Here in Rio at the People’s Summit, I have been moved to tears several times this week. My mind is trying desperately to wrap itself around the contradictions it is experiencing, needing a logical resting place. I’m not sure that there is one. The beauty of nature, the anguish of people, and the din of the machine. Literally a stone’s toss away from glorious sandy beaches, sparkling waters, and majestic mountains is a powerful convergence of community, indigenous, and grassroots people of this Earth, united in a struggle to keep Earth alive. Simultaneously the United Nations Rio+20 Conference seems to giving Earth’s closing arguments, sentencing her to perpetual corporate and government servitude.

At the People’s Summit, more than 30 tents have been erected and activist groups are gathering for discussion regarding a variety of climate injustices and their impact on the planet and Her inhabitants. We are celebrating ecological diversity and honoring the deep wisdom which comprises our very DNA. We are looking resolutely toward solutions and necessary systemic change. This gives us the strength to keep going despite an ominous thread that is weaving its way through every conversation, threatening to drawstring itself around our truths, bind our tongues, and cut them off at the roots.

At times like this, times of deep anger and pain, I realize that we have go in even more deeply and lean heavily on love. I ground myself in knowing that at the center of this gathering, every plenary and workshop, the early morning and late night meetings, in every ritual dance, every spiritual ceremony, every hug, kiss, and handshake, is love. The love is palpable amidst the urgency surrounding this crises we have been forced into at the hands of the corporate greed economy, and is what will ultimately disempower that machine. We come from a place of peace and healing and love will always be at the forefront.