A year is not enough

I stopped counting the days of this project because, really, who the fuck cares? We have lifetimes of grief ahead of us, enough loss to fill a million lonely years.

This grief does not stop. It does not fade, or go away. It does not rest, or quiet, or lay down like a sweet old dog, tired at the end of the day.

There is no end to this, to the pain of watching the systematic and deliberate destruction of our own living and beautiful planet.

We bear witness to a global ecocide.

The milkweed stands tall in the yard, waiting for the butterflies that may or may not arrive.

The clover stands untouched in the field, the bees few and far between.

We went for a streamside wander with my dad today, who at 70, remembers a boyhood filled with catching fish and frying them for dinner, scooping up frogs and finding snakes. While my own small son’s blue net with the bamboo handle hangs mostly empty, the occasional crayfish or salamander special enough to marvel about.

To be honest, most days writing feels futile. How could I have been naive enough to think that a year of mourning would be enough? To believe that grief could be treated like a project, with an end and a beginning, with some kind of order that makes sense? How could I have hoped that this hollow pain would leave? Why would I even want it to?

A year is not enough. 10 years, a hundred, a million, forever. You could cry an ocean of tears and there would still be more to give.

I feel lost these days. Like something has been stripped from me, but I’m not sure what it is. Like I’m trying to hold onto something that just keeps slipping away.

It’s hot now, and the blazing summer sun soaks into my black clothing, uncomfortable.

But it reminds me.

As if it is even possible to forget.

I stopped counting the days of this project because

we have lifetimes of grief

ahead of us.

Thank you for listening,

photo by Wilson Alvarez

photo by Wilson Alvarez


4 responses to “A year is not enough

  1. Have you read the books Sharon Astyk has written? She addresses how the world, and especially our food system, will change with the Peak Oil crisis. At first I was depressed and overwhelmed, but I’m reading “Making Home” now, and it has such good concrete ideas. I know the big picture is still depressing, but it helped me to focus on what we can do. http://www.amazon.com/Sharon-Astyk/e/B002RFDTEU

  2. No, not enough.

    Time changes the pain, but it does not dull it when your ache is for something that is continually dying, like our planet.

    I think the traditions of wearing black clothes (or veils or armbands) for a period of mourning were to mark that the mourning would end. To put a light at the tunnel exit to say, “This is when I will start doing normal things again. This is when I will take action.”

    So part of me wants to say, “Here’s the beginning of action!”
    But another part of me wants to say, the analogy doesn’t work.

    It breaks down because you (we) are mourning many deaths, many injustices, many wrongs. Not just one.

    So what then? A year of black for each death? A day? Even a minute for each death would still result in a lifetime of black clothing.

    So I don’t have an answer. But I stand with you, cry with you, and question with you. We are not alone.

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