A post from Wilson:
This is for Martha
How do you mourn something you’ve never seen, never met, never heard? How do you yearn for its return when you cant remember it ever being? These questions rush to the front of my rational brain as my heart trudges through the noise and mourns a piece of itself, because isn’t everything that breathes or grows or rushes across boulders roaring ancient messages alive, aren’t we all connected, the invisible strings that tethers me to this earth tethers what will come and what has passed as well.
Aldo Leopold in 1947, said of the extinct Passenger Pigeon “Men still live who, in their youth, remember pigeons. Trees still live who, in their youth, were shaken by a living wind. But a decade hence only the oldest oaks will remember, and at long last only the hills will know.”
I remember. I remember. I remember. My heart remembers. My cells remember. My wildlands I call home remember and sing in mourning for its lost brothers and sisters.
If I close my eyes tight and picture deeply I can see them flying over me, billions strong and I remember Aldo Leopolds description of them as a “biological storm”. What riches we have lost for such diluted gains. What infinite heartache does the forest feel for its loss and what shame should we feel for being the harbingers of the ultimate death, not only to a bird but to the forest they fed, to the animals they nourished, to the natives that saw them as kin.
Two hundred, as in two hundred species a day suffer this same fate from the same hands. Look at your hands can you see the blood. Can you feel the pain, or do you take pills for what you feel?
I feel it all, the loss, the guilt, the heart breaking sadness and I am choosing to stand there with it, in mourning for our collective losses, in solidarity with the people fighting externally against this runaway machine and internally against domestication, and I stand in rebellion against this culture of oppression I was born into, this blood that I was baptised in, and this culture that tells me this is the only way to live.
I mourn for Martha, the last of her kind, who passed out of this world in a zoo on September 1st, 1914 at 1:00 pm.