Thursday, June 24, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
“Do not wait for Leaders; do it alone, person to person”
~ Mother Teresa
OH NO not personal responsibility! I hate this part of life. Surely there is an easier way deal with the oil leak that has spewed 100 million + gallons of crude into the Gulf.
“I want you to be concerned about your next door neighbor. Do you know your next door neighbor?”
~ Mother Teresa
Does that leak mean that now might be the time to learn the most we can about how we each use oil in our lives? We in the States are at least listening to the nightly news if not watching or reading it. We know that our industries (those that are left, that is) are oil dependent. We know that many of us must use oil to heat home during the winter season. Most us drive cars that require oil and oil by-products. Some of us believe that if we have a lot of money we can use whatever we can pay for and the rest of us, reeling from the recession, know that we can spend what we can scrape together for what we want. Somewhere along the line that became confused/ fused with what we 'need'. Not a constitutional right, eh.
“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”
~ Mother Teresa
How much do we love our primary home...Mother Earth? Drive less, use public transportation, give up that convenient plastic shopping bags, decided to recycle and reuse rather that buy, buy, buy... What discomfort are we willing to go through for the sake of loving the place we are living? Rally together so that industry left can have the black gold to help a crippled economy and save/ create jobs. Find those illusive "alternative energies" and actually use them. Listen. There is a subtle sound in the back ground...tick, tick, tick.... There is no "love it or leave it" choice in the here and now.
This was a challenge ~ on two levels: the reality of my life and finding a subject! I live by myself, there are no grandchildren and the adult children are out and about in the world and I work on average six days a week. So decided to go with the critters who inhabit my household. They are all in bed before I even realize it is time to call it a day. Sometimes that leaves a challenge of a different kind...where in the world am I suppose to sleep! :-)
Tye has a kennel. But after a busy 12 hour day at doggie day care this lab/border collie mix always attempts to sack-out on on the Mom's bed first. Perhaps he hopes I won't notice the large furry lump taking up most of the bed...
Aging coon hounds do three things, eat, sleep and sniff stuff. Reb gets his own chair and everyone including me stays out of it!
Pip the Love Bird goes to bed at 8 PM and is up with all of Mother Nature's avian friends at 4 AM ~ who needs an alarm clock?
Then there are the visitors: Sukie and Juneau. Their Mom was the main course for a coyote and her pups when these little ones were about two weeks old. These little feral friends are being "socialized". But like all their feline kin, socialized or not, BEDTIME comes and they wake up! At least for the time being I don't startle at strange sounds in the house....Suk and Juju are just having HS (hour of sleep) fun!!!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
“ We will look upon the earth and her sister planets as being with us, not for us. One does not rape a sister.” ~ Mary Daly
I am going to spare you the rant I can feel brewing inside my head...at least for now. At the moment it is a conglomeration of facts but the birthing process for that rant is near term. The “abstract” is this: I am not agitated about what I am paying for gas at the pump. I am feeling a fury about the plunder of the earth for that gas at the pump...for the oil that fosters industry and greed...for the lack of effective government response. I feel a fury toward BP (no matter how many people they employ) and the insipid Obama administration response. My heart both aches and rages for the damage to the environment and the lives of the people who depend on the environment for a living.
The late Prof. Daly wrote “one does not rape a sister” but, in fact, just that has happened ~ continues to happen and we will be reeling from the consequences for generations. The oil leak in the Gulf produces numbers that are too large for most of us to comprehend. It hands us another “genocide” dilemma....numbers too large to understand when held up to what so many think of as every day life. Sometimes that number is six million Jews, sometimes one million Armenians or Rwandans and sometimes thousands of species that may not recover or disappear altogether from the land that encircles the Gulf.
To those who want to kiss this disaster boo-boo and make it go away...keep puckering up, this is going to take everything you've got and more.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
“There's so much pollution in the air now that if it weren't for our lungs there'd be no place to put it all.”
I love to drive. My Father taught me how to drive when I was 12 years old. I have a clear memory of his smiling face as I s-l-o-w-l-y drove down a country road. I can remember the searing heat of July in Price, Utah. There were no jarring stops or wild accelerations. Just his soothing voice telling me not to worry about 'gauges just feel the car and watch the road'. It was such a long time ago ~ 50 years has elbowed its way between me and that sultry day. Time has claimed the moment and death my Dad. So much has changed. We had no idea that we were contributing to pollution.
“Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites.”
Business Week, 18 June 1990
Driving these days is a guilty pleasure. As I watch the Gulf turned into a cesspool of muddy oil I too find myself pondering thoughts of carbon reduction. A new car is out of the question. The current car is still owned by the Bank. I live quite a distance from my office but ironically I am rarely there as I am always on the road, traveling to one or the other of the Care Centers. The one nearest to my home is 20 miles to the south, with one another 18 or so miles south of that and the furtherest is 56 miles to the north. Obviously this is not a carbon reducing trek. My buildings are not very electronically up-to-date. I can't review medical records from the comfort of my little home office. We can't Skype meetings. Anyway, all those activities require electricity so it is likely a carbon wash so to speak.
“It wasn't the Exxon Valdez captain's driving that caused the Alaskan oil spill. It was yours.”
25 February 1990
I plan to move off this Island. Closer to the main office and the Care Centers to the south. The thought of packing is repulsive but not as repulsive as thoughts of sea creatures drowning in oil. While on my cruise (yet another carbon expensive trek) I listened to a naturalist discuss the oil spill in Alaska. He said he was still haunted by by the sound of hundreds of confused and frightened sea otters when they began to freeze to death as the crude robbed them of their ability to withstand the icy water temperatures. He and his fellow volunteers listened to them scream as they died. They did not know that otters sounded like humans when they screamed. Who knows what screams, loudly or quietly, are echoing in the Gulf? Soon more and more humans will join in the screaming as animals, plants and shore line are increasingly destroyed. This man-made leak stains all that we use to know. I, like so many others, send donations to various groups struggling to save what has been damaged. I work at reorganizing my life. I make lists of all that is petroleum based and weigh alternatives. Time for me to move back into an urban area ~ and I can't begin to express to you how sad that makes me feel...living the escaptist fantasy has been glorious! How I love the peace, space and safety of this Island. But, to be honest, I love not contributing to pollution even more. Living in a city seems an odd way to accomplish this but ... ~ it makes dependence on a car less of an issue.
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
~Native American Proverb
It's time to change. We've already left a monsterous finacial debt for our grandchildren and their children. Shall we also leave them a “scorched earth”? Time to drive "s-l-o-w-l-y down the road" in a new and healthier way.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
It is quiet this morning. I noticed yesterday that two of my neighbors managed to sell their houses and this week the new people moved into each empty home. Perhaps those two tiny real estate sales are part of the larger signs that the economy is making a come back. From this small office the worries and unhappiness in the world seem far away. Once in a while ~ it is relaxing to forget, albeit for a moment.
It is raining here. It should not be as this is usually the beginning of our short lived dry spell. But then neither is this Ketchikan, Alaska. That town and its stalwart inhabitants endure 200" inches of rain a year. So 32 to 40 inches of 'here'...literally a drop in the bucket!
A river runs through it....
As with so much of the Northwest...coffee shops are an essential.
Tourist make the rounds in horse drawn trolleys...
There are boats and there are ships!
Island across the bay from Ketchikan. Notice the lush green dense forest...brought to you by 200 inches of rain!
Time to fetch the Sunday paper, sort the laundry and think about rainy days, a glorious vacation and well, not much else! Have a good one!
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
It is once again the beginning of a day and my thoughts are of the end of it. We are in survey and that is a quiet but grueling experience. I begin this day remembering the end of the day in the Alaskan Inland Passage. The sun was just setting when most of us in the lower 48 are either turning on the nightly news or are already fast asleep. This photo was taken while on deck at 10:39 P.M.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
The seven days somehow rushed by in slow motion. The first day on board was spent trying not to be lost: winding around stair cases; navigating forward, mid ship and aft elevators; locating various dining rooms and then somehow making it back to the stateroom. I and dozens of other passengers bundled up and hunkered down on deck 14 in order to watch our ship glide through Puget Sound and transport us to Juneau, Alaska. The trip was relaxing and somehow magical. I was able to sample the immense beauty that is the Alaskan coast, observe whales, sea otters, dozens of bald eagles, dolphins and seals. The towns were quaint and small compared to the land surrounding them. The forests are green and stretch for as far as the eye can see. The air is crisp and pristine. We traveled to glaciers and sailed past enormous ice bergs. The glaciers are receding at the rate of 70 feet a year. The best example of that is demonstrated in Juneau at the site of the Mendenhal glacier because one can take a easy hike to it and face its enormous size and the turquoise of the dense ice, even touch it and know you have touched time itself. Saw a number of “locals” with hybrid huskie/wolf dogs. I learned more about mushing, native people, and severe winters. I took a tour through a rain forest (Juneau amazingly enough has a temperate climate and receives more rain than snow. Ketchikan which is south of Juneau receives 200 inches of rain a year...makes Puget Sound seem a desert)! The environment was amazing and images still float in my head. As for cruising. I would do that again in a heart beat. How nice to visit so many different locations and never have to change hotel rooms. I enjoyed talking to crew and fellow passengers alike. Both groups were diverse and many spoke little to no English and some how it was all good. Will be thinking about this for awhile. The only troubled spot of the trip was the return to find that one of two SD cards was corrupt and therefore 400 photos disappeared. Ah well, that seems to be my destiny these days so I will rely on memory to conjure up thoughts of part of the trip. Whatever the magic of the journey, I have returned relaxed and ready to jump back into life.
It is difficult to even know where to begin in describing this journey. I will sort through memory and photos this week and continue to post for several days....