Friday, April 30, 2010

Not Quite Poetry Friday (or Cat up on her soapbox again)

I've been thinking a lot about the oil spill in the Gulf. The first fine layer of oil started washing up on the Louisiana shore this morning and they say that the slick is much thicker just a little bit off-shore. I think a lot about what kind of world we are leaving, not just for our children, but for all the species that live on this beautiful planet.

I'm a big believer that everything we do has an impact, positive or negative. And that this relentless push called progress is really just a slow form of destruction that no one seems to recognize. Every building we build, just pushes the boundaries of our cities out further and further, plowing over farmland. We pave over green things and call it progress. We build endless strip malls because we have created a society that can only move forward by producing and selling more. More, more, endlessly more.

And what we seem to forget in this endless push is that we are only one of the species of creatures that live here. We pave over their world to create ours. Animals are only looking to get by. To eat and survive. We buy endless toys and find new destructive ways to entertain ourselves. Animals work to eat, we work to buy.

I don't mean to be so pessimistic. I'm actually in a good mood today. But as I watch this oil slick destroy another section of our oceans and I watch the trees in my city plowed over for yet another Target; I start to wonder where it ends. People remind me that we can't go backwards. But the forward looks even scarier. And the whole time I think of an old Cree proverb that I have tacked up at home.

"Only when the last tree has died
And the last river has been poisoned
And the last fish has been caught
Will we realize that we can't eat money."

I, by no means, feel that I'm doing better. I work in a job that brings those companies in to plow over more farmland and drive more creatures out of their homes. I buy gas to drive myself to work creating the need for oil rigs that explode and destroy ecosystems. I don't grow my own food. I'm just as much to blame as the companies doing all the damage. But I do believe that I can start to change that. I can get that dusty old bike down and start using it to get around. I can start growing my own food in containers at the townhouse. I can buy less, particularly all the stuff that I simply don't need. And when a job comes up that offers me pride instead of just money, I can jump on it. I figure I'll do what I can to help. And perhaps the corporations will get the hint.

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