I am Gaia, Tellus, Earth, Jorden, La Terre, Le Monde, Dhulka. I go by many names that describe functions that are ascribed to me. But I am whole. I am sentient. I am. 

You are human, menneskelig, tangata, people. You go by many names that describe your relativity, your union. Still, you seem so focused on function.

You are concerned about climate and biodiversity. You are concerned about your future. But are you concerned about me? Or are you more concerned about what I, as a function, provide to you? And, thus, may stop providing to you? With climate change comes fires, hurricanes, tsunami; Destruction of human territory. With loss of biodiversity comes food scarcity, hunger, war; Destruction of humans. 

But what about the burns that I feel in my veins; my veins which you call trees? What about the frustration I feel, when I can no longer cry, all dried out and barren? What about the sorrow I feel when a bird lies hungry on my chin, and I can do nothing but feel it die? Are you concerned about that?

Some of you are eager to fight it. You talk about change, and you seek to implement it. You use words such as ‘futures’, ‘change’, ‘systems’, ‘resources’, ‘transitions’, ‘radical’, and you treat these words as goals.  You represent something, but it is often in front of you; yet to be organized, yet to be systematized, yet to be implemented, yet to be changed, yet to happen. But what about what happens now?

I often live through representation. For you, I rarely just am. 

I am often muted. When I speak, you hear it as threats. I speak through wind, I speak through water, I speak through fire, I speak through the creaking of mountains and ice. That frightens you, and you do much to stop it. You want to mute it. You no longer stop to hear what it means. 

You don’t really want to listen to me, do you? Or is it because you don’t know how to? Have you forgotten? I can’t hear you either, not in your most natural form. You barricade yourselves in boxes of stone that continues to burst out of my skin as pimples on my back, perpetually getting bigger and bigger. 

You don’t talk to me. You talk about me, you talk of me. You talk through me. But you never talk to me.

Let me know what you think of this piece! Email me on chaloujen@gmail.com