An Earth Day Reflection by Dane Breslin

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Approaching the intersections of queerness, ecology, and theology is daunting to me. Though I hold a degree in environmental studies, have worked seasons on sustainable farms & orchards, taught stream restoration, and have always loved gardening; I still feel as though I know very little about how the organic systems which sustain our lives actually works! My queerness is also mysterious to me- it has been a constant revelatory process that defies the many binaries I thought were the only options and invites me into another way of being. My life is far more sparkly than I thought it would be- there is a saturation of color I did not anticipate. All of this exists within the major question of my heart: what the hell is this all about? What is reality about? What is real? Or, what is Divinity?
 
For me, whose previous life has exploded with the death of a beloved friend & spiritual sibling, who is still reeling from the rapid change of divorce, I can’t approach the queer-eco-theological intersection with the brain but only from the mystical space of the heart. When I speak from my heart what emerges is poetry: so below is a poem which I hope speaks to this profound intersection from my limited and privileged perspective.
 
The Body Earth
 
When you see your body
Do you see a body that is the Earth?
When your lovers kiss your skin
Their lips touch glacier, grassland, desert sand
 
Gaze into an open eye
And gaze into the eyes of the wetland!
Sing to the rafters of this old Cathedral
And join the chorus of creation! 
 
Do not strive to be stardust
But to be the kin of the sunflower
The dogwood, the ancient beetles,
(And, of course, the sacred honeybees)
Who have watched eons pass
Who are content right here, on Earth
 
Do not desire to leave this place
Instead, desire to stay rooted right here
Belong right here, as you always have and will
On this mantle of soil which gave birth to you
The origin and destination of your bones
 
To you and I, and all that moves
(Even the wild asparagus in the ditch)
We are One & We are Different
The Unitive & The Particular
Always, always, all at once
 
YES- the whole of creation is beautifully queer
So, may we dissolve the binary which divides
Parses us into “humanity” and “the environment”
This is an illusion…
 
For, we are not separate from nature
Nature brought us into being!
We are Nature
We are kindred
We are one body.
 

 
Image Description: An image with a toddler’s hands playing in the dirt with the words: Do not strive to be stardust. But to be the kin of the sunflower, the dogwood, the ancient beetles, (And, of course, the sacred honeybees) Who have watched eons pass who are content right here, on Earth. Do not desire to leave this place. Instead, desire to stay rooted right here. Belong right here, as you always have and will. On this mantle of soil which gave birth to you the origin and destination of your bones. By Dane Breslin
 

 
Dane Anthony Raphael Breslin (he/him) lives with his toddler son in the homeland of the P’Squosa (Wenatchi) people in Central Washington. He is a candidate for ministry of Word & Sacrament in the ELCA. Dane is a queer poet, artist and plant enthusiast who works to move faith communities to support queer youth, to plant sustainable gardens and joins them in unlearning colonial and racist patterns/beliefs/behaviors in heart/body/mind.

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