The cat will mew, the dog will have its day

Published: 3/19/2020 9:08:54 AM
Modified: 3/19/2020 9:08:44 AM

I just set down the Sierra Club magazine, which dedicated a lot of thoughts by different activists to the idea and history of Earth Day coming up April 22. The more I read, the more damning the vision occluding my mind of the astronomical tragedy that we perpetuate as a race. I thought how silly to be so futilely affected by something that I’ve observed for so long beginning with the first Earth Day in 1970 that I participated in in NYC, Union Square where my friend Charlie and I joined the crowd on stilts. How innocent a day it was, just another enjoyable day in the alternative universe of hippiedom. But there was no denying that the times they were a changing and consciousness was being elevated on multiple levels. It was one more gathering among others in the aftermath of Woodstock at which we celebrated the belief that the great arc of justice was swinging back for the renewal of a vision that a New Age was being brought into being that would be all inclusive, open, and aware of the responsibilities for each other, not singly, not just personally, but as a planet, a human civilization.

So 50 years have gone by. So much has been studied, discovered, discussed. We are told to be optimists, and that positive thinking and love itself are the great forces that will transform our lives and planet into the utopia that awaits us, the realm where true justice reigns, though we know that that is not the trajectory on the ground. Reading the above thudded my mind with the immensity of the struggle we now face. I want to throw out the couch in my house, prop open the windows, subject myself to the elements, figure out what it takes, what the real heroes have and do that we look back on and laud for the wake up calls that instituted real change. Because whether you open your windows or not, sleep on a bed of nails, we are fighting an apostasy that has no proportions. And that is why people sit on their backsides.

I’ve been one of them. That is why Donald Trump can exist. That is why companies continue to rape the resources and environment for a country club membership, why indolence and largess cement lives to a self- protective envelop that deflects Truth and allows the subconscious to run the show. It’s hard to change all that. And I don’t believe we can. It’s looking harder and harder. I realize I now have only the ability to view our politics and mental state from a cloud somewhere, hither and yon with the wind; my self- circumscribed world wants desperately to rain down and see flowers sprout and not venality and corruption; and our youth of today, such beauty, such intelligence, so aware of our follies and trying to put on a brave countenance as they seethe in fury over what they have been bequeathed.

As the scales are tipped the sleeping giant groans over his discomfiture. He slowly gathers his necessary belongings, wipes his eyes in resentment that he has been disturbed, looks around wearily, at the sky resentfully. “Why do I have to move? What have I done?” And the worst — “Why me?” The snow is all gone and the temperature seems odd. “I just need some more sleep and then it will all be better. I know in this state, things are really not what they seem.” Infuriatingly stupid people can be seen running around in circles. “Don’t let them disembark and we’ll be able to say the numbers aren’t really that bad! Keeping control of the narrative is the work of a stable genius. Don’t believe the dishonest press.”

All the forces marshal themselves for the oncoming battle. Goliath Industries puts out a declamation: “We have the resources to support many years of inclement weather and human consumption and withstand many years of threats to our civilization. Keep tuned to your TV or smart device for our periodic updates on the state of your existence.”

Meanwhile back at the ranch John and Mary Farquar are reading printouts on the news channels of statements coming from various sources. “It’s uncertain whether or not black people know how to vote for either candidate.” “Ballot box tutorials deemed unlikely in southern states.” “Late ballots in California favor Justin Timberlake.” “Bernie voters declare 33% steady vote equals 66 proof.” “Evangelicals doubtful Biden resuscitation confirms Lazarus myth.”

Alan Harris, formerly chef of Noble Feast Catering, is a contributing My Turn writer, working to complete his first novel. Hiker, swimmer, singer, poet, he lives with wife Jane in Shelburne Falls.

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