Yesterday was actually Earth Day. I’d intended to bike my 45 mile commute, but the forecast was for rain. I went ahead and got ready to ride anyway. I wasn’t going to let a mere forecast thwart my plan. I also went ahead and watered the potatoes I had planted last night for the exact same reason. As sure as I didn’t then there would be no rain. Ragnarok or no, I planned for the best.
The alarm went off at 4:45am and I checked the weather on my smarty-smart phone. There was rain near Lexington. In my sleep-fogged brain that was enough to cause an abort sequence that had me resetting my alarm for the normal time and climb back into bed. I did not ride.
I said I was going to ride later in the week, but my schedule has suddenly taken a turn for the fuller. I’m booked until Friday. And Friday the CTL and I had planned on bikepacking to the Gorge.
I drove to work. On Earth Day. I’ve also missed every World Car-Free Day since I first found out about the day. Not intentionally, of course…
So I am a raging polluter and should be doused in tar sands oil in protest. Go ahead. I’ve got my eyes closed.
Things are different now. Living in Kentucky has been a wakeup. In Colorado the car-free lifestyle was somewhat normal, idyllic…feasible. But after we moved back factors converged which locked me back into a 90 mile daily round-trip commute not including work-related travel throughout the day. I’m not whining or complaining. I made my choices, and I sacrificed a less impactive lifestyle with the hope that I could work to change things. And I feel like I am in the best position I could be in to eventually affect change in a meaningful way. I’m already starting to see the hints of a bright future.
For now I have to find contentment in a carbon-intensive lifestyle all-the-while knowing it’s not sustainable or prudent. I won’t go into the limiting or contributing factors that keep me here. Maybe as I unravel them I’ll share more of that. My hope is that eventually (and not too far in the future) I can reduce my travel and increase my transportation self-reliance.
Then there’s a part of me that wants to throw up my hands and start doing my apocalypse dance. It can’t come soon enough, after all.
And that leads me to mention a post which I will probably not publish due to some explicit language wherein I delve into the spiritual continuum on which I exist: abject indifference to enraged anarchism. That ties in with my post from yesterday in which I made all four of my readers feel awkward.
What I need in my life is simplicity. What I want to do is trash facebook, twitter, email, blogs, digital photos, and computers in general. I want to fling my iPhone across the pond and unplug the TV with a shotgun. And then I want to move into a cabin on the edge of the woods near a fertile piece of ground for growing crops and grazing small livestock. This would be a healthy change of venue for me.
Planting potatoes felt right. I hope I did it right…not too much fertilizer, not too much overthinking and underwatering. If I did we’ll have potatoes enough to get us through until next spring. And that feels right. That feels genuine and I want more of it.
These past few months I’ve discovered something positive about myself. Yeah, really, positive.
I thrive in meetings and at conferences. When there are discussions going on I am in my element. I listen until I’ve coalesced all the bits of the conversation into a bigger picture of the issue, I identify the gaps, and then I share the holes I see with the group. I’m a synthesizer.
I’m good at making good points. But my good points are just the things I see that should be obvious to the group but for some reason are not. My ideas are rarely novel or profound, they’re just hiding under the rocks that were already in the driveway when I pulled up. I like discussion. I like communication and conversation. I don’t like reports, studies, seminar type environments where someone talks at me or there is some dry block of text to read and try to process.
Anyway, Eartha Kitt Day was a bust for me. And so was Earth Day. I sat “under dull fluorescents in the same eight hour timeframe as a bunch of other pale, sallow people.” (The Oatmeal) and burned electricity like Genghis Khan conquering Japan with Fat Man and Little Boy and the Real Genius laser. I don’t know if that makes any sense. But it sounded good in my head.
I guess Earth(a Kitt) Day was a bust for me too because I didn’t get a book published. Well, I would have had to have put forth some effort for that to occur anyway. Right? I am trying!
Happy late Earth Day.