Young children share a moment of play with a baby elephant
— by Gitte Fjordbo —
Since the start of the Conservation Conversations this Spring, I have been getting up in the middle of the night to participate. I live in Denmark, so it happens between 2 and 3 a.m.
Denmark is a small country, still the duckpond Hans Christian Andersen wrote about in the fairytale, The Ugly Duckling. In many ways you have to fit in, or else, especially if your world or vision is bigger than that of the rest of your pond. Although many of Andersen’s stories were about animals, our relationship to and with animals today–pets, farm animals and a bit of wildlife–is not very evolved in general. You should think having been proclaimed the “happiest people in the world,” this would also be reflected in the lives of nonhuman life and Nature. I’m sad to say this is not so. Our relationship to Nature, and especially farm animals and wildlife, is based on an attitude that they are “commodities” for our consumption. There are some exceptions to that rule, but those are still a small minority. You have to be aware and prepared if you experience nonhuman life and Nature as your equals and deserving honor and respect. Many will regard you as a sentimental crackpot if you stand up for animals or for Nature. I hope we will soon wake up to find that we, the Ugly Ducklings, were in fact Swans deserving at least to be listened to!
In everything it is important to me to go beyond this little country to understand the world and its inhabitants, human and nonhuman alike. At a time when globalization is teaching us about how we are All One, it is difficult not to feel a deepening of what the Christ was demonstrating to us. That anything done to any part of Life is done to me. As a body-psycho-therapist and trauma therapist, I have sat with and held human pains and suffering for many years. In 2014, it became clear to me that a shift was in process. I was led to animal communication, and I knew that I had to consciously work with interspecies connection and communication. I started learning animal communication for the intended use with All Beings. I realized that with all my capacity to sit with human pain and suffering, it is indeed pushing at the edges of my comfort-zone, even pushing through the edges, when I ask myself to sit with the pains and suffering of animals, Nature, Gaia. My heart is broken many times a day.
But I believe that in community, all things are possible. I am constantly looking for and actively, consciously, in the process of creating community where I can participate from my heart in joint action and compassion with others with similar drives and passions. One woman I was recently introduced to via a video produced by Earthfire is Terry Tempest Williams, author and activist. In her lectures Terry Tempest Williams quotes Karen Armstrong, a writer and religious scholar, for saying: “compassion is an act not an emotion. But if it were to be an emotion, it would be most closely aligned with discomfort or disturbance..” Maybe that is another meaning of ‘compassion’? To share our passion and our sensed discomfort, and by standing together, connecting and communicating, we may become a disturbance to the senseless, unconscious, unconscionable destruction of Life on Gaia, and Gaia herself. Together, we may be able to dare to open up to the vulnerability of the Beautiful Heartbreak and let Life show us how amazing and awe-inspiring everything is on this beautiful planet.
This is why I get up at 2am to join the Conservation Conversations. Because conservation is vitally important to me, and I want to learn more so that I can play my part in the most beneficial way. Because conversation is also of vital importance to me. Conversation is the sharing of experiences and ideas, heart-to-heart exchange. We are at a time and place in the history of Humanity’s life on Gaia where we need to wake up fast, and not only take in what we are doing to destroy Life, but to work together to shift the destruction into respect, peaceful and friendly cohabitation. We must learn from each other, dare to get to know each other and discover that Love is our only choice, and this process is one of interspecies connection and communication. These Conservation Conversations are a place where I find support; where we all come to share space and hold space together for something that matters to us all. And so, I continue to get up in the middle of the night to partake, to bask in the loving and creative energy of this growing community. What a privilege!
Gitte Fjordbo has worked with rehabilitation and human potential since 1980. She has a double MA in Audiologopedics and the Alexander Technique, combined with training in neuro-developmental delay, trauma-healing and philosophical counseling. The heart of Gitte’s work is to use her own limitations as steppingstones to understand more about human potential. Having worked with human beings for most of her life, Gitte has now expanded her focus to include animal communication and describes her work as “Ways to Interspecies Connection and Communication”.