Dreams of terror, dreams of peace

This morning my son came down to breakfast with a queasy look on his face.  “I had a dream that I killed a baby,” he said.  “I was shooting with a machine gun at these guys, and the baby was in the way.”

I hate the fact that this kind of violence, which kids are exposed to through the media constantly these days, creeps insidiously into their sleep, invading their dreams.

The subliminal violence is everywhere.   This same son, a 9th grader in a typical American public high school, is reading Lord of the Flies for English class and All Quiet on the Western Front for Social Studies.

Lord-of-the-Flies-1963-fi-007Lord of the Flies, you’ll remember, is about how a group of adolescent boys, turned loose on an island without any adult authority present, morph into “beasts” who bully, torture and kill one another.

All Quiet on the Western Front is about World War I, and my son’s teacher is sparing the class none of the gory details of that war; in fact, a whole section of the paper my son has to write about the book is supposed to enumerate all the challenges ordinary soldiers in that war faced, from freezing muddy trenches to disease to field amputations, rats and artillery fire.

Last month, this same teacher had the kids reading 1984 and spent a lot of class time talking about how the surveillance tactics and physical brutality in that book related to real-life episodes of torture and detention camps in the history of China and the Soviet Union.

In short, my son’s imaginative life lately has been saturated with violence, for which the peacefulness of our home is no match.  And he is one of the more sheltered boys growing up today; I do my best to keep him away from violent movies or military-style and gangster video games.  We don’t even have TV at home.

When dreams like this emerge at our breakfast table, they remind me that the apparent peacefulness of a small American town like mine is terribly fragile.

With every mass-murder shooting incident that occurs, the fine veil of civility frays just a little more.

The truth is that the United States has one of the most heavily armed civilian populations in the world.

It would not take much, in terms of social unrest, for those guns to come out and the “beastly” side of humanity to emerge, a la Lord of the Flies.

That’s what worries me when I contemplate climate change scenarios involving catastrophic storms like Haiyan that result in power outages, fuel and food shortages—which could happen here in the U.S. just as easily as anywhere else.

What we should be doing now, in the time we have left before climate change gets truly out of hand, is strengthening our bonds as communities.

Never mind the dysfunctionality of our Congress, the bashing and competitive trash-talking that too often passes for ordinary public discourse in America today.

On the local level, we can do better, and indeed we must.

Every community in America should be starting to plan for how it would respond to disruptions in power, fuel and food supplies.

We can’t rely on FEMA to ride in to the rescue.  We can’t afford to entrust our survival to the guys with the biggest guns in our area.

The Transition Town movement has it right in their focus on building strong, resilient communities and re-learning valuable pre-industrial skills.  But they need a greater sense of urgency.

My son’s dream is a warning that we ignore at our peril.  There is no time to waste.

Building a Tsunami of a Climate Change Movement: What Will it Take?

In the seething, saturated media environment we live in, victory is measured in whether or not you’re able to get people to slow down and pay attention.

It’s getting harder and harder, especially for young people, to sustain attention for more than a few minutes.

Life is a restless prowl for something new, and in a manmade environment where we’re seen it all before, it’s got to be pretty damned new and exciting to get us to pause for even a moment.

As a teacher, I find myself adapting to this in ways that I would never have predicted when I first started teaching undergraduates, nearly a quarter-century ago.

I know I have to be more exaggerated in my classroom presence.  She who drones is lost.

I also don’t expect the level of reading comprehension these days that I used to take for granted among my students.

I know I’m going to have to excerpt and digest for them, and I’d better do it in an enthusiastic, engaging way, or they’ll be surfing away, in their heads if not literally, on their screens.

I have to do constant daily battle with those screens, too—even when I outright forbid them, they creep back in with all the force of a compulsion, or an addiction.

In this kind of environment, why should we be surprised that it seems to be impossible to get people to pay attention to a big, remote problem like climate change for more time than it takes to say “Hurricane Sandy”?

The other night I was overjoyed when I stopped by the New York Times site and saw Bill McKibben’s “Do the Math” tour foregrounded front and center on the homepage.

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Bill had the same reaction: he forwarded a screenshot of the page to his email list, trumpeting victory.

But what kind of victory is it, really?

Yes, McKibben’s Do the Math tour succeeded in finally penetrating the security perimeter of that gated community known as Mainstream Public Opinion.  If the Times prints an article, we can assume that at least a few of the sheltered, august heads within the insular circle of elite readers will pay attention.

Note that the article was ultimately filed in the Business section of the newspaper, by the way.  Evidently the Times thought its business-minded readers ought to know that those pesky students might be causing trouble for stockholders in major fossil fuel companies in the coming months.

This is the same way that the Times reported the Occupy Wall Street movement: as an annoying inconvenience, a public nuisance that our good police force is working to clear away ASAP.

It’s the same way they’ve reported on Hurricane Sandy, hitting right in their own backyard.  What a colossal inconvenience!  Let’s clear it away so we can get back down to business as usual.

What is it going to take to get through to the Times and its readers that there is not going to be any more business as usual?

The game is up.  Things are going to get much worse, and the only chance of avoiding total disaster is through immediate decisive action to curb carbon emissions and build up a massive supply of carbon sinks—ie, more forests, more seaweed and algae, more grasslands and croplands.

I was heartened, in a very melancholy sort of way, to see the chief negotiator for the Philippines, Naderev Saño, get all choked up as he made an impassioned speech to his comrades at COP18 this week to stop dilly-dallying and get down to the business of real change.

typhoon_yeb_sano

Referring to Typhoon Bopha, he said:

“As we sit here in these negotiations, even as we vacillate and procrastinate here, the death toll is rising. There is massive and widespread devastation. Hundreds of thousands of people have been rendered without homes. And the ordeal is far from over, as typhoon Bopha has regained some strength as it approaches another populated area in the western part of the Philippines.

“I appeal to the whole world, I appeal to leaders from all over the world, to open our eyes to the stark reality that we face. I appeal to ministers. The outcome of our work is not about what our political masters want. It is about what is demanded of us by 7 billion people.

“I appeal to all, please, no more delays, no more excuses. Please, let Doha be remembered as the place where we found the political will to turn things around. Please, let 2012 be remembered as the year the world found the courage to find the will to take responsibility for the future we want. I ask of all of us here, if not us, then who? If not now, then when? If not here, then where?”

Those are the right questions to be asking, and Saño is on the right track when he says that the work of stopping runaway climate change is not about what the “political masters” want.  It will only be possible if a sufficient number of people, all over the world, focus their attention and insist on the policy changes that will lead to real change.

The poor are the ones being disproportionately swept away by the floods and storms of climate change.  The problem may have their attention, but they’re not in much of a position to do anything about it.

I believe it is up to us, citizens of the so-called “developed” countries, to come out in force to demand change.

That is the kind of tsunami of U.S. public opinion that McKibben is trying to create with the Do the Math tour.

If we can succeed in catching the attention of young people, and getting them to understand how crucial this issue is to their futures, they can become a powerful force for change.

But in the end, this must be a multigenerational, multinational, multiethnic movement, of men and women from all walks of life, because if there’s one thing for sure, it’s that climate change does not play favorites.

It will blow away the fanciest palace just as soon as the flimsiest shanty (though the shanties will undoubtedly go first).

Ultimately, it will not be possible to build walls high enough to keep out the floodtides of a destabilized climate.

Does that get your attention?  No?  How about this: if we don’t get our act together on this issue now—I mean, NOW—we might as well just give it up and resign ourselves to roll with whatever punches are in store for us.  There will be many, and they will get progressively worse until our entire human civilization grinds to a halt.

Is that a risk you’re prepared to take?

I hope not.

So what can you do?

If you own stock, consider divesting your portfolio from fossil fuel companies until they shape up and get seriously green.

If you own a home, consider investing in alternative energy sources like solar or geothermal, and make your home as energy-efficient as possible.

Consider pressuring your town or city to do the same.

Start writing letters and emails to your elected representatives and the President of the United States and the fossil fuel barons and anyone else who might have influence, insisting that they think about our long-term welfare, not next quarter profits.

Talk to people about this.  You can never tell where ripples will go as the word goes out.

Do you want to go down fighting and active, or zoned out in front of your screen?

I echo the emotional words of the Filipino negotiator:

“Please, let 2012 be remembered as the year the world found the courage to find the will to take responsibility for the future we want. I ask of all of us here, if not us, then who? If not now, then when? If not here, then where?”

The Audacity of Hope, c. 2012

For those of us who supported President Obama, the last 24 hours or so have been positively giddy.

There were the nail-biting first few hours of the election results…followed by the glad tidings of more and more of the big electoral states turning a glorious blue…capped by the wonderful thrill of seeing the President stride out onto the stage in Chicago to give the most rousing acceptance speech most of us have ever heard.

What a big heart this man has, to include in his acceptance speech itself the invitation to his opponents to meet him in the aisle and try to seek common ground!

In the very first words of his speech, before he even thanked his running mate, he reached out to Mitt Romney, offering to work with him to move the country forward onto a better, firmer footing:

I just spoke with Governor Romney and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign. 

We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future. From George to Lenore to their son Mitt, the Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service and that is the legacy that we honor and applaud tonight.

In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.

And then, towards the end of the speech, he said so memorably:

America, I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.

I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.

This audacity of optimism is why we elected Barack Obama back in 2008, and why we continue to love him.

Whatever his personal or political failings, Barack Obama stands for the best hope of the USA: the raw immigrant passion and drive that founded this country and still makes it great.

He also represents, in his very skin, the polyglot future of the USA, the inexorable movement away from the European aristocracy of our founders to the broad multicultural diversity of our descendants.

Mitt Romney’s concession speech 2012

The Republicans are still stuck back in the good old days of the good old guys’ party.  As one commentator aptly noted, Republican political rallies look suspiciously like Ku Klux Klan rallies of the early 20th century.

For those who might rather not recall, let us remember that the Klan not only hated and lynched African Americans; they also hated and lynched Jews.  And they didn’t liked the Irish or the Italians much either!

Let’s not even talk about gay folk.  And women?  For the Klan and many contemporary conservatives, they belong in the kitchen or in the bed.

This is not the country we want to be as we move into the 21st century.

Although I thought the Obama campaign’s slogan “Forward, not back” was a little hokey when I heard it trotted out at various rallies, it does have the ring of truth to it.

We do not want to go back to the intolerance and violent hatred of our past.

We need to move forward, and we will need all hands on deck to confront the deeply unstable, uncertain future that awaits us in the age of climate change.

I want to see Barack Obama rise to the challenges of our time with all the power of his big heart.

I want to see him not just think about jobs, but think about green jobs, about jobs that will move our country forward into a longterm, sustainable future.

Enough kow-towing to Big Oil, Big Agriculture and Big Chemical.  It’s time to force these industries to bend to the winds of change, to adapt to the new paradigm of sustainability sweeping our country and our planet.

I applaud Bill McKibben for waiting until the election was over to come out swinging—and I applaud his continuing efforts to get the climate change issue into the center of political discourse.

Those who are still suffering from the after-effects of Hurricane Sandy, along with their insurers, should be his best allies.

We need to face the truth that all the matters of social justice that concern us will be moot if we don’t face the pressing need to get our planetary civilization onto a sustainable footing.

We need to convince our President of this, post-haste.

But let’s take a moment to breathe a big sigh of relief that it is Barack Obama we’re dealing with, and not Mitt Romney!

This election proves that Big Money is not infallible.

Democracy still matters; individual votes still matter; as a country, we are not as corrupt as many of us feared.

Now is the time for all of us to embrace the President’s big heart and let it reach out even further to encompass our entire beautiful planet and all of her creatures.

This is the task we humans were born to undertake: to become the thoughtful, compassionate stewards of our planet, and the collaborative leaders of our own multifarious tribes.

It is so good to see more and more women stepping up to the plate now.  We are sorely needed, but we can’t do it alone.

Men and women of all heritages must work together as never before to reestablish the equilibrium needed to move our civilization forward sustainably into the 21st century.

These are not just words.  This is our urgent reality.

Barack Obama has answered the call.

Will you?

Lessons of the Wreck of the Bounty

Although it is a small tragedy compared with the multifarious disasters occurring in the New York region in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, I can’t get the wreck of the tall ship Bounty out of my mind.

As someone who has written about 18th century pirates quite a bit over the past decade, I have an abiding fascination with sailing ships of that era.

HMS Bounty at Lunenburg, NS, August 2012

Last summer, when I heard the Bounty was docked for a few days at the Maritime Museum wharf in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, I made sure I was at the head of the line at the gangplank.

The crew welcomed us aboard, and we had the vessel nearly to ourselves to explore at leisure.

The Bounty, a 1962 replica of the original 18th century British ship, was obviously built with great attention to authenticity of detail.  The timbers above and below looked rough-hewn and weathered, the sails dingy and hardworking, the masthead newly painted and resolute.

She was a solid piece of work, and her captain, Robin Walbridge, had steered her well for 17 years.

 

But last week something went badly awry in his thinking.

Lunenburg photos by Eric Hernandez

He decided to take the Bounty out to sea knowing full well that Hurricane Sandy was making directly for his route from New London, CT to St. Petersburg, Fla.

Bounty masthead on a clear day

It seems that Captain Walbridge decided to try to “skirt” the storm, heading far out to sea in an effort to miss the brunt of it.

Sandy proved far to big to avoid, and by the night of Sunday, Oct. 28, the Bounty was facing 10 to 30-foot seas about 90 miles off the coast of North Carolina.  A first distress call put out to the Coast Guard at about sundown that evening was rescinded, as the crew must have been frantically working the pumps and still hoping to save the ship.

Not until 4 a.m. did the crew receive the order to abandon ship, and by then the deck was awash.

Fourteen of the fifteen crew members made it into the life rafts and were rescued by the Coast Guard  within a few hours.  A fifteenth crew member, Claudene Christian, was found floating nearby, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Claudene Christian

Captain Walbridge’s body has not been recovered as of this writing.  The last one to abandon ship, he may simply have not made it out in time.

Captain Robin Walbridge

Here is a tragedy that could easily have been avoided if the captain had been more respectful of the forces of nature.  Apparently he thought the ship would be safer out at sea than docked during the hurricane; but in trying to save the ship he endangered the crew, and two lives were lost, one of them his own.

The story reminds me of the tale of Moby Dick, where the recklessness of the captain resulted, ultimately, in his being dragged to his death by the great white whale.

There is a lesson here for all of us.

We cannot underestimate the forces of nature.  We cannot “skirt” the climate change disaster that is staring us in the face.  We cannot outrun the storm, and we cannot hide from her.

As people in the wealthy enclaves of New Jersey and Long Island are finding out now, we are all equal before the awesome might of the natural world.

True, the plight of New Yorkers in dark, cold public housing is far more serious than that of coastal Long Islanders who have had to seek shelter with inland friends and family.

Class still matters.

But on the Bounty, the captain’s quarters were swamped just like those of the sailors.

So it will be with us all, if we fail to heed Sandy’s warning.

The Bounty sinking on Oct 29; Coast Guard photo

This is not a movie, and it’s not child’s play.  It’s real, and we’d better be paying attention, because next time it could be my turn, or yours.

We need to be taking measures now to make sure that the next time the winds start to blow, we will be prepared.

First things first: we need to go to the polls to defeat Mitt Romney and his fossil fuel masters on Tuesday.

And then on Wednesday, it will be time to start making plans to pressure President Obama to do the right thing when it comes to climate change.

Some say he’ll be a lame duck in his second term, but I think he’ll have more leeway to be his own man.  We have to prevail on his intelligence and good sense to use the power of the executive office to stand up to Big Oil on behalf of ordinary folks the world over, who trust their leaders to make the right decisions to keep them out of harm’s way.

And if he can’t or won’t do the right thing, well…there may have to be yet another “mutiny on the Bounty….”

Thank you, Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy did the planet a favor by hitting hard right at some of our most elite enclaves.

This time it’s not the poor residents of the Ninth Ward facing the horror of flooding, it’s the wealthy owners of some of the most valuable coastal property in the country.

When I heard Mayor Bloomberg of New York, one of the richest men on the planet, finally come and out say the words “climate change” with urgency, I had to smile despite the seriousness of the context, because it meant that at last the rich and powerful are getting the message that the status quo cannot go on—at least, not if we expect to survive as a civilization into the 22nd century.

The truth is that Americans in the ruling class—the business owners, the politicians, the finance and computer wizards, the media producers, the educators, even the artists–have been living in a luxurious gated community our whole lives.

We have been watching the travails of those outside, including the accelerating extinction of other species and the poisoning of the environment, from what has seemed like a safe, secure vantage point, behind several layers of bullet-proof glass.

Americans have watched impassively as people in other parts of the world have been forced to deal with terrible storms, flooding, and droughts with increasing regularity over the past decade.

As long as the electricity stays on and the supermarkets and gas stations are full and open for business, we just don’t pay much attention to what’s going on with the weather.  As long as our homes are heated in the winter and cooled in the summer, what’s the problem?

People like James Hansen, Bill McKibben, and Elizabeth Kolbert have been knocking futilely on the windows for years, trying to get the ruling class to wake up and pay attention to the looming threat of climate change before it’s too late.

They’ve made little progress up to now.

But Hurricane Sandy is a game changer.  Blowing into town the week before the Presidential elections, she put climate change on to the front page of the New York Times at last.  She forced her way into the bland discourse of Presidential politics.

She tossed her windy head and in just a few hours paralyzed the “greatest city on Earth,” creating $50 billion of damage that will take weeks if not months to clean up.

All of a sudden, city planners are talking seriously about flood gates, and some are saying it might be foolish to rebuild in the same way, right down along the coast.

I don’t hear many in our ruling class yet saying what needs to be said, which is that our entire lifestyle has been built up in an unsustainable way, and must be changed if we are to leave a livable legacy to our children and grandchildren.

We must wean ourselves from the addiction to fossil fuels.  We must shift from highways and cars to mass transit.  We must immediately start reducing emissions in every way possible, with special attention to the agriculture sector, which has to be completely redesigned with sustainability and health—our own, and that of the animals and plants we cultivate—in mind.

We must build a much more resilient, collaborative culture.  Competition and aggression may have been the watchwords of the capitalist and imperialist 19th and 20th century, but following their star has landed us in our current grave circumstances. We can’t go any further down that path.

For thousands of years prior to the Christian era, human beings lived tribally and cooperatively in harmony with the land.  Our population has now grown so large that we are reduced to fighting each other for increasingly scarce resources.

Going forward, if we are to survive, we must transcend the pettiness of national boundaries and ethnic differences, recognize our common goals as humans, and start to work together to provide strategically for the good of all.

This may seem like an impossibly idealistic goal, but if there is one thing that I believe can unite human beings, it is the awareness now dawning about how interconnected we are through our dependence on the life support of our planet.

It is sad that the Earth has had to sink to such an unbalanced, depleted state before we began to pay attention.  I would not wish a Hurricane Sandy on anyone.  But it seems that we need wake-up calls of her magnitude to get us up and out of the stupor of denial and inaction.

As I step over the threshold into my sixth decade today, I can feel a new resoluteness building in me; a new determination to use my time in a more focused way.

I vow to give the best of myself to the struggle for a sustainable future, and to encourage others to join me in this effort.  There is nothing more important any of us can be doing now.

Will Frankenstorms Become the New Normal?

Yesterday’s images of the NY Stock Exchange with sandbags at the front doors, or cars floating by on Wall Street, were not taken from the latest science fiction disaster movie, not this time.

This time they were real.  And next time the storm could be worse.

But despite all the dramatic headlines declaring Hurricane Sandy the worst storm to hit the East Coast in human memory, there has been barely a whisper of climate change in any of the top weather-related news stories.

I was hoping that Sandy would prove to be a big wake-up call for the privileged denizens of the East Coast, many of whom hold influential positions in business, finance and government.

But instead of people acknowledging the climate elephant in the room and starting to talk about proactive steps we can take to avoid such scenarios in the future, they are just following the usual reactionary script: marshalling disaster relief, urging the citizenry to donate to the American Red Cross, assessing the cost of the clean-up and how long it will take to put Humpty back together again.

A storm like Sandy—or Irene, or Katrina—should prompt reflections on the awesome power of natural forces, and the puniness of human structures.

Take our power away and we are suddenly rocketed back into the early 19th century.  Take our food supplies away, and we become an angry mob in no time.  Do it on a scale that impacts millions of people all living crowded together, and you have a recipe for unprecedented horror.

This is not a pitch for the next action thriller film, and it’s not idle chatter.  These are the kinds of scenarios our governors and national leaders were worrying about yesterday when they authorized the shutting down of mass transit, schools and businesses.

We were lucky this time.  Sandy weakened as she came ashore and the damage, while serious, is manageable.

What we know is that with each passing month and year of inaction on global heating, the storms will become more frequent and more intense.  In the years to come, we will look back on Sandy as child’s play, just a warning of what is yet to come.

What should we be doing now, as individuals, as a nation, and as a global human community?

  • We should be starting a massive shift to renewable, clean energy sources.  And I’m not talking about “clean coal.”  Wind, solar, geothermal, tidal—these are the sources that can safely feed our energy addiction, without driving our climate into ruin.
  • We should be shifting away from cars and highways to trains and mass transit.  Bicycles, too.  And we should embrace the shift to online commerce and education, to avoid the need for a great portion of the horrendous morning commute.
  • We should start a concerted effort, especially in densely populated areas like the northeast corridor, to bury the power lines.  Tangled mats of downed overhead wires should become a thing of the past, and quickly.  We need to become much more resilient at surviving big storms, and our electric grid is a 19th century anachronism in need of immediate upgrade to the 21st century.
  • We need to start a serious citizens’ movement to resist the tripartite junta of the fossil fuel industry, Big Agriculture and Big Chemical.  These three industries must be held accountable for the tremendous destruction they are wreaking on our environment, and on us as individuals.  I’d like to see Big Insurance take our side in this battle; I am sure they’re getting tired of always being stuck holding the bill when the next disaster strikes….

These storms are not random events.  They are getting bigger and closer together and less predictable.  The hotter the climate, the more the ice melts at the poles, the more freakish our weather will become—except that freakish is going to be our new normal.

It’s time to stop the denial, stop allowing ourselves to be distracted from the very serious questions that face us now.

It boils down to this: are we going to leave a livable Earth to our children and grandchildren?  Or are we going to go down in history (if there are any left to carry history forward) as the most criminal generation of all time?

Waiting for Sandy

As the Scorpio Full Moon slowly grows during these closing weeks of 2012, we are waiting for what forecasters are calling a “perfect storm”: a hurricane coming ashore from the Caribbean, going up the Atlantic seaboard and hitting a burst of cold air from the northwest.

Tonight, coastal cities are already in emergency mode: canceling school, closing public transportation, ordering evacuations, and preparing for power outages that may last days or even weeks.

Against this dramatic natural backdrop, we are watching the most artificial of scenarios: the unfolding of the closing chapters of the 2012 Presidential race.

What should be an easy sweep for the Democrats is seeming less secure, perhaps just through the clever manipulation of the Republican political marketing team.

We are at the late stage in politics when it becomes increasingly impossible to tell where reality ends and show business begins, and it almost doesn’t matter—it’s all show business, really.  Except that when the curtain comes down and it’s time for us to go home, we have to live with the real, often uncomfortable effects of the show.

Personally, I just keep feeling a tremendous sense of foreboding.  I can’t tell if it’s just part of the show—in other words, me being influenced by the heavy barometer of both the natural and the political climates—or if I might be picking up a legitimate sixth sense warning that I should be paying attention to.

Well, I am paying attention—I can’t not pay attention, the feeling of dread is too strong to ignore—but I have no idea what I should be doing in response.  So I am just going along from day to day, trying to keep my eyes on the road and ignore the looming threat that seems to be lurking just outside of my line of vision.

There are two kinds of people I feel envious of: those who have absolutely no clue of the larger forces at play in the fate of human civilization on the planet today, and those who are so consumed by their own manic determination to “win” that they are able to focus on their own narrow goals without admitting the least shred of doubt as to the correctness of their path.

Me, I am like a sea plant tossed in the tides, or a palm tree bending in the wind.  I can feel the strong currents of change sweeping through, but I lack the will or the conviction to strike out in the direction of some kind of focused action.

I bend, I toss, I wait, I dream.

I stoke the coals of my deep love for the planet, and know, as I stare into the glowing embers of humanity’s time on our beloved Earth, that though we may leave our current physical form, we remain bound into the dance of energy and matter cycling endlessly between our Sun and the molecules that compose us.

So much is at stake, and yet in the larger scheme of things, how inconsequential are our tiny concerns.

All things must pass…and what will be will be.

The future’s not ours to see.  Que sera, sera.

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