years by peoples steeped in ideologies, practical and philosophic systems, they do not overcome the lingual sensibilities and prowess of the poets representing the areas of the planet present in this text.

Instead the poets overcome the intrusion. From baleen row, razor clam edge, rabid willow ptarmigan plume, to white buds of plumeria, gardenia, lei, shaded grave of dried lauhala and graying niu, fertile Pacific essence swells these poems into hummock ice knolls, into layers and layers of white sea laps rolling, into mindfulness, consideration, climate care--belonging. Spectacular, immediate, these beaches and beeches along the shores provide a tactile relationship made immense in their stream-crafted images. In drawing from their Native Alaskan and Native Hawaiian cultures and histories, the poems in this book are not an assemblage but a living force and create an intricate, haunting weave.

An Anthology of Misfortune An Anthology of Misfortune
An Anthology of Misfortune An Anthology of Misfortune
An Anthology of Misfortune An Anthology of Misfortune
An Anthology of Misfortune An Anthology of Misfortune
An Anthology of Misfortune An Anthology of Misfortune
An Anthology of Misfortune An Anthology of Misfortune
An Anthology of Misfortune An Anthology of Misfortune

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