We drove Revel to sleep tonight. Wil in the front seat, me in the back next to baby.
Rev dozed off somewhere in the middle of Harvest Moon by Neil Young, his soft small baby hand warm on the crook of my arm. Breathing slowed, muscles relaxed.
I let my eyes wander over the scene outside. Houses, schools, churches, grocery stores, playgrounds, parks, bridges, yards. All soft lines, blurred edges. Hazy corners, smoky curves.
And cloudy pink, all along the thin line where sky meets land. The cotton candy cloudiness of a million candles trying to beat back the night, blotting out the stars. Liminal.
And I thought about all the simple pleasures woven in and out of each minute of our civilized lives. Driving fast in warm sunshine with the windows down, smooth road rolling out in front. Any food our hearts desire, on demand, no matter how far away it might be from. Listening to music with the volume way up, bass thumping in your chest. Hot baths, and heaters, stove top cooking, and movies on the big screen. Ice in the heat of summer, fizzy drinks, and wine of rosy hew. Coffee, tea, sugar, chocolate. Light at the flip of a switch, filtered water from a pipe.
But these pleasures are not so simple.
The chocolate bar in
the shiny wrapper does not speak of the brown skinned family, their meager earnings and permanently stooped backs, or the chemical defoliants used to strip the forests of their diversity in order to produce one sought after crop.
The joy ride in the afternoon does not describe the way in which the earth is gouged open and bled of her dark oil, the ancient ancestors of small creatures mined, only to be burned and turned to black smoke in our skies.
Your hot bath does not tell the story of the wild river, redirected, rerouted, dammed. Damned. Sent spinning through pipes and heated with precious gas gobbled from the very bedrock we stand on, replaced with radioactive isotopes, and a hundred different chemicals, residues, remnants, left to seep into our groundwater and poison our future.
And that sugary cereal does not have the strength to tell you of the lab coats and microscopes, gene pools, and DNA, that created a corn that carries chemical contaminants in its’ own cells, that may cause cancer in humans and animals, that is in no way fit to eat.
And these small comforts do not make up for the gut wrenching grief you carry knowing that everything you do, every thing you own, every item you consume, every move you make throughout your day, is brought to you on the backs of a thousand slaves, burned to you through a thousand forests, and sailed to you on a thousand poisoned seas.
This world of convenience and consumerism that we continue to maintain is not only unsustainable,
it is dangerous, violent, and deadly to almost everything else on this earth.
And yes, the corporations are guilty
and the governments,
for parceling out our planet to the highest bidder.
But we are guilty too.
For being tricked by their slick ads, and shiny gadgets,
for listening to them when they tell us that we’re nothing without them,
and for believing that this is all we get, that we don’t deserve any better, that there is nowhere else to go.
And yes, I want to leave this abusive relationship, find safety, seek shelter, run away,
But I’m afraid the noose will tighten, that the shackles will squeeze, that the lock will be closed and the key thrown away.
But there are ways to make it happen, to flee, to get away,
The experts say to leave an abusive relationship you need resources, skills to support yourself, somewhere to run to, a network and support system of family, friends, and love ones, and if possible, other survivors to lean on, connect with, relate to, build a new life with.
If we turn to one another and gain strength from the land, teach and learn new skills for survival using our own hands,
we can leave this all behind us, start fresh, become renewed.
Because I for one am sick of all this civilized
It is time to join together. It is time to make drastic changes. The time for compromise is over.
Connect to the land. Learn skills for survival. Hatch a plan for escape.
And, as always, we’ll start small.
And, as always,
we’ll do it together.
There is safety in numbers.
We deserve better. The Earth deserves better. You deserve better.
This is worth fighting for.
Thank you for listening,