Traveling and the Land of the Living Dead

Dear Friends,

I left Gold Beach last Thursday, February 28th, and traveled with my wife Alia down to Elk Grove, California (just south of Sacramento). Her 30 year old son Bryan has just returned from his tour of duty with the Army to Okinawa, Japan and we went to his Homecoming Party at his Dad’s place where he is staying at the moment. We returned Monday evening and I am now looking at the impressions the trip left me with.

We rarely leave our little town of Gold Beach (2300 inhabitants) here on the Southern Oregon Coast and when we do it is just a short trip to the next larger town of Brookings (6500 inhabitants) for some basic shopping. So this was a foray out into the ‘real world’, with Walmarts, Targets, huge Walgreens, Ray’s, Starbucks everywhere as well as the usual Denny’s etc, etc. which include tremendous parking lots, divided roads and all the rules you have to play by in order to function there – all of which doesn’t exist in Gold Beach.

What always gives me a reality check on such trips is the degree of presence the people are able to retain in the midst of such an unnatural environment. Everyone is doing their best to stay in the quality of consciousness that is known as “human” and it is apparent how much of a struggle it is. I am acutely aware of the effort it would demand of me were I to live there for an extended period. I have lived in major cities most of my life, including Milano, Berlin, Duesseldorf, Cologne, Miami and others and it was by conscious choice that Alia and I decided to move here to this rather isolated area of the USA.

Upon our return yesterday evening we watched a 17 minute TEDx talk by Tim Mccartney with the title “We Need Dreamers, Poets and Doers” that was very synchronistic to my own reflections on our trip. Here is the description:

“Recounting the lessons learned from his time with the ‘metis’ Native Americans, Eco-warrior Tim McCartney tells the dramatic story of his visit to the “Land of the Living Dead” after a seven day initiation ritual. He urges the audience to reconnect with life and the Earth, to speak out for what they love, and to be the “warrior of the open heart”. In order to do so Mac says, we need to hear the voices of trees and remember the messages of our ancestors. They alone can teach us community and connectedness, to be lovers of the Earth where we truly belong. 

Tim ‘Mac’ Macartney is the founder of Embercombe, a social enterprise that seeks to “inspire committed action for a truly sustainable world”. He leads Embercombe’s work with business organisations, and contributes to a number of business external advisory panels. All of Mac’s work is focused at exploring relationship, belonging, and responsibility.

For twenty years he was mentored by a group of ‘metis’ Native Americans. This prolonged and challenging training has profoundly influenced Mac’s worldview and continues to inform all aspects of his work with organisations, children, families, and youth.
Personal website — extracts from talks: www.timmacmacartney.co.uk
Embercombe website www.embercombe.co.uk

Enjoy a very contemplative 17 minutes with Tim Mccartney:

14 thoughts on “Traveling and the Land of the Living Dead

  1. Wow, what a “rooted” discussion about connection, to each other, trees, mother earth, everything. And thanks for introducing us to Tim’s message, it’s timelessly timely. We all need to redefine our relationship with everything, since in reality we’re virtually & (literally) interconnected. Nice post and vid. Gold beach sounds like your little slice of heaven. Blessings to you both Alia & Tomas! ♥

  2. Good post Thomas! Gold Beach is a wonderful place! I went there as a “vacation” from my vacation when I was thru-hiking the PCT. It was just a short day trip but I had been missing the ocean and seeing it brought me so much joy. Don’t get me wrong.. the mountains are extremely majestic and nothing quite beats them.. but there is a certain stillness and calming rhythm about the ocean. I will always remember that trip! Thank you for the memory jogger : )

    • Thanks, Sara ~ We notice that the ocean and the weather on the coast dominate this area and that the people are constantly ‘entrained’ by Nature to remember there is something larger than our often trivial daily activities. It keeps us humble.

  3. Excellent. As one who lives endeavoring to anchor that open heart in the the land of the closed, thank you for this share. I am always heart happy when I find resources that can help speak to others in the midst of remembering their openings as well. I will be re-posting! (And can I ask you to wave at those beautiful waves near your home from me… I have not made it to the coast from PDX during my current visit… I fly back to the living dead remembering in NYC, sharing the love again there starting tomorrow.). -x.M

    • This is an exceptional time on Planet Earth and Warriors of the Open Heart are finding allies in the most improbable places. Our species is wanting to wake up and become alive again – we don’t know when the 100th monkey will awaken 🙂 it could be in NYC tomorrow! with Love, ♥ tomas

  4. Tomas never heard of Gold Beach although we have been a bit in Oregon. NIce you and Alia have found a small isolated town in America to settle in that you resonate with. Will be back in the states in April and then can check out the video. shanti….kai

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