If this is the end, I’m eating strawberries

May 23, 2010

This is not just an oil spill, folks. I suspect this is a fissure in the earth’s crust. It can’t be fixed. We just signed the earth’s death warrant. If they try to fix it by blowing it up, it will only get worse. While we argue over strategies, blame, and political capital, while we struggle to provide relief for those sickened by their proximity to ground zero, the ocean will die–not just the fish and other creatures–the ocean herself will die, poisoned by oil and chemicals. The wind and the currents will whip it around the planet, covered with a layer of oil that gets thicker every day. Oil floats on the top of water. That means no more water will evaporate into the atmosphere. That means no more clouds, and no more rain. That means no more fresh water to drink, and no more crops. No broccoli, no big macs, no cigarettes. The birds and animals, the trees and grasses, yes, even that nasty crabgrass you’ve been spraying for years–all will die. When that happens, dandelions will be a delicacy, until even their memory disappears. The earth will be one barren scorching desert. Neighbors and friends will turn on each other for dwindling resources. Eventually, even family members will prey on each other. We can eat bugs for a while, till we suffocate on the fumes–when the ocean catches fire there will be no way to put it out. Until all the oxygen on the planet disappears, and the sun finally completes our attempt to turn the earth into the stinking global toxic dump we’ve been building all these years. The final poetic contribution to our global landfill will be our starved and stinking corpses.

There’s only one thing you can do at this point. Don’t waste another minute. Get out of your house, get out of your car, take off your shoes and sink your bare feet into the rich soil bursting with bugs and worms and other beneficent creatures; take a deep breath of relatively clean air, soak in all the green your eyes can find, enjoy a juicy strawberry as though it were your last–and commit all of this experience to memory, to get you through the next painful years of your life.

If you are going to pray, don’t bother praying for help. Of course God can turn this around, although it will take eons. He will start, no doubt, as soon as we are gone. No, it’s too late to ask for help. And we missed all the chances we had to say thanks. I think it’s time we prayed for forgiveness. We’re going to need it sooner than you think.

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Waiting for winter

It’s early but a nor’easter is already punishing the east coast and only a week since hurricane Sandy whipped through.  The end of the world foretold by the Mayans and others is only 4 weeks away.  Likely the drastic atmospherics dubbed the new normal by weather pundits are nature’s balancing act to tip the world back into scale.  The oceans are warming and rising, the polar caps are melting, diluting the salt in the ocean which carries the electrical currents that run through the world like a battery. The poles themselves are shifting; north and south could slip or be reversed.  I wonder if toilets will suddenly start to flush the wrong direction or will they go through a sluggish period of indecision for a while? That would be awkward.  They say we’re overdue for a season of solar flares which could wipe out the electrical grid.  If the lights go out it could be decades before they come back.  If that’s the case, I hope that storyline is more exciting than the overhyped series, Revolution.   Is it really the end of the world? It could be.  Am I concerned? Not really.  The world ends every day for many, many people.  Is this an extinction level event we are approaching?  Probably not.  Even if it is, mankind will probably survive in some way.  After all, they tell us the dinosaurs are extinct, but we still have armadillos and crocodiles and other creatures from the dawn of time. The real question is, if my world ends today, or tomorrow, or on December 21, 2012 what does that mean to me?

I sit here in a puddle of sunshine on my cracker barrel porch at the Lucky Buck Lodge, picking ticks off my cats.  That nor’easter pokes its icy fingertips into the tree tops on the ridge far above.  This time tomorrow it will be here with full-fisted fury. The ticks don’t have to worry; they’ll be dead already. The cats don’t have to worry; there’s a warm fire inside.  We worry just a little today, carting firewood to the porch,  so we don’t have to worry tomorrow.  We’ve got a spring, we heat with wood, we have some stores of food–not a proper Mormon cupboard but sufficient for the season.

I’m looking forward to the winter.  It’s a time of death and of reflection. My mother died December 7 last year.  No matter how much we fear it and fight against it, in the end there can be peace.  I believe my mother was ready for her long winter.  I believe the earth is ready too.