Friday, August 29, 2008

Hope

Well, I knew it had been a long time since I'd written here, but I didn't know it had been this long. I won't bother telling you everything that's happened since I last wrote, especially considering there's no way I could remember everything that's happened! So I'll simply say what's going on now.

I find myself feeling very melancholy tonight... Haunted by I'm not quite sure what. I think it will be awhile before I get to sleep. Part of the reason is probably because I'm the only one awake right now... My sister is away at a friends cottage for the weekend, and my parents decided to go to bed early. Although I've been called a loner before, I'm not really. I don't like large groups all that much, but neither do I like being entirely alone. Since someone in my home is almost always up to all hours with me, it feels exceedingly lonely being the only one awake. Another reason is probably that I learned that one of my favorite authors of all time has early onset Alzheimer's. If you know anything about that disease, you'll know that is a very bad thing. You lose your memories, your mind. Usually it happens only to those who are quite old, Terry Pratchett is not even 60 yet, as far as I know. I doubt he will be writing for much longer, and I will greatly miss his satirical, wise, and eye-opening words, as well as grieving for someone I feel I know, since I've read so many of his words. Just to add to everything else, I've progressed through much of Derrick Jensen's amazing book The Culture Of Make Believe. The atrocities our culture has perpetrated, the lives lost, the destruction wrought. His prose is beautiful, fascinating, and impossible to ignore, but at times also heartbreaking. I've actually been in tears during parts, which is something that very rarely happens to me while reading a non-fiction book. A quote I like from him, although not from the book I am currently reading, it is the first paragraph from his book Endgame. It reads as follows:
"As a longtime grassroots environmental activist, and as a creature living in the thrashing endgame of civilization, I am intimately acquainted with the landscape of loss, and have grown accustomed to carrying the daily weight of despair. I have walked clearcuts that wrap around mountains, drop into valleys, then climb ridges to fragment watershed after watershed, and I’ve sat silent near empty streams that two generations ago were “lashed into whiteness” by uncountable salmon coming home to spawn and die."
"As a creature living in the thrashing endgame of civilization, I am intimately acquainted with the landscape of loss, and have grown accustomed to carrying the daily weight of despair". Those words haunt me, and feel very true to me tonight, perhaps even more so than when I first heard them in the online video of a talk he gave a couple of years ago. He is a brilliant speaker and writer, his passion, hope, and despair come through unfailingly clear. Surprisingly, usually when I read his book it does not depress me. Make me sad, yes. Depress, no. More than anything, it makes me fucking angry. And determined to change things, to not let our culture destroy all that is good and beautiful in the world. Because like it or not, whether you blind yourself and pretend nothing is happening, it is. Our world is dying. Our home. It's our only one. But instead of living in peace, we're destroying it utterly. Species go extinct daily thanks to us. So many are already gone, never to return. So much land is polluted beyond saving. Water made undrinkable for the foreseeable future. How can we do this? It's suicide on a grand scale, since we can no more live on a polluted planet than can all the animals who no longer do live. I want to help. No. I need to help. Need to change things. I'm going to find a way, and I'm going to in any way I can. Because you know what? I do hope. I'm eternally an optimist. I have to have hope, hold it close and nurse it, keep it strong. That's what we all need, hope and determination. Determination to make a difference, to change the world, and not let our consumerist culture consume our very lives, as well as every other life on this planet we all call home. I hope...

http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=derrick+jensen&sitesearch=#

2 comments:

  1. OH MY GOD, Terry prachett oh no
    I hadn't heard, oh shit, I can't believe it, my heart almost stoped reading that, I have been reading his books for about 4 years now

    ReplyDelete
  2. YES! Another Terry Pratchett fan! That guy is fucking amazing. I nearly burst out in tears when I heard that he was sick. Truly sad... :(

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...