just thinking

where the ocean meets the sky

Twitter reminded me yesterday that one of the worst things to do is fall prey to despair. I’m really good at it, though; I usually freeze and give up in the face of danger, as opposed to fight or flee. But in the case of this particular catastrophe of ecological destruction, that isn’t helpful.

I think the key to finding a way forward is to utterly reject the cis-hetero-patriarchal (aka kyriarchal) approach and look elsewhere for a way to address the interwoven issues before us. We’ve tried looking at things in a way that prioritizes power over things. That’s what the kyriarchy does. Men are over women, whites are over POC, ableds over disability, individuals over groups, and those at the top are rewarded with wealth, which is just power converted into currency that can be wielded to garner further power. It’s all about power. And power is a greedy motherfucker, and demands that it be demonstrated, so powerful people find it nearly impossible not to turn off their empathy and execute power to prove that they deserve to be at the top. Hence, abuse of all kinds.

There’s no winning when some people are on top and others are beneath them. So what does it look like when that system is rightly thrown out?

It looks like a world where the health of the community matters. Where we stop assuming white ways are the right ways. We could, I don’t know, actually listen to the people who lived in North America before we got here, the people whose ways of live have been built on a codependent connection to the health of the land for millenia. And yeah, we’d probably have to give them their land back. We should do that.

Maybe we should look at people around the world who haven’t built their lives around extracting as much as possible from the land, the animals, and the humans around them in order to further their personal gain. Maybe we should try conceiving of an earth-based economy, rather than a financial one, where value is attached to the health of the land, animals, and people together.

Just spitballing here. I am not an economist. I am not anything but a sad, angry woman who wants to DO SOMETHING. I want to see new ideas for drastically upending this garbage system that has traumatized so many. I want those ideas to be taken and run with. I want one trillion trees planted. I want the world leaders to agree to cancel fossil fuels. I want guns controlled, domestic violence condemned, gender and sexual expression embraced, disabled and neurodiverse people treated as equal humans, and people of colour to have the freedom to exist that they are asking for. And honestly, I don’t understand why the hell you all don’t want that too.


we suck

I am so afraid, all of the time. I have three kids and I don’t think they’re going to get to have anything resembling the life I have. Definitely not a life like my parents’. We are all fucked.

I have this little fantasy of my old age that I can’t bring myself to write down because it is never going to happen. I don’t have any right to that future, because if I get to have it, it will be because we did not do the things we need to do to save our life on earth.

It’s not a matter of becoming vegetarian or composting or not driving or whatever. I don’t know how I can influence the people at the top of the ladder to give a fuck about the people who are already dying. I don’t know how to get people to understand that this is the natural progression of white supremacy and the patriarchy. They’re all linked to each other – if white people are better than everyone else, and if men are the God-created leaders, then white men don’t have to listen to anyone else while they amass as much wealth as they possibly can. But wealth is a construct, built by white men, to prop up their position of power over everyone else, including the earth.

The earth is ultimately in charge here – we have set systems in motion that will destroy life until we’re all gone and the earth can reset. Possibly, in a few millenia, there will be new intelligent life, or some strange evolution of humanity that will keep going. But seven billion human beings is too many when the people who believe in the mythology of wealth are running the show and letting people die.

I don’t know what to do. I can’t do anything by myself that will make any sort of difference. I don’t know how you make people care. When the myth of wealth has been propped up for so long, and the people who win at it don’t see or care about the people they’re killing, I don’t know how you fix that. I think they ought to be tried for murder, but given that the judiciary system is part of the myth, that isn’t going to work.

On a planetary scale, I think we’re all on trial for murder of the environment. And I think we’re sentenced to death.


earth day

a lake reflecting pine trees, mountains, and a clear blue sky in Jasper National Park

It’s a deep breath, this time between the never ending impossible frost and the scorching oven. I inhale it deeply, and it makes me sneeze, the uncovered rotten leaves, the new pollen, the smell of wet dirt. The frozen air hurt my lungs and made me cough. The baking air will make me sweat. But now, now I can breathe (thank you, Claritin).

I am afraid of what is coming. How much of the land will burn this year? How many days will the weather be lovely but too smoky to play outside? We are not flooding, here, but others are. Others aren’t feeling the joyful relief of spring, but instead the dread of inexorable rising water.

Our planet will be okay. It’s a planet; we’re only here for a second. Sometimes it gets infected with a disease, and its immune system spikes a fever to make the environment inhospitable, so that the germs die and leave the body alone. So we’re being cooked out. We didn’t show ourselves to be symbiotic, though we think of ourselves that way. I like to say I’m a steward, as I mow my lawn and drive my minivan and worry about the state of things. I’m a parasite.

The rhetoric has taught me that this fever is my own fault, that I should have recycled more, driven less, used more cloth shopping bags. Is it, though? Those things are not great, but what about the mountains, heaps, acres of garbage and waste water and off-gassing and fossil fuels and energy used by business and government and large-scale operations? That’s the issue. If I say “I brought my own bag,” that will not stop the pipelines from breaking and the landfills from overflowing and the pollutants from rising.

Earth day: a day to remember how badly we’ve fucked it up. A day to remember that we’re germs. One day every day will be earth day, once the earth is rid of us.