Have mercy on me; I am starving and have nothing to eat

Have mercy on me; I am starving and have nothing to eat. 

It’s 6:30am. I’ve been awake for hours, anxiety-ridden thoughts gnawing at my peace, my gut, my soul, as they have for months. Health issues that leave me with the terrifying fear that if I do not live what is in me very soon, my body might fail and it will be too late.

Finally I decided, Enough – I will read rather than listen to the endless tirade that the lonely hours of early morning leave me helpless to withstand.

I picked up the book I’ve been reading; “Vision Quest” by Steven Foster. A description of his journey and how it led to what is now the Western adaptation of the ancient timeless ritual of going forth alone into the wilderness to seek purpose, answers, and visions for ourselves and our communities.

Throughout the book, these words are present again and again;

Have mercy on me; I am starving and have nothing to eat.

Again I read those words. But this time, I heard them as I had not done before.

This time, they rang in my soul, through my very being, as though a great bell had been stuck deep within and reverberated through me like a massive earthquake, leaving me heaving with huge wracking sobs.

For the first time I saw it so clearly; his understanding mirrored mine, my own experience, my own perspective of the world, and the pity of it washed over me, into me, through me as the full meaning sunk in.

The people are starving and have nothing to eat.

And in their hunger they devour grease, cheap entertainment, horror, images, products. And this desperate urge to fill the starving abyss within is so urgent that they pay no heed to what they devour, to the quality of what it is they fill themselves with.

All they know is that this hunger does not leave; they consume and consume but the raging burning of starvation remains.

Our starving is killing the world. Our mother earth lies dying in protesting contractions as our hunger and ability to feed it with the illusion of satisfaction increases daily.

And in me, the recognition of starvation; my whole life until a few years ago, and even now sometimes, for a few hours here and there, it will take me back. Starving, and no one could tell me why. Starving, hurting myself in my futile attempts to stave off the aching chasm inside, a desperate scream unscreamed pulsing like a deadly poison in my veins.

I am starving and have nothing to eat!

Why does no one feed me? Why am I left alone in my misery to die of this unnamed illness? Why can no one tell me what is wrong with me? Why am I starving in a world where I can have everything?

My people failed me.


Starving, with nothing to eat.

Many years of darkness before finally I started to learn where to look for my food. Started to feed myself. And it hurt so much, to finally have this food inside, because it made even more apparent the unspeakable desolation of all those years of starvation.

We are starving; a culture, a world now, starving to death, and the death of all we touch. Starving for our souls, for meaning, for truth, for realness, for life, real life, life that we feel pulsing through us, life that dances us from infant to elder, life that is connected, interconnected, raw, terrifying, passionate.

My people failed me, but I will not fail them.

I will dedicate my life to feeding my people, for they are starving and have nothing to eat.

This is my vow.


More information

Joseph Campbell – The Monomyth

The School of Lost Borders


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