Getting used to the new normal?

There are many things rolling between the tumblers of my brain lately, so it’s been hard to decide what to post. I decided to just dive in, so I hope this stream of consciousness isn’t too garbled.

keep calm

Something I’ve been thinking about a lot is climate change. Over the past 10 years the region where I live has become increasingly arid. I used to enjoy growing vegetables but they just don’t last long enough to produce fruit anymore. While temp and humidity are the long-term problem, the most immediate threat to my plants is the bugs. Within the past three days I have watched my lemon balm be devoured by…something with an exoskeleton, that’s all I know. I think it was grasshoppers, but there are so. Many. Bugs. Who knows?  The same thing happened to my lemon balm last year, so I was really happy to see it bounce back this year and had high hopes for it. Alas. It died even earlier than last year. So far my calendulae (would that be the plural?)  have held up, which amazes me considering they are crawling with crawlies, and my catnip and rue are doing well. Some of my catnip is being tinctured as we speak! I’m planning on planting some marigolds (that is, African or Mexican marigolds, Tagetes sp.) in hopes of warding off some of the bugs, but there’s no altering the fact that this area is becoming a desert.

There will be no more homegrown tomatoes.

Not here, anyway.

I don’t know if my grief about that fully comes through in writing.

We have to start getting used to the new normal. The world is never going to be like it used to be, not in our lifetimes. When you dabble in herbology and astrology as I do, you swim in the tepid waters of the pop-culture New Age. Pop-culture New Age lacks any of the radical zest of the original New Age philosophers. It’s less Age of Aquarius and more Age of Aquarius™. One of the tenets I hear voiced frequently is that we are on the threshold of an Ascension, where humans will become more enlightened–that we are past the bad old days and it’s all gravy from here on (well, really since 12 December 2012). I’m no soothsayer, I am agnostic when it comes to any putative ascensions…well no, skeptical really. My career up until becoming a full-time caregiver was all about the study of humans in context (cultural, environmental, et al) and deep history, and when you look at the last 200,000 years you see the same stuff come back around again and again. What you don’t see is progress.  Ascensions aside, I do know that whoever finds themself at the vanguard of sweeping changes usually has a lot of crap to clean up before the next generation gets to enjoy its enlightenment. So even if the Ascension is in progress, we still have a lot of work to do.

Today I encountered a global-warming denier. I don’t really want to get into all the reasons that position is delusional (you should know them by now), because I already issued what I flatter myself is a pretty scathing response. This was not some internet troll, this was an acquaintance who considers themself an empath* and a reasonable person, and I was blown away by their callousness. Instead I’m writing what I hope will be a succint open letter to humanity:

Dear Homo sapiens, you and I have a conflicted relationship. Sometimes I love you en masse and am annoyed to death by you as individuals.  Other times I recognize the poignant, fragile beauty of your goodness as individuals but despair for us as a species. As a species we have messed up so bad. We’ve had no respect, no gratitude, no love for Life, for Earth and our fellow Earthlings, for our Creator. We have utterly fouled our nest. It may actually be too late now to fix what we’ve shat upon. But we don’t care, because we’re happy to have our opinions dictated to us by billionaires who would burn the Earth’s candle at both ends to make a few more bucks. There are way, way too many of us but we don’t care because we let some mean old misogynists in dresses convince us contraceptives are a sin. I think many of us are waiting for God, or some vague Ascension, or the Crystal Children, to come and save us from ourselves–but it’s not going to happen. We don’t deserve help anyway. We stopped deserving it when we turned our sovereignty over to the bankers.

But who is going to help all the other Earthlings, the ones who didn’t bite the hand that feeds them?

Do not waste my time and yours by telling me this is “just my opinion” (what an embarrassing comment to make anyway) or reply by citing Fox News and its ilk. Reality is beyond politics and you owe it to yourselves to face up to it. While we’re at it–beware of anyone who dismisses an argument because it comes from “scientists” (always in smear quotes), “mainstream academics,” or conversely, “conspiracy theorists.” They are trying to drown out an argument that scares them with hearty fake laughter. Please, do not take my word for anything–just open your eyes and see for yourself.

Look humans, I’m not totally pessimistic about our chances. I want us to live. I want us to redeem ourselves. And we have the opposable thumbs to  fix this, or at least make it less worse. But it’s never going to happen if we sit around praying for help we don’t deserve–it’s only going to happen if we get scared, get smart, take responsibility, and have some damn compassion already. I believe this work could fill us with purpose and unutterable transcendant beauty and joy. Start where you are.


*Another thing I’m not going to get into right now.


5 thoughts on “Getting used to the new normal?

  1. I believe it IS too late. We have failed the Garden of Eden test. It appears that this has happened already on other planets in our own solar system, however they were ruined. I hope whatever will replace the gorgeous balance of Earth life (that which still exists right now) will love eating plastic. But just in case it can’t eat that crap, which is Everywhere, then we had better try to clean it up. Clean house for whomever will live here millions of years later. Ivan Macfadyen will be traveling across the Pacific again late July, this time with a video camera. Might shame governments into cleaning up the mess. Let’s hope.

    • I am a cynical optimist, so I just hope that if we have done our own species in we at least won’t take all the others along with us. Like you I find myself thinking about life on other plants, especially Mars since the evidence is mounting that it was once very Earth-like, and I wonder whether their life systems were as precariously balanced as ours.

    • Thanks so much Nancy! You know in some ways I’ve gotten away from what I initially intended this blog to be about, but it’s now coming from a more honest and authentic source so I’m just going with the flow. That is to say what I’m writing has (I think, I hope) more depth and meaning. Thanks for your support and encouragement–I’ll continue on with my rantings as long as others are getting something out of it. 🙂

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