Thursday, May 6, 2010

Again. I Do Not Know

I've been a bit quiet here lately. And yes, part of it has been busy-ness but part of it is that I just feel sort of quiet. I'm sure the antidepressant has something to do with that and if it quiets the anxiety, which it has, I am glad to be quiet.

And we are moving on towards summer here which is our hard time of year. It gets so hot, so buggy and then there are the hurricanes which threaten us, just by the very fact that it is their season. Soon we will be watching the tropical storm reports with wary eyes, waiting to see what forms where, what the forecast will be. El Nino is not in evidence this year, which usually means more storms.

And I think I am overwhelmed by this gush of the oil in the Gulf. Just plain overwhelmed. There is no doubt that we here in Florida will be affected. All of us. And of course Mr. Moon and I have two pieces of property on the water, both on bays. And because I have lived by the water, or near it, most of my life, I am more than aware of what a threat to the ocean and to the estuaries in the bays means. It means nothing less than a complete and utter catastrophe for marine life and thus, indeed, for everyone's lives. The ocean is our mother. Of that, I am quite sure.
And so, here it is coming up on Mother's Day and hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil are spurting up out of the floor of the Gulf to poison the water, the animals and plants in it and around it, to destroy life and it is so overwhelmingly horrible to me that I can barely even think about it, much less comprehend it.
No. I can't. And neither can you.

And we rail against BP and we rail about Big Oil and we rail against greed and so on and so forth but you know, this morning I was thinking that really I feel compassion even for those BP guys, whoever they are. They certainly did not want this to happen and the cost alone is going to perhaps ruin them. I can't see how it can't. And no, I'm sure they didn't do everything right but come on- what were they doing drilling in the Gulf? Well, they were finding oil to supply the endless need which we seem to have for it.

What can I say? I use gas in my car. I use electricity. I buy things made from petroleum products. We all do. I cannot cast the first stone. There is blood on my hands.
There will be oil on my beach.
There will be fishermen and their families who will lose their livelihoods, their boats, their way of life.
There will be coastal areas which depend on tourism which will wither and die.
There will be a lack of seafood.
But you know what? When I hear people say things like what I heard a woman say tonight which was that she had just learned to eat oysters and now this! I want to scream.
No. The oysters will not be here for us to eat. Because the places where they live and grow and take in seawater to form their succulent flesh will be fouled. As will the water where the tiny fish grow big enough to go out into the big sea. Where the already endangered turtles lay their eggs. Where the dolphins swim with their babies to catch the jumping mullet.
It's all just too much for me to understand.

And I don't have any answers. I don't have anyone to point a finger at. I don't have a stone to throw.
Because yes, I have blood on my hands too. My air-conditioner is on. I will run fans too. I am writing this with electricity. The lights in my house are run by it. The computer I write on is probably made somehow from dinosaur remains.
You too.
You too.

Will we learn anything? Will we change? Is there time for that or have we already poxed and poisoned our mother to the point where she will, in fact, now die?

I don't know.

They are setting out barriers and booms. I hope they work. They are trying to burn the oil off the water. I hope that works. They are trying to come up with chemicals that will eat the oil and what will all of this fire and the booms and the chemicals do to the wildlife? And if there are hurricanes, there are no booms which will hold, there are no fires which will stay lit, and the chemicals? Hell. I don't know.

I just know I am very, very sad and we all should be. Such a precious balance this planet tries to maintain and we? We are just rushing to upset it all and now we are seeing it all tumble and fall.


I'm tired. I need to go to sleep. But I just had to say something. Not that it's going to matter at all what I said. Not one bit. But it's what I'm thinking, quietly. I can't even really feel anger. It's too big for that. And maybe too late.

And so I'm going to bed and if I prayed I would pray for forgiveness. I would ask for forgiveness for all of us because we are all, every damn one of us, even if we drive a Prius, even if we take the bus or walk to work or ride a bike or grow our food or recycle our paper, aluminum, glass and plastic- we are all part of the problem. And that's the problem. Even those of us who care, who try- it's so much bigger than what we can do. Yes, we should all do what we can but dammit, here we are. Green is a marketing tool now but I am not sure it makes that much difference.

But anyway, good-night and okay, let's all just try a little harder and again, if we pray, let's pray that the smart people, the really smart people, can get the money to do what we must do to really change things. And we should would pray, if we pray, for the great fish who sleep in the sea, for the tiny microscopic fish that float gently in the bays, for the oysters opening and closing their gnarly perfect shells, for the birds who fly over the water and dive down from so far above for their food, for the smiling, ever-smiling dolphins with their babies, cruising up and down the coast, for the great turtles who crawl onto the beaches from the sea to lay their eggs in the sand with tears and great effort. For the sponges and the crabs and the sea squirts. For everything including the sand and the salt water itself. Our mother from whose bosom we spring.

Good night.


  1. I feel a great helplessness because nothing that I have studied or worked on seems to make any difference. I have been down in submersibles to over 1200 meters and still there is garbage. It accumulates at the base of the sand waves.
    And most people today just look at the news and think, Oh an oil spill and go about their business. They wonder if the price of their gas will go up, not whether the oysters will smother or the fish will die. Most people only think about their immediate needs and not what is best of the greater good of all. It is frustratingly sad.

  2. You are generous in not throwing stones and blaming. I know that we are all a part of this mess, but there are some who actually are NOT sad about all of this. Those who shrug their shoulders and think "accidents happen." Those who say that man has dominion over the earth and not the other way around. Those who have faith that man is bigger than nature and that short term profit is just too tempting. I read a couple of "conservative" blogs that mock environmentalists and global warming concerns.There's someone out there making money off that oil spill. Call me cynical but I'm throwing a few stones.

  3. It makes me physically sick to think about what's happening.

    Yes, there is blood on our hands. We almost can't help it though --it just IS what it is.

    I have so much to say in response that I almost can't find the words. But I know I love you, and yours, and for tonight that has to be enough.

  4. You're a better human than I am, Ms. Moon. I find I cannot be so forgiving, even if I too am guilty. Sweet dreams.

  5. i know. it's just so big, it's hard to think about. it could happen anywhere, that's the awful thing- there's a giant industrial refinery zone down the coast from us, some 50 kms, but what is 50kms when the gas tanks burn or the oil tankers founder? A curse on the 1950s and the postwar "Progress", the ultimate excuse for the deal with the devil we made when we all started wanting plastic plates and cheap petrol and clothes dryers and ...and all the rest...

  6. Syd- Yes. It is.

    Elizabeth- I can't even TALK about people like that. THEY ARE THE HELL. And they are ignorant. Willingly ignorant. Yes. You have my full permission to throw stones at them.

    SJ- We love you too.

    Angie M- Well, who knows? Tomorrow I may be CALLING for blood.

    Screamish- Who could foresee?

  7. It's all too much...

    So, Mary, did you decide to cut your hair??? Did you hear the program on NPR about how they are soliciting hair for the oil spill??? Apparently a small amount of hair can soak up a quart of oil and can be wrung out and used again. People, hair salons and pet groomers all over the country are sending their hair, along with nylon stockings, to help soak up the oil. Pretty interesting concept and something concrete we can do to help.

    You and your writing are wonderful and beautiful, whether your quiet self or your raucous self!

  8. I really can't even talk about it without feeling weak and queezy.

    I have nothing to add to what you said.

  9. Oh.
    I've been trying to avoid hearing, reading about this. Which is no good. I can't let everyone else feel the pain and concern and ache. You're certainly holding your share.

    Just got home from therapy, eating brocolli and carrot cole slaw, drinking my black coffee, trying to settle a bit before I leave for the library, and your last beautiful paragraph had me crying.

    Hugs and love.

  10. I too, am so sad and scared and so guilty.

  11. I am haunted by all that we don't know or see when things like this jolt us. Wonder if anything I'm doing matters.
    But I cannot not. I hope that at least something is better than apathy .

  12. I'm feeling the same sadness and ambivalence, Ms. Moon. And if we pray, let's not forget the manatees.

  13. I can't look too closely at the oil spill cause it's the kind of thing that puts me over the edge.

    All I can tell myself is that we will do ourselves in. We won't destroy the planet. Life will go on. We'll just destroy ourselves.


    ha! wv: sholes
    yup. that's what we humans are

  14. This situation is so damn depressing. I have been avoiding news footage on purpose. I don't even want to see it. It will make no damn real difference whether I watch it or don't watch--the only difference will be in how depressed and helpless I feel afterwards.

    This hurricane season, I have a family that I love in Florida, so I will have to be extra worried. I worry about my dear Savannah, and I worry for all of you. I will keep my fingers crossed.

    Your writing in this post is lovely, as usual. You blow me away.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.