Mother earth is bleeding. A gushing gash, I feel as if  we humankind have stabbed our own mother in her back.

And we can’t staunch the flow.

In the halls of Washington vampires still want more blood, more money- they represent families and tribes with generations and generations of wealth to protect,  Drill, baby, drill.  Never mind the blood, dear.

I push the blame off of myself as I drive my car, look around our crowded streets, and feel as if we are all imprisoned in the guzzling of gas- the lifeblood of a post-modern, uber-busy, little boxes lifestyle.  Using Oil is non-renewable and reprehensible.  I feel responsible.  I feel guilty.  I feel trapped.  The average person can’t afford to buy a Prius or fabulous hybrid.  And in Fort Myers, the public transportation system serves only a public that can expect to arrive one hour early or late to wherever they need to go, taking 2-3 times longer than if having traveled in one’s own vehicle- if you have one.  The bike paths are constructed for recreation, less for commuting.  I have read (and shuddered) at plenty of squeaky-wheels in the ever-enlightening News-Press mailbag letters- to-the-editor, complaining about cyclists on the road as if they were criminal or deserved to be hit by cars for the idiocy of trying to get anywhere by bicycle.

But somehow I feel like I need to own this- obstacles aside.  I feel like I am a 19th century new England coastal villager who invests in the rum trade.  The whole town is in on it- the most un-cool Co-op that ever existed.  Invested money goes toward the purchase of sugar, boats, crews, and…slaves.  How many villagers in small towns like Bristol, Rhode Island, quietly tried to ignore the fact that Africans were being trapped and enslaved, shipped to Cuba from Ghana on behalf of their growing investment in the rum industry?

In the past 48 days I have been unable to ignore oily film of complicity coating my being.  In the words of Lady Macbeth: Out damned spot!

I want to go clean birds and feel good about myself, the way many well-intended white people (example being me, for one)  flock to anti-racism trainings simply to expunge themsleves from guilt but never change their behavior in day-to-day living.  Frankly, I am scared to change my life into one that is independent of fossil fuels.  I can’t live here in Florida without air-conditioning.  I can’t not drive.  I can’t bicycle everywhere when I am also supposed to look professional.  I cannot cook over a fire- I love my new cooktop!  I can’t walk anywhere in my cute, grown-up, “What Not to Wear” shoes.

But I have always been very all or nothing.  People tell me I can take small steps- little changes.  I can have a conversation with my life partner about how we can do better.  I can think more on how to change my lifestyle while still doing the work I love.  This is the best I can do for now.  But is it true what Lady Macbeth says: “What’s done cannot be undone?”

Advertisements