In this season of giving, I’m going to do something a little bit different and give this post over to another blogger because they mean so much to me and they are experiencing a lot of heartbreak right now.
Before I do that, I just want to make an observation. Whereas I used to spend most of my time keeping myself in the realms of “light” and taking the spiritual over-view of even the worst of situations, I seem to be in the mosh pit of life at this time. And, for once, I go there, even though the Jiminy Cricket spiritual-mentor who lives on my shoulder (and who I suspect might just be the amalgam of all the projected criticism I can image being hurled at me by anyone of the mindset that they must keep their thoughts pure, light and airily positive, for fear of attracting “negativity” into their experience) keeps trying to impart cursory tales to put me off. However, the more I become concerned with animal-rights or environmental issues, the more I intuit this to be something I am meant to be doing right now, as part of a very-necessary grounding process that I am going though. My long-running problem has been that I am so generally unhappy with the way this planet is, and the direction it is heading, that I spend all my time vacating the body to head for the spiritual hilltops and that’s no good for my health, I need to be more grounded than that to function in a body. And if I’m going to land in a reality that feels pretty rough most of the time in order to rectify that imbalance, I have to be active in it, working for the light, or I can’t be here at all; my life would just feel too helpless and depleted seeing yet doing nothing.
That being said, the whole reason I found this particular vlogger and kept coming back to her over a period of a couple of years now is that she takes me off to the kind of light-infused earth-existence that I can relate to; giving me some kind of vicarious experience of being able to live the life of my dreams, here at this time, showing me (and offering hope) that this is possible. The time I spend in her vlog-world gives me such soul solace and seems to help me repair all the tatters and tears in my soul, like spending time in nature does, only her version of nature is on a whole other scale to mine. The unspoilt, majestic landscapes she shares through her photography are like food to the part of me that already feared such a world had disappeared, so to see it whenever I need to keeps me going, as does her light-filled spin on life and the creative, nature-appreciating way she spends her days. She is like an aspect of me given full rein to be all that I already am, though my soul feels constricted by the quite different daily reality that I am presented with by circumstances where I live.
Her name is Jonna Jinton and she lives in the north of Sweden, a country that I love very much though I have never visited such a remote part of it. She moved there eight years ago, having given up city life and her studies to start a new life in the land of her ancestors. Having survived several frozen winters there, she is now thriving in her little house with her jewellery-making partner, her dog and her art and photography business, her vlog and all the videos and music she makes. Sharing all the ups and downs of what is a pretty challenging existence, in a tiny village with just a handful of inhabitants, very far from most typical urban resources, has the powerful effect of transferring such a landscape from being of the world of fairy tales and make-believe into a relatable reality, if a very different life compared to what most people believe to be what they are stuck with. In other words, she presents an alternative and lifts the sense of what we know as “normal “being forced upon us, regardless of whether it fits our soul.
Though I don’t deny the hardships of such a life daunt me, the feeling of Jonna’s life seems to fill me up with something I so desperately need as a foil to the typical urban life. At the end of a day that has felt, in any way, harrowing, I know I can just “go there” and its as though I am transported to a landscape that feels deeply familiar to me in a way that speaks of other lifetimes. Perhaps this is how I found Jonna because I am always drawn to that far-northern reindeer culture (the land of Elen of the Ways…) that feels like it is beyond national boundaries or human bureaucracy, like it is a deep-cellular memory of another time that is already known to me and, of course, those northern lights to which I am so sensitive, even here where I don’t see them, play out like a colour-box over her house all winter long, which feels so significant. Its as though such places, which just about remain in our world (yes, just about…) breathe for the rest of us, holding a frequency, even though we hardly notice that they are doing so most of the time and it feels just so important to me to receive constant evidence that they are still there, unspoilt, natural, teeming with the energy of another time, before we messed-so with our environment that it all began to change. We are far more reliant on such eco-throwbacks…places that still hold onto the natural patterns of the earth…than we know and, one day, we will realise this, whatever the outcome of this retrospective understanding (hopefully, from the standpoint we realised just in time).
Underpinning everything that she offers to her audience is, as she describes it, a desire to give something back that speaks to the soul and dissolves all boundaries and you can feel that, whether you are hearing about her day, marvelling at her breathtaking photography or listening to her practicing her kulning, which is the eerily beautiful ancient Swedish herding call that she has instinctively taught herself. I can relate enough to the way she spends her days, jumping to her sudden creative impulses just as I do, to be able to focus on the similarities in our situtaion…the same (if not quite so acute) tilt of winter sun through our windows as we move around our houses in our thick woolen socks…even though the world outside her window is so very different to my urban street view. Immersing in all his is, for me, is real medicine for the soul!
In fact, I had just been for a healing session last night, with an incredible woman who is able to read the subtle energies playing in my body like a book and, in my meditation, she took me to that very part of the world, encircled by pine trees, deep in snow. The scene she described my body craving to be in, in order to ground from some recent circumstances that I’ve found very taxing, was exactly where Jonna lives, though I had never told her anything about these videos or my thoughts on Scandinavia. For fifteen minutes or more, she proceeded to describe what could have been an episode from Jonna’s vlog and I was transported there as she described how this landscape was profoundly healing to me “transport” to whenever I can so, of course, when I came home I knew just what I wanted to to do.
However, until then, I hadn’t seen Jonna’s most recent vlog or what it was about, though its title was enough to forewarn me. Usually, what she offers is so full of light but tonight she had something far more burdensome to share. In this video, which I will attach below, she offloads the burden that where she lives has been under threat of development for the last few years and, though they had thought the problem had gone away, it has just come back with even more vengeance with a new application submitted that is likely to be accepted by those who get to decide. In brief (watch her video for more details) a powerful company has set its mind to building Sweden’s largest wind turbine farm and hundreds of kilometres of road right next to her village where, currently, ancient forests now spread as they always have. These several hundreds of monstrous structures would be flood lit and noise-polluting, not to mention the decimation of the landscape involved in making way for them. This would utterly destroy all the natural beauty, the wildlife habitat, the tranquility and a whole way of life for these people; and the landscape, of course, would be ruined for generations to come if not forever.
Her videos speak far more powerfully than my words ever could; as does her own emotion at describing what this development would mean for her, the villagers and the indigenous people who, yes, still herd their reindeer there. At the end of the video, she shares footage of an ancient forest that she has filmed many times, close to her house (the very one pictured above…that stone is sat on is now completely barren), which has now been, quite unexpectedly, cut down to the ground, its mossy places and timeless magic turned into row upon row of numbered “timber” for the lorries to pick up. This was just a small taste of what lies ahead if the wind farm is approved. Watching this video near broke my heart last night, as it did for her countless other viewers, many of whom have gathered to create a petition, which I will also share below (I’ve signed and donated…perhaps you could too). Here’s her video; you can start at 12:20 to jump to where she talks about what is happening.
These things can make us feel small again; like the high-soaring soul we feel we are, when we spend our days existing in a spiritual mindset refusing to engage in all the negatives of the world in case we lose our creator powers, has been crashed to the ground with broken wings. These days, I have matured into a slightly different point of view and its to do with making wholeness out of what used to feel fragmented in myself and externally. So many of us talk about achieving this wholeness again, this wonderful ideal of the masculine-meets-feminine balance that will make us into super-beings that are, at once, both spiritual and earth dwellers, and yet they run to the hills when confronted by what (so sadly, at this time) has come to represent the badly distorted masculine aspect…and by this, I don’t refer to gender but the energy of masculinity that, so often, tramples upon and takes whatever it wants with no thought of consequence. Until we face up to the current reality of that masculine aspect run amok and truly witness, with our attention, what it has become; seeing it in order to heal it, we can only ever remain fragmented…living in our spiritual other-world, while the solid earth beneath is turned to mulch by those who would walk their hob-nailed boots over it, taking whatever they see fit to, until it is all ruined or gone forever. When we speak out for each other and the earth, as our friend, we make ourselves more whole in ways that go deeper than any far more abstract concept we may have of what wholeness looks like; so I speak out for Jonna and I speak for the eco-system that is under dire threat in that place…and anywhere else that this is happening (which is in far too many places to count). It feels so important to do so.
Whatever “story” is making you heart weep right now, be it the ecosystem, treatment of animals or of people (there’s a lot to choose from…), I say to you, don’t run away from it but take steps to be active in it; taking POSITIVE action, which is being your light in an earthly sense and in ways that don’t deplete but invest you in your humanness. This doesn’t have to mean being dragged down and nailed into an undesirable reality from having to think about it too much (which I am as adverse to as the next person). I’m not suggesting we live in that reality for very moment of our day and, in fact, the gift is to know how to be in it yet to be whole and unsullied by it, at the soul level, for all we inevitably get our boots dirty from doing this. Then we bang those boots on the mat and come home to ourselves at the end of every day, or even at the end of every moment that gets too much for us, by stopping to breathe deeply whilst centring upon our own heart. This is where we learn something powerful beyond words; the work-out of all work-outs, limbering us up to become enlightened humanity in the fullest of ways.
By mixing up what is real and practical, thus, by definition, pretty distressing and hard to deal with (since we are going through agonising birthing pains as a planet, at this moment, the outcome of which is still uncertain…relying on our involvement) with what feels spiritual, optimistic and light, we truly become the creator-beings that take part in moulding our new reality. Personally, I also want to avoid looking back in years to come and having to ask myself “what was I thinking, why didn’t I speak out or do more than I did, why did I pass on such a messed-up world to my grandchildren” just because, at the time, I was way too focussed on existing in my own hard-earned, pristine little world, tucked away from all the horrors. Sometimes, as in Jonna’s case, that horror comes knocking on the door of even the most pristine, off-grid and really-not-bothering-anyone-else kind of existences and, if that happened to me, I would surely hope that others such as we are would rush to my aid. How literal could the metaphor of the feminine “goddess” energy coming under attack from the “distorted” masculine get than this video from a woman who is like the goddess personified; I can’t help seeing in this the macrocosm that, as we potentailly all rally to heal the situation, becomes a healing in a much wider sense, impacting us all. As we all work together, fuelled by the heart, we become much bigger and more powerful than our individual selves and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if there is more to this than “just” a small local issue at stake; with Jonna cuaght at its centre, it feels way bigger than that.
So, please, watch Jonna’s heart-rending video above (and I really recommend watching the intro below first, to get the beautiful picture of the inspired life she has created). Then, please do what you can to lend support, be that signing the petition, making a donation so that it can be distributed further or doing everything you can to share her plight via social media and other channels.
If you do get a bigger picture of what her life is about and the incredible break for freedom that this lifestyle represents (which, I believe, she and others like her are making on behalf of us all, impacting far more people than just themselves), then I really recommend subscribing to this or some other lifestyle vlog that transports you to a largely unedited world that makes your heart sing in a way that feels real to you. What I love about the culture of vloging is that it has made something quite magical happen, which is that we are becoming deeply impacted by people and lifestyles that are, geographical and culturally, very far from our own. And when we start to care very deeply about these people, even entertaining that we would also like to live there or like that (which opens up our whole concept of what it means to be human, beyond boundaries, labels, ownership…); even feeling like…and this can happen…at some level “we are them”, we start to develop the collective soul of a fully healed and holistic higher-human being who deeply remembers how we are all connected, thus how what happens to one really happens to all. So we make our own hearts as big as a planet and the effects of this are exponential when it comes to transforming the outcome for this whole vast spinning orb we call home.
So, I hope, in this season of giving, that you can at least give a little time to this as it feels just so important and much bigger than the circumstances of one woman in a place we have never heard of. We speak up for that part of ourselves that longs to live in a place that speaks to our heart, to put down roots and live there free from the threats driven by the commercial gain and power play of people living hundreds or even thousands of miles away, as we all have the absolute right to be able to aspire to. Thank you so much if you do feel able to relate enough to add your combined heart and voice to this effort; I never felt more strongly that this is what it takes to make all the difference to our world!
You can sign the petion on Change HERE
What does Jonna have to worry about? Well, the health and eco impacts of wind farms are largely shovelled out-of-the-way by the clever tactic of focussing on how we so desperately “need” these alternative energy sources; and this heavy-handed, righteous approach tips things in favour of those who stand to make vast money out of such schemes, people who have little or no concerns for the impact on the nature or people in particular places they single out for their development projects. As Jonna points out, they pick places that are away from the cities and the lifestyle that gobbles the most resources; the wind farm in question is intended to generate energy for Germany, not even for Sweden. People tend to think of wind power as such a benign thing, the very opposite to drilling for oil, like someone comes along and holds a paper windmill up in the air on a hillside and it gets blown round a few times to magically generate electricity. The reality is that these are mammoth industrial projects like any other, requiring mile upon mile of road infrastructure, towering pieces of metal and engineering as big as skyscapers (a whole forest of them, in this case) powerful floodlighting and all the becessary grid to distribute power to another location. In the places where they happen, in others words, they are far from benign or without repercusions. In many cases, putting them in the most pristine of places of all is undoing the very eco motivations they profess to be built upon and you can’t help wondering if this is just to tuck them out of sight and complaint of the urban majority; do they already know what a health risk they really are? As ever, nature and rural communities lose out.
According to one article, health issues are rife around even much smaller developments than that being proposed where Jonna lives and its not just about the land use, the loss of natural habitats or the “noise (these are bad enough!), as the effects can be much more subtle. To quote this article on National Wind Watch
“Most of the discussions have centred on the effects of the noise made by the wind farms, and many thousands of people have reported sleep disturbances and serious health effects forcing them to leave the area they have called home. The wind turbine companies refuted, even ridiculed these complaints, and pointed out that many common sources generate noise of greater intensity. The thousands of reports from doctors dealing with people suffering stress, sudden bursts of tachycardia, and hypertension would seem to be harder to discount, but these reports have not yet been prepared as a coordinated scientifically controlled study. The turbine companies and organizations buying clusters of the turbines often have considerable power over affected communities, through agreements with local administrators and contracts with residents for use of the land. In many cases the residents of wind farms have had to sign agreements forbidding public complaints…
After looking at evidence from several seemingly disparate areas of research it seems to me that the effect of the current wind farms is not confined to the noise they make. I am convinced that the evidence suggesting tissue damage both to people and to a wide range of other species is strong enough to sound a warning of environmental damage far beyond 2 km both on land and on water…It is important then to ask the question whether vibrations can affect health. Here we can refer to a quite extensive literature on communication between creatures. These range from the simplest multicellular organisms such as Physarum polycephalum, a yeast that can at times join with its neighbours and coordinate joint behaviour by transmitting vibrations from cell to cell, to a wide range of insects that transmit information to others of their species using a range of different mechanisms. In most species the frequencies used are below 20 Hz and transmission is through solids, usually the fine stems of flowers and leaves. The vibrations produced in a plant stem by a small insect are so tiny they are undetectable without very sensitive equipment. For a small insect however they are immensely significant, sending information about potential threats, about food, and of course courtship. Most marine creatures, some of them very small, transmit information through water, also usually by low frequency vibration. All fish are very sensitive to low frequency vibrations and any angler will tell you that merely walking on the side of a lake will send most fish scurrying out of range of their net….
What is known of the effect of vibrations on people working in industry? These extensive studies report numerous serious illnesses and, yes, many deaths, mainly from unusual cancers. A particularly characteristic finding is a thickening of the fibrous sheath surrounding the heart, the pericardium. Diseases such as type I diabetes and epilepsy developing late in life were also found and unusual malignant tumours were seen in the lungs, colon and brain. Rage attacks occurred in some individuals and sudden attacks of nonconvulsive mental defects were seen. These illnesses were caused by low frequency vibrations and developed slowly over many years, with deaths usually occurring after five years of exposure. The low frequency induced disease complex is called Vibro Acoustic Disease, or VAD and is thought to be the result of disruption of the fine fibres that connect the cells of the body. This disease complex is not yet widely recognised clinically or legally and this has seriously delayed diagnosis”.
Of course, these illnesses are notoriously hard to “pin” to environmental pollutants such as wind farms, especially since the latter have money and the so-called eco imperative on their side (conveniently ignoring all the other eco effects they are having), but I know all too well, from my own experience, how low-frequency vibrations profoundly affect health as I live with the consequences every single day (see my posts on Living Whole for more on how my profound sensitivity to certain frequencies has made me so unwell for the last decade or more). My health became significantly worse after a solar energy plant was opened less than a mile away and, though it is near impossible to provide direct causal links, I know that this is somehow related.
Article quoted is by Max Whisson, MB, BS FRCPath, is a retired pathologist with a strong interest in ecological issues.