Toxic Economic Assumptions Drive Climate Chaos

You and I can replace our light bulbs and shop local and recycle and reuse and even conserve energy and natural resources like a champ.

But if we don’t change the drivers that churn Earth matter into profit as fast as possible (the Growth Economy/Consumption Machine model) — and in so doing,  consider corporate shareholders’ well-being ahead of ecosystems and forests and coral reefs and human communities like yours and mine…

Then it’s game over. We have almost used up all the time we have, and have not laid the axe to the root of the tree.

Do good. Recycle. Conserve. Shop local.

But unless we revolt against the Consumption Machine in much less than a generation, it will consume the consumers. What a perverse end to the story, don’t you think?

 

A Season To Be Mired in Quicksand

To everything there is a season, we are told:

A time for effective and meaningful engagement in  a full life; and a time to be mired up to your acetabulum in an unending, onerous, complex, emotionally draining and impossible slog through quicksand.

There is a time for effortless, natural progression from passion to passion; and a time for soul-sucking, bizarre and out of control obligation to duty.

I, as you might have guessed, I find myself in the second of these seasonal possibilities.

Way busy; stressed; uncertain; sad; exhausted; and not all that agreeable to be around.

So when the going gets tough, the tough (or even wimps like me) get doodling.

Yep, I have recently spent a bit of our children’s inheritance and purchased an iPad Pro with Apple Pencil. And when I should be creating agendas, sending out Doodle polls, writing complex position statements toward conflict resolution or otherwise moving forward toward one mission statement or another, I pull out the pad and pen and do the visual version of nothing at all.

A better person would feel regret and shame at such a retreat from responsibility. Me, I lean into purposelessness–with some flare and success, I add in all modesty.

So fire me.

 

Now Who Gets My Last Corn Flake?

There goes the daily squirrel, passing under the window beyond my desk. He was always at such risk, and knew it: tentative, uncertain, hesitant. Gandy was always watching.

But this morning, as if he knew he no longer had to fear the eyes tracking him from the house, he is casual. He stops on the walkway below the bell post to preen; twitches his tail defiantly; and without fear, covers the distance to the walnut tree for another meal. He will grow older and fatter, after all.

And I have to wonder if the word has spread among the moles—at even greatest risk of discovery that the squirrels–in that uncanny way G-dog always employed to determine where and when to dig.

It had something to do with the ears, but not entirely. A cock of the head, the weight shift onto the trembling hind quarters, and then the pounce. How did she know, running at full clip; sudden change of direction, then another thirty yards, and prepare to pounce and spike the landing on front paws alone.

I will miss that. The moles will not. I will miss—am missing so many very small details of interaction now missing. Ann and I have both remarked the countless subtle ways we accommodated the dog’s movements, her needs, her noises, her habits. Her be-ing not different from our be-ing.

And so, as with other just-past pawed friends, I will discipline myself to remember before I forget all those subtleties. I have a list of prompts, with others surely to come, that I can flesh out—sometimes in paragraphs, other times in single words or phrases that only Ann and I would understand.

Time heals all wounds. And I don’t know quite how I feel about the balm of forgetting. I want to forget the loss but remember the lost.

*****
Memories of Gandy
• On the loveseat
• In the woods
• With food and treats
• With other dogs
• With other people
• Through the years
• With other creatures
• Through the seasons
• Her intelligence
• Her appearance
• Her personality
• Her places
• Our names for her
• The things she knew

Gandy, Going, Gone

Gandy is gone as of an hour ago, after seven years and four months. That’s a lot of dog years, and they were good ones. She had an enchanted life on Goose Creek after being a rescue puppy that could have ended up anywhere, and in not such expansive wilderness with two creeks! Think trailer park tied to a tree.

Three days ago she was chasing squirrels on the ridge. Then she went into a rapid decline, and was having difficulty standing, breathing, moving. The end was near. We found a vet from FloydCo who makes house calls. She came right away. Gandy did not suffer.

She is buried out the kitchen window where we could never get a pear tree to grow. And that was one of the most difficult things we have done together in 47 years of marriage—in sickness and in health. We never buried a dog together before.

It will take some while before we stop expecting her to greet us in the morning and run ahead of us on the pasture loop. I just glanced up to see a copper colored flash go past the window and thought “there she is” but it was one of the red chickens.

It is a good exercise just now to think of our friends and family and those that knew us, and knew us with Gandy, through all the ups and downs; through the Feather years. Feather left the story a year ago January 23rd and Gandy never stopped missing her, I feel sure. Maybe there are dogs in heaven after all.

We never had a smarter companion, or more faithful or more helpful–bringing in wood, doing anything in the truck, she was involved in all family activities. And so her absence, all the more the loss.

And life goes on.

There are a lot of reasons why Gandy should be our LAST dog. But the “heart has reasons that reason does not know” Pascal said. And I expect he is on to something.

Plate is Full, Blog is Empty

Earth in Ice: Image from Goose Creek January 2008

I made the mistake a few weeks back of saying I hoped to be doubling down on efforts to apply the brake to the creening path of humanity towards the brink–as if one person can make a difference; and yet…

One person can be a bystander or can give aid at the scene of a horrific accident.

Where we are as a species today is a horrific consequence of ignorance early on, followed by full intention in the past decades–since the Great Accelleration of 1950–to push the pedal to the medal, calamitous consequences (for all but the present stockholders and CEOs) be damned.

And so since I made that declaration here (I am too lazy to make a link) I have had new obligations and opportunities to man the oars and paddle against the currents.

I am now serving on the Volunteer Core Group for the nomination then election of Anthony Flaccavento to Congress from the 9th district of Virginia; and have a multitude of new hats to wear with SustainFloyd, perhaps more about that at some point.

Also i have elaborated on the Personal Climate Pledge project of SustainFloyd and that essay will be up on Fragments in excerpt tomorrow, with a link to the full piece at medium.com

So I intend–because it is something I want to attempt to do for the first time in years–to post to the blog every day this week. The posts will come mostly from material already generated elsewhere (like the two Forestry-related presentations for the Living in Our Forests series at the Floyd library, yesterday and on January 11th.

Also now will be planning for an hour-long presentation (vs the 20 minute versions at the library) for an organization in Roanoke probably in July.

Idle hands…not so much. But I like it that way–up to a point that might have been passed a couple of weeks ago. Balance. Serenity Now! World peace!