Bear Death

We are murderers again.

This time we murdered her but we didn’t mean to.

We’d like that “innocence” to change what is, but it does not.

And so today we face her death, and we face all that her death brings forward for us as individuals and as part of the human collective in these ugly times.

Already many have said it was justified.

Us or them and as is typical for humans, we take priority…we’ve certainly proven this in our 200 year rampage on all life forms.

Fuck that.

It is time to face our murderous shadows, at least here. Killing things we love but fear, killing things we care about but can’t control…participating in serial killing through inaction…all up for our review—and I can’t help but want to invite you in.

Today we must allow the grief and our responsibility its place as we step into necessary actions around the death of this bear. This bear whose home we have claimed for ourselves, this bear whose life we took, this bear who had as much right to her life as we do ours…this bear who was not quite finished weaning her cubs. Twins, twin cubs who I have laughed out loud about all summer long especially these last 2 days in a row as they ungracefully scrambled down from a treetop as I approached-utterly terrified—I wasn’t laughing at their terror but their innocent awkwardness, their synchronized and chaotic slip slide which was completely endearing and joy inducing.

I suspect their mother left them in that tree while she went hunting. This image in my mind is now funny not funny as they are orphaned. She will not be returning for them, I suspect they will be scared and unsure and there is little we can do about the fact that they may or may not be ready to fend for themselves leaving starvation or more death on us…and yes, there’s a lot of poor us intermingled with the poor them…and that must be fiercely deconstructed as we alone have taken more power than we could handle and misused it.

What have we done?! It truly was an accident; we have tried everything for 2 months; electric fences, urine, we have sacrificed half of our flock of chickens to her hunger, we have had a bear whisperer up…we have prayed and made offerings, we have wondered what the bears were trying to tell us.  Fie! The way the web of life is merciless in its connection to other life forms never giving the shortsightedness of humans a break-this is justice, and this is something we as a collective continuously choose to ignore.

So, no mercy, we will grieve; the encroachment, the violence, the horror of being a human. We will face the things we do not want to face for ourselves and each other…may we find our way back to remembering our place, may we never forget again and may we choose to humble ourselves to at least recognizing our impact—and change how we move, what we claim, and how we make amends for our greed, our error, our righteousness.

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