Monday, November 2, 2009

Crime and Justice, in Canada’s Tar Sands



Crime and Justice, in Canada’s Tar Sands
By Jeremy Williams
Freelance photographer, arrested on the Athabasca River along with 20 Greenpeace activists at the Suncor Facility north of Fort McMurray, Alberta on September 30th, 2009

“Can you get on a plane today?” was the key question in my discussion with Jessica Wilson, from Greenpeace Canada, “We need a photographer for tomorrow’s action…” I accepted with a mix of excitement and apprehension.
“There is a good chance you could be arrested…” she added.
I was aware of that risk, but saw this as an opportunity to learn more about the Tar Sands, to see them up close and then share my first hand knowledge of what I consider to be a crime against the planet and future generations.
Alberta’s tar sands produce the dirtiest oil on earth and release massive amounts of CO2 emissions - just in the production process alone! The process includes clear cutting Boreal Forest, strip mining the bitumen (tar sand), and dumping 1.8 billion litres of polluted water into tailing ponds every day. These tailing ponds release toxins such as naphthenic acids, trace metals, and ammonia into the environment. A report entitled “11 Million Litres a Day: The Tar Sands’ Leaking Legacy,” released in December of 2008 by Environmental Defence suggests that 11 million litres of contaminated water leak from tailings ponds every day. The report also estimates that over four billion litres of tailings-contaminated water enters groundwater every year. If proposed projects continue, this number would top 25 billion litres per year within a decade.
Descending into Ft. McMurray that night was like being cast into hell. Out of the darkness appeared an evil glow, massive flames spewed dark clouds reflecting orange light that pulsated like a breathing beast on fire. Below me streetlights, highways, subdivisions and vehicles were clustered like a glowing beehive.
Surely the corporate executives fly in on private leer jets, if at all, because the passengers on board this flight were all middle-class men and women from small town Canada, with no or little retirement savings, coming to work in the oil industry.
Nick-named “Fort McMoney”, this town has the feel of a modern gold rush town. But instead of horse drawn carriages, it’s now one tonne trucks and shiny new SUVs. The best and worst of society can be found here: Canadian Heritage, hope, despair, drugs, prostitution, greed, gluttony, suicide.
At midnight I was picked up by a hot shot photographer from Greenpeace International. He gave me some bare bones info on what to expect in a few short hours. He showed me aerial photos of the Suncor facility on the Athabasca River that I would be paddling through in the morning. The scale and feel of such a monstrous industrial operation hardly comes through in a photograph…
I laid down on a couch at 2am hoping to catch one good hour of sleep before a chaotic day was to unfold.



3am. September 30th, we got up, dressed and went into the cold dark night. We climbed into a car and drove out into the flat country of northern Alberta. Ironically, we met up with several other vehicles at a gas station. As the engines started, the adrenaline began to flow. We were running late, at least an hour behind. The highway was a zoo. The morning rush had begun. Vehicles, like frenzied blood vessels, raced down arteries towards the heart of the beast. We were on the highway to hell.
We pulled over onto the side of the blacktop, there were at least 6 cars and trucks in our caravan. We grabbed our gear and ran off into the forest as quickly as possible.
We marched single file into the darkness, without a word. A rough trail led a couple kilometers through dense bush down to the bank of the Athabasca River. The sky was beginning to glow, not just from the gas flares, but with twilight. Faces were now recognizable. We were a global community with accents from Germany, England, Brazil, France, Australia and all over Canada. Because Alberta’s tar sands are the largest capital investment and energy project on the planet, stopping it requires global action.
After a bit of chaos and confusion with gear, we loaded onto canoes and zodiacs and we began our paddle down the river. Team One was away, the rest of us were delayed. I got into what appeared to be a sturdy inflatable zodiac and began a slow paddle downstream. For a short while it was a pleasant journey. The boreal forest was painted in autumn colors. The air was fresh, clean, tranquil and quiet. This was the calm before the storm.
The silence was broken by the horrific bang of propane canons exploding every few seconds like gunfire. We were entering a war zone. This was a war on nature. I was told the canons are used in an attempt to scare away birds from the toxic tailing ponds all around us. Miles of wasteland. It was barren, deadly. Then a toxic brew filled our lungs, the putrid smell of tar. We rounded a corner and the “upgrading facility” came into site. This gigantic industrial machine had dozens of smoke stacks with flames flaring into the sky, burning “excess” natural gases, wasting massive amounts of energy and heating up the planet! The bituminous sands industry reported emissions of 28.5 megatonnes (million tonnes) of CO2eq in 2004, 35.8 megatonnes of CO2eq in 2007, and have been projected to be 113.1-141.6 megatonnes CO2eq in 20202 .
Team One was in position. They had paddled ahead, scrambled up the eastern shore and chained themselves to the conveyor belts in the mine. We were glad to hear the news, but our cover was blown. Now Suncor’s security force was awaiting us, trucks were swarming the banks of the river and we were still a kilometer away from the bridge.
A Suncor jet boat was on us like a hungry vulture following a weary animal. So much for sneaking in under the cover of darkness…
We were now under the surveillance of twenty odd Suncor employees who were anything but polite, indeed they were very rude until a handful of RCMP officers arrived on the scene. Meanwhile, Bruce Cox, the Executive Director for Greenpeace Canada, was juggling three cell phones that were constantly ringing. He and Jessica were being interviewed live on radio stations across the globe. My photos were uploaded via laptop computer to an FTP site for global distribution, and several activists were streaming video their cellular phones. The action was proving effective.
The last boat to join the raft of canoes, kayaks and zodiacs under the bridge had brought along the floating banner. Prepared for swimming in a deep river, several activists wore dry suits, but the water was only waist deep making for an easy deployment of the sixty-foot banner that read “Dying for climate leadership”. Many people in First Nations communities downstream, including the Chipewyan, are dependent on fishing in the river for subsistence and are literally dying from rare cancers linked to the toxins that the tar sands leach into the river. Eleven million litres every day!
In 2007, a study by Dr. Kevin Timoney, conducted on the on behalf of the Fort Chipewyan health authority 3, revealed high levels of arsenic, aluminum, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, led, phosphorous, selenium, titanium, and phenols in the Athatbasca River. High levels of arsenic, cadmium, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH’s) and resin acids were found in the sediment, as well as high levels of mercury in fish. Most disturbing are the arsenic, PAH’s and mercury which are linked to cancer, and other deadly diseases. Perhaps the RCMP did not know this? If they did, would they still be coming after us?
Part of the original plan was to blockade the bridge, but that was clearly no longer possible, so after the helicopter had flown over with a photographer and a videographer on board to capture the aerial shots, we decided to call it a day. We began paddling downstream in what became the slowest police chase ever, at least on the Athabasca River.
An hour and a half later, we had only traveled 3 kilometers and our leaking zodiac was taking on water. We stopped to rest on the eastern shore of the river. Other protestors joined us and before we knew it, the RCMP were on board the Suncor jet boat and heading our way. They called out from the boat, “You are trespassing on Suncor’s property, if you do not get back into your boats, you will be charged with trespassing…”
The boat approached the shore as we began climbing back into our zodiacs.
Four constables and a dog charged us “You’re under arrest for mischief,” I heard one of the officers yell. They grabbed some of the protestors roughly and pulled them back onto shore in the shallow water. I climbed into my zodiac with Pascale, a videographer, and we paddled out a few yards. I grabbed her video camera and began filming the scene.
“You are all now officially under arrest for mischief, if you do not return to shore and surrender yourselves you will face a second charge of obstruction of justice,” one officer yelled from the shore. Neither Pascale nor I liked the idea of facing either of these charges and so we reluctantly paddled back to shore. The other boat had paddled farther away and did not hear the discussion.
By this time everyone was cuffed and sitting down. My bladder felt like it was going to burst. “Excuse me officer, can I water a bush?” I asked.
“If you do, you will be facing another charge under the Environmental Protection Act,” Was his cold reply.
I gasped, “You’re joking! These guys (pointing upstream to the Suncor facility) dump 1 million liters of toxins into the river every day, and you’re gonna charge me, under the Environmental Protection Act, for pissing in the bush…?”
There was no reply, but a general feeling of anger pervaded our group. If this is not collusion, I do not know what is; A complete perversion of justice. “To serve and protect capitalism,” I thought to myself.
As we were loaded into Suncor’s boat, Bruce Cox asked the officer “Don’t you think it’s dangerous to take us onto the water with our hands cuffed behind our backs?”
“You’re wearing a life jacket,” was his response.
Bruce’s personal flotation device was not done up and would not have saved him, had he fallen in.
On the western shore of the river a crowd had gathered. There were now a few more police officers and some bystanders, clearly Suncor employees, because if they weren’t, they too were trespassing. One woman was taking photos of us.
“Officer, are you going to arrest that woman for taking photos too, that’s all I did…” I was not happy that the Suncor employees were given special treatment, clearly there was a different set of rules for them.
An hour later, the third boat was seized and three more activists were taken into custody. We then waited two hours for a van to show up, some of us were lucky enough to wait in the back of the police car and get warmed up as we waited. I was soaked, chilled to the bone and shivering. Warming up in the car helped with the bladder situation too.
Jessica still had her cell phone and took several calls from the media. I was wishing I could have photographed the scene. For the most part the police officers were polite and courteous towards us, granted we had done nothing wrong and did not deserve to be under arrest.
As we drove across Suncor’s facility, Bruce Cox was on his cellular phone, being interviewed by the media. Other people’s cell phones were streaming video on the worldwide web. When we arrived at the site of the conveyor belt lock down, the police went into a company office where Suncor employees must have shown them the Greenpeace website, because they knew someone had been streaming video from the van and were very upset with us. We were searched, groped and stripped of cell phones.
I was aghast, never before had I seen such a disaster zone. The land was dead, carved up, chewed and spat out. Pipes carried the toxins and released them into the air, the water and into tailing ponds, which surrounded us as far as the eye could see- black pools of polluted water by the millions of gallons… Tailing ponds already cover 50 square kilometers of Alberta’s former boreal forest. These man-made tailings ponds are gigantic dams and “If any of these tailings ponds ever burst the world would forever forget about the Exxon Valdez, States Water ecologist Dr. David Schindler. Syncrude’s Southwest Sand Storage (SWSS) Facility is one of the largest dams on Earth, outsized only by China’s Three Gorges dam.
I was witnessing a real crime, a dead zone, a festering wound that would continue to pollute the planet with toxins for centuries! Yet Greenpeace was being dubbed the criminal, and our “justice system” was protecting the real offenders! The air was dense and acidic. My heart was heavy with the sight of this menace, this machine eating away at the earth, wreaking havoc on the sky above, releasing a deadly concoction of chemicals into the air that would spell poison for generations to come…
At six o’clock that evening ten of us were taken to the local RCMP detachment and locked up. We were searched again and papers were signed for the confiscation of our materials. For six hours seven men were crowded into one small cell; we were refused phone calls, and refused blankets and food. My clothes were still wet and I could not fall asleep on the cold concrete. The volunteers who had chained themselves to the conveyor belts were brought in an hour or two later. There was twenty-one of us in total.
Finally, we were brought out one by one to answer a few questions, phone our lawyers, and then placed into different cells with fewer prisoners. Originally, we thought we’d be released that night, but we waited as a drunk driver came and went. Someone wanted us to suffer, while the real criminals went freely about their business.
I was put into a cell with two other guys and only one blanket. Luckily for me, my cell mates, Tavis (from Calgary) and Johannes (from Germany), were friendly enough to share the blanket. We finally slept for a couple hours, but it proved difficult with the bright lights shining in my eyes.
Sixteen hours later, we were finally given our first meal: one waffle and one coffee each. We pleaded, vainly, for more food. We assumed that by nine in the morning we would see a justice of the peace and be released. But lunch came, then dinner was served - but justice was not. Why were we held so long? Who was calling the shots?
I later read about how the Premier, Ed Stelmach might have had a role in our punishment.

Finally, at eleven forty-five pm, thirty-two hours later, I was the last prisoner released. We all had to sign a recognizance form, which included these conditions;
***RELEASED ON $500.00 CASH RECOGNIZANCE WITH THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS:
1. YOU SHALL KEEP THE PEACE AND BE OF GOOD BEHAVIOUR;
2. YOU SHALL APPEAR BEFORE THE COURT WHEN REQUIRED TO DO SO;
3. YOU SHAL REPORT BY TELEPHONE TO THE FT. MCMURRAY RCMP DETACHMENT… ON THE LAST FRIDAY OF EACH MONTH
4. YOU SHALL NOT ATTEND WITHIN THE REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF WOOD BUFFALO EXCEPT FOR TRAVEL DIRECTLY TO OF FROM COURT AND ATTENDING COURT.
5. YOU SHALL CARRY A COPY OF YOUR RELEASE DOCUMENTS WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES WHILE WITHIN THE REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF WOOD BUFFALO AND PRODUCE THEM TO A PEACE OFFICER UPON REQUEST;
6. YOU SHALL LEAVE THE REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF WOOD BUFFALO FORTHWITH AND AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE UPON YOUR RELASE

Outside, we were greeted with hugs and food from strangers, and friends. We were free - free to leave the area immediately, or face arrest. So much for a “free country”…

I fled for Edmonton a few hours later, thirsty for hope, hungry for justice.
I had witnessed an abominable crime. I had lost what little faith I had in my government. I was charged with a criminal offence, but was not sure what crime I had committed.
I headed for home in BC to rest and reflect on crime and justice in Alberta’s Tar Sands. Greenpeace occupied another facility in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, where 16 more people were arrested. This was their third action in three weeks!
The Premier of Alberta, Ed Stelmach decided to mix politics with justice and declared, "We're going to be working very closely with industry and our solicitor general will be reviewing all of the guidelines we have in place and will be reporting back to me."
"In 30 years of defending individuals and corporations in this province, never before have I seen such political interference in a case that's presently before the courts," stated lawyer Brian Beresh who is representing Greenpeace and those arrested.
The Solicitor General Fred Lindsay suggested protestors (“protectors” sounds better to me), could be tried under anti-terrorism laws.
“What he said is that it may be time for us to look at these people as more than just protesters… He wants to make sure justice is served and they’re prosecuted fully under the appropriate Alberta laws,” states Sharon Lopatka, spokeswoman for the solicitor general’s office.
My Lawyer Brian Beresh says it best, "… that's exactly what Joe McCarthy did when he spoke about the communists… in the United States, and it was fear-mongering at its highest." Beresh also stated, “Such comments incite hatred toward activists and foment discontent within the public about people who are exercising constitutional rights. It is highly irresponsible for a solicitor general to make those comments publicly…”
Now I was beginning to understand why I got such Royal treatment in Alberta.
"It caused me to wonder whether or not the premier's comments had that immediate an effect," states Beresh, citing the charges against the activists have been escalating. There were no charges filed after the first protest on September 15 at Shell's Muskeg River oilsands mine. But mischief charges were laid on September 30 at Suncor's upgrader near Fort McMurray – where I was arrested, despite Suncor's declaration it wouldn't seek legal remedy. Break-and-enter charges were laid after the third demonstration in Fort Saskatchewan.
As of October 14th, Suncor filed a lawsuit against Greenpeace for $1.5 million dollars it claims to have lost during the occupation on September 30th. The real cost of cleaning up such a toxic wasteland, a polluted watershed and chaotic climate will be paid by our children’s children, and I doubt justice will ever be served in Alberta’s Tar Sands, the most destructive project on earth.

© Copyright Jeremy Williams (http://www.jeremywilliams.ca)

References:
1.) 11 Million Litres a day: the tar sands’ leaking legacy
http://www.environmentaldefence.ca/reports/pdf/TailingsReport_FinalDec8.pdf
2.) Bitumen and Biocarbon
http://www.globalforestwatch.ca/climateandforests/bitumenbiocarbon/BioCarbon_WEB_LR.pdf.
3.) A study of water and sediment quality as related to public health issues,
Fort Chipwewyan, Alberta
http://www.connectingthedrops.ca/docs/fc-final-report-revised-dec2007.pdf



The crime scene: a few frightening facts about the Tar sands,

Deforestation:
-According to A new research paper, Bitumen and Biocarbon, by Global Forest Watch Canada, as of June 1, 2009, 68,574 hectares of boreal forest and peatlands had been cleared for oil sands surface mining releasing 77 megatonnes of CO2 . If the total area of natural ecosystems that are planned for removal by oil sands extraction over the next 100 years are “developed” (1,613,887 hectares - 20 times the size of the City of Calgary), 873 megatonnes of CO2 would be emitted into the atmosphere, from deforestation alone.

Water:
-2-5 barrels of fresh water are used to produce one barrel of oil. Tar sands operations are draining the Peace-Athabasca Delta, which is the collector of more than 1/6 of Canada's fresh watersheds.

CO2:
(From Bitumen and Biocarbon) Although not all of the biological carbon contained within ecosystems changed by bitumen industrial activities will be emitted into the atmosphere, if all of this carbon (578.9 megatonnes) were emitted, this would amount to 2,121.3 megatonnes of CO2.
While this scenario is unrealistic, it nevertheless highlights the significance of potential greenhouse gas emissions from the release of biological carbon stores from those natural ecosystems that will be changed by a full development scenario of the bituminous sands. Our likely estimate of releases under a full development scenario would be 238.3 megatonnes of carbon, 873.4 megatonnes of CO2, or 41.1% of the total carbon contained in the area disturbed by bitumen industrial operations. Over 100 years, this would average out to 8.7 megatonnes CO2 per year, with great variability year-to-year and decade-to-decade. Although reclamation will sequester carbon from the atmosphere, it is unlikely to replace most of the lost biocarbon for thousands of years. Canada’s total emissions for 2007 were 747 megatonnes CO2eq from all sources and Canada’s Kyoto
target is 558.4 megatonnes.

Tax payers:
The Canadian and Alberta governments have announced they would give $865 million tax payers’ dollars to help Royal Dutch Shell build carbon capture and storage facilities for their operations in Alberta's oil sands. Canada is coughing up $120 million from its $1 billion “Clean Energy Fund”, and Alberta is donating $745 million out of a $2 billion carbon capture and storage fund.

"We are creating an environmental catastrophe that will take centuries to recover from…if we recover at all." ~ David Suzuki

"There is no minister of the environment on Earth who can stop this (oil sands development) from going forward, because there is too much money in it." ~ former Environment Minister St├ęphane Dion



------------------------------------------------------------

video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_GSHrD9W3U

my photos
http://picasaweb.google.ca/jeremyseanwilliams/CanadaSTarSands#

greenpeace photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/greenpeaceinternational/sets/72157622250648761/show/

story published by theleftcoast.ca

part one
http://theleftcoast.ca/?p=765
part two
http://theleftcoast.ca/?p=771
part three
http://theleftcoast.ca/?p=775
part four
http://theleftcoast.ca/?p=778
part five
http://theleftcoast.ca/?p=782
part six
http://theleftcoast.ca/?p=784

Saturday, October 17, 2009

let your soul shine

Consciousness and love are synonomous

to be conscious, is to be aware of the unity
from the experience of unity, comes love
complete acceptance of what is, beyond form
beyond judgement and projection of the ego
and it's perversions and prejudice

love
is the divine light
flowing from within all beings
to love oneself, is to love all

peace
is to abide in the state of being
connected to all creation
in a state of harmony with the universe
singing the one song, the uni-verse

the cosmos is a mirror
reflecting your inner state
which is constant flux
the flow of energy
the dance of the stars
like cells in your body
your galactic body

emergence
all life blossoms
form is in flux,
metamorphasis

evolving at an exponential rate
speeding up
shifting
revealing our true nature

love
is the light
shining into the heart of darkness
awakening those parts of the whole
that unconsciously harm
that do not know love yet
for to judge 'others' is to judge oneself
for there is no separation
no 'in here' and 'out there'
no 'you' and 'me'

pure being
pure awareness
is complete acceptance, love

the ego is 'self' centered
but it's concept of 'self' is illusion, form
attachment to form is suffering

liberation only comes through finding ones' essence
in the ether
in the space which holds us all
the light that binds us all

through this experience
we finally hear our heart beat
the one heart
the one love

limitless
life

let your soul shine
let your spirit sing
this is the force
of all creation
let it stem from love

be rooted in this divine light
and your life will branch out
into the heavens
and blossom with beauty

like bees collecting pollen from a plathora of flowers
drawn in by the vibrance of color
and the scent of celebration
be a messenger of peace
be a vessel for divine love
falling like rain
without prejudice
upon all beings

Friday, September 11, 2009

amongst the mist and mountains


Somewhere,
amongst the mist and mountains
within the ice and the air
lies a force that beckons us all...

what is this magic
that inhabits this land?
what is it's true value?

such bounty and boldness
a mold that casts such beauty...

how is this spirit not within us?
how can one posses and destroy
a spirit
which permeates the void?
this wild land
this wild sea

such abundance can only instill a sense of awe
creation abounds here
beauty beyond belief

and yet I sail
on the surface of a deep ocean
a wealth of wisdom

imparting knowledge
as the glaciers crumble into the sea
the crash of gravity
sinking
absorbing me

white thunder echoes
with an icy blue wave
rippling out to sea
singing out to the universe
the one song

can't you hear it?
howling at your door
whistling through your window
let it in
let it in

where are you in this picture?
have you opened your eyes
to this galactic mirror?
have you closed them
to find it within?

Or are you in limbo,
drifting like dust in the wind
hoping to land on fertile soil
hoping the heavens will rain down
and germinate the seeds of your mind

yet
how can one cast away
all they cherish
without knowing
what will be?
what will be?

http://www.jeremywilliams.ca

The Ceremony


Let our life be a ceremony!
A celebration,
A gift to our children
of love
of hope
a beautiful world
rich with true wealth
the kind that can only be shared
by showing we care
by giving it all away
and knowing that is the way
to liberation
to glorify creation
and to add beauty
is to enhance possibility
to bestow a world of peace
of love
and laughter

this is my dream
let it be
let me see
it is so
and so it is
amen

Friday, September 4, 2009

real


i should have known

i saw light seeping through the clouds last night
i was awash in emotion
but those words last night...


i was very moody

i saw a new side of the world last night
faces and mirrors
masks
stories
beings

clothed in ego

divided, yet one

i was all of them
and found myself humbled
naked
raw
real


www.jeremywilliams.ca

reign of time


I paint this picture of you
water color
but the tears wash it away


evening light casts long shadows
in your eyes
and the depth pulls me in

my heart is in your hands
like a lead weight, beating

I know it's too much to bare...

I know that you aren't there
but it's a nice dream

a cheap holiday in my mind

Heat waves blur the scene
a rainbow of colors surround us
and the air is sweet
wild roses
dry grass
and a gentle breeze blowing in your hair as we watch the ocean whisper
and caress the earth

the sky is air brushed with pink cirrus
the land scape is water color, pastel
dripping off the canvas
like tears into the sea

I see through the eye of the beholder now

i am the painter
you, the perfect picture

but i can't seem to grasp
and I want to drown in you...

in the richness of light and color
but it fades

it dries up
and I'm left with a yearning for love
a need to be acknowledged
i exist
do you?

I see myself now

a lone boy
immersed in wonder

why is he alone?

like a ghost,
the world seems to ignore him, elude him, elate him

he is transparent
he has no parent

he has no life of his own
but his spirit guides him

and with a grain of sand
and all it's majesty
he walks on

into the mystic
and picks up a paint brush

asking for nothing more
than a canvas
and some oil

sometimes the colors are dark
and grey
sometimes he cannot say

sometimes he wants what is

to last for ever...

but his canvas is his mind
and it dissolves
and washes away...

in the reign of time...

www.jeremywilliams.ca

Scars


Judge me
scold me
knock me down
from the pedestal of your design
if it makes you feel better...

I can only hope
that you will look deeper

for beyond the surface
Lies
a sea of me
and roses have thorns
and I have scars...

www.jeremywilliams.ca

Saturday, August 8, 2009


THE MOST PRECIOUS THING

Not an object, but your consciousness, the focus of your awareness.

Not only is this your most precious thing,
but your most important gift to others,
the only REAL gift.

Rather than the blind pursuit of things, money and experiences,
it is the awakening that is your true wealth!

No-thing will make you truly happy.

It is this realization that opens the door to a new dimension in living,
and liberates you from the compulsive, neurotic chaotic state
of constant lust for things,
such as thoughts, material objects, and situations...

This unquenchable thirst for entertainment and the "need" to acquire
more stuff is nothing less than an addiction,
and it has been ingrained in our society on a subconscious level
through constant bombardment of media with a message or an agenda
for generations...

Group Think.
We get labeled a black sheep if we don;t follow the high shepherd
to the grazing grounds, big box stores, and shopping malls.

We put on egos like clothes saying "this is who I am".
When we have never really asked the question of who we truly are...

When you reclaim the sovereignty of your mind, you realize that it is the only thing they cannot take away, nor can they value it, it cannot be sold.

It is "invaluable".
It is Sacred.
It is your essence.

Not the content of your mind, but consciousness itself.
It is omnipresent.
It is God,
Within you...

www.jeremywilliams.ca

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

in the void, we find life, power, presence...


the calling of true liberation beckons us

but don't get attached to the form of it

ie: don't think "once i do this___" i will be free
because you can be free FROM stuff, while still having it

you do not need to abandon clothes and all your material possessions,
you just need to abandon your attachment to them,
your identification with them (ego)
this can be labeled as "surrender"

in meditation,
we let go of all concepts and preconceptions of who we are,
what "God" is,
and why we are here...

these are all empty details in a fictional story, based in "time" which is illusion

in the void, we find life, power, presence...
beyond the idea of separation is your true self, permeating the cosmos

liberation,
is self realization,
god realization,
enlightenment,
freedom,
love!

www.jeremywilliams.ca

Saturday, June 13, 2009

fade into the horizon

fade into the horizon

Swimming in a sea of nostalgia
torn between currents
floating on a fleeting wave
yearning for home
yet the tide ebbs and takes me back out
into the unknown
an uncharted voyage

wind in my hair
breathing deep, as the ocean, navy blue

like the endless sky
a void, yet teaming with motion
pulling me in, pulling me out...
fading into nothing

like a grand waterfall
my flow seems to dissolve
and blend into space
absorbed by the roots of ancient trees
and mountain goats
living on the edge of adventure
jump
run
climb
risk it all!

just keep moving
trust the flow
let go

velocity
speed
direction
lost

know the divinity now
as the beholder
the driver in this rusty machine

familiar faces everywhere i turn
save for the mirror

memory lane is a lonely place
but it passes me by
and settles like the dust

and the ghosts fade into the horizon


jeremywilliams.ca

Monday, June 8, 2009

Blossoming

we are in a paradigm shift
and we have to be the change we want to see
yes, we "need" money (within the current dysfunctional system)
but we need even more to question our fundamental core values
and create a world that worships those, not money

emotionally
we develop our sovereignty and unity
once we love our selves unconditionally
then we can extend our love to others further and deeper

i've also realized there is no plateau
that there is cycles, spirals
a bit up and bit down
expanding retracting
like breathing

awareness is everything
and as we awaken to our divinity
we realize we are all one
and then we cease to judge, expect,
or even perceive others as separate

"self realization" or enlightenment
is awakening beyond the concept of self

and as a parent loves a crying baby,
we must embrace the world
and heal it with our love

only then will war cease
and humanity blossom into it's greatness

www.jeremywilliams.ca

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I AM THAT, I AM

Dwelling on things is being stuck in time
returning to NOW is returning to reality
resisting what is makes it a 'bad' thing
we simply need to expand our awareness
and realize that everything happens for a reason
but until we 'know' / experience that reason,
we will continue to take the same class over and over again
until we graduate (realize)

as long as there is 'stuff' inside you
it does need to surface
and be released
not dumped on others
as there is no 'other'

"solution" to some means "fixing", changing,
but sometimes we just need to allow it, surrender
all things are subject to the law of impermanence
it is our resistance to them that creates their persistence
hence we are a society of addicts, seeking "escape" in our
use and abuse of substances, people, distraction...

as we learn to observe objectively
we realize
we are not the judge
we are not on some thrown, looking down on things
we are not who we think we are at all
we are formless, infinite, invincible consciousness
and hence, there is nothing to fear

you are awareness
you have the choice
as to what to focus on
and when you realize that
what you focus on expands
and that you indeed are creating "reality"
with your thoughts and conceptualizations,
you more consciously direct this power

recognize that the fear, anger, and pain within you
can only be healed through love

when a baby cries, do you judge it?
"you should not cry! "
no, we hold that child, that light of the world
and love it
and this transforms the pain

we must each heal our wounds this way
become aware of the pain within you
and hold it
and love it
and let it be

then, as fear dissolves
and unity shines through
we realize

we are the ones we've been waiting for

your consciousness is the "I AM THAT, I AM"
YOU ARE THE LIGHT,
THE TRUTH,
THE WAY

fore heaven is not a destination
it is your essence

amen

jeremywilliams.ca

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I was floating

this morning I made blueberry pancakes for Ayden and I
and the sun came up and started melting the frost that made everything look magical
like faeries had sprinkled the world with glitter all night long...

we biked down the street to the beach and borrowed my neighbors canoe
the water was perfectly calm, without even a hint of wind
we paddled off into the fog and adored the white ball in the sky peeking through the mist
birds seemed to float on clouds
we could not see where the sky and ocean met...

we could see the sandy beach below us
and the shadow of our canoe traced the footsteps we had laid yesterday afternoon at low tide.

the granite bluffs were a blur behind the fog
yet revealed there texture and lines and character as we approached them,
rounded by rivers of ice
eroded by the hungry sea
coated in life from lichen to tree

we paddled across a line
and the water became blurry
we had entered the estuary
and we fought the current beneath us
up, slowly, up to the rapids
up, until we could not defy gravity any longer
we surrendered to the flow
and were carried past many cute birds
none of which I know

but there were many
and when I closed my eyes
I was floating
flying with them
and the warmth of the suns rays lifted my spirit
and carried me away
to where you are
on the shore of some distant sea
simply a reflection of me
or perhaps a dream
either is destiny

jeremywilliams.ca