Sunday, May 23, 2010

SAYING THE WORDS


Gulf Oil Spill, originally uploaded by Trog1.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Outraged. Frustrated. Saddened beyond measure.

It isn't much, but today all I can think to do is to say the words, acknowledge the ongoing catastrophic loss, express the anger.

I don't know how to organize marches or inspire crowds or change an increasingly intractable system that values profits over people, animals, ecosystems, the small blue marble we all live on. But I don't think I could write another word or kiss a child or sit in my backyard enjoying the sound of birds chanting to each other at dusk without bearing witness to this tragedy. Without saying the words.

Outraged. Frustrated. Saddened beyond measure.

27 comments:

robin andrea said...

Too few of us cry anymore for what we have done to the planet. The earth will say her words to us someday, and everyone will hear it.

Enough.

Patry Francis said...

Robin: Enough. Yes, ENOUGH! I'm frankly astonished that so few people are shouting that word from the rooftops or the streets, the pulpits or the campus greens. Where is the moral leadership in this country?

Robin said...

Patry, I comented once or twice on your blog when you were in hospital....your courage and your way with words compelled me to comment then. Now, my own life has undergone a huge up turning...and, I am writing my own "baby bloglette".... it's called theviolethour.blogspot.com.
Last week, I left numbers and e-mails to contact the "appropriate" people to voice a protest over the tragedy in the Gulf . It may be silly of me, but I hope the more we, as a nation, voice dissent, the more we may (finally) put an end to this...

I admire you so.

Hugs,

♥ Robin ♥

Patry Francis said...

Robin: Thanks so much for returning--and for "saying your word" via the numbers and email addresses you encouraged people to contact. Like you, I'm not sure if anyone's listening to the ordinary citizen. However, we have to try. The alternative is the silence that MLK compares to death.

Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to checking out your blog.

rdl said...

Oh no- awful; say it isn't so, saddened too. great MLK quote.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Patry,
What enrages me more is hearing apologists for this blatant rape of the earth, ie Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh ad nauseum, encouraging more drillinbg while at the same blaming the very government they want less of in their way. My head spins.
Kia kaha,
Robb

Patry Francis said...

R: Thank you, sister.

Robb: Kia Ora, my sane and compassionate friend from across the world. Head spinning here, too.

Anonymous said...

It's been a while since I've spoken to you here. I have a dear friend who lives on the north shore of New Orleans and the lake and is an avid lover of woods, plants, birds, mammals, and any form of the rich life of LA. She writes lyrical poetry about it. Now all I can hear from her is tears of sorrow and rage. And there seems to be no respite. When will we have to pay the price for this pillaging of our beautiful planet?

Ancient Reader

Kay McKenzie Cooke said...

Isn't it just so tragic, so awful? And don't we feel just so helpless and dispirited? We mustn't stop caring ...

pohanginapete said...

Hear hear — well said, Patry. But, in a perverse way, perhaps this catastrophe will be of great benefit by shaking enough people out of apathy or complacency; surely, when some similar project is proposed, the immediate question will be whether this kind of disaster might happen again? I'm not holding my breath, though.

Moerover, it's the countless, daily, but less newsworthy disasters that are the greater problem. They destroy our environment less spectacularly (so we seldom hear about them) and each seems insignificant compared to disasters like this, so it's easy to shrug and say they're not important enough to act on. It's like saying one locust doesn't each much.

i beati said...

It hurts my heart soooooo badly sandy

Patry Francis said...

Ancient Reader: Always good to "see" you here, and in some very real way, I DO see you. I hope your friend continues to write her poems--if only to express her sorrow and rage.

Kay: Helpless. Dispirited. Powerless. How I hate those words, but in this case, it's hard to feel otherwise. However, it makes me even more grateful for kindred spirits who don't/won't/can't stop caring.

Pete: The degradation of the environment reminds me a bit of Hemingway's description of how a man goes broke--first slowly, then all at once. The willingness to sacrifice a locust here, a species there, has clearly led us to where we are. With all my heart, I hope this will lead to the change of consciousness that you describe. But some days, optimism is hard to find.

Sandy: It's a physical feeling, isn't it? Tonight I'm praying that BP's top kill will succeed.

Laura J. Wellner (author pseudonym Laura J. W. Ryan) said...

I will second that...sadly, it seems the system put too much trust in the ones who claim they know what they're doing, we can fix it...so once again, we have muck on our nation's face... as the outrage grows and the finger pointing rhetoric goes into high gear in the media, I have to wonder if any of them will ever change.

jessica keener said...

I think when a problem is so massive it's hard to see how one person's efforts matter--I'm not making excuses for lethargy and disinterest, but we feel overwhelmed. I know I get that way. Perhaps these vote-in shows ought to remind us and provide some kind of model for how much power we truly have.

gerryrosser said...

Ever more expensive and dangerous (both to the workers and the environment)exploration and exploitation of petroleum and gas is driven by demand. That means demand by us. That's what I think about when I see all those gas-guzzling vehicles on the road.

But that doesn't cheer me up about damage to my world.

Annie said...

Yes, I agree, this is a a horrible tragedy. I wish I knew the answer, but big business seems to always get it's way. All the people involved should go to prison for life as far as I am concerned.
I love you Patry and I love that you spoke out.
xoxo

musingwoman said...

I am outraged, frustrated and saddened along with you. I feel so helpless.

Dale said...

Yes.

Sky said...

you know how i feel about this. i posted in a couple of places on FB. it is shattering to the heart and spirit and has forever changed this planet. the death of the innocent due to the greed of man is unforgivable. thanks for your voice. miss you and hope to be reading a new patry francis novel soon!

Lorna said...

How could anyone voice their righteous anguish better than you and your commentors. Never think that one person can't make a difference, to render blasé a beautiful Margaret Meade quote.

Tinker said...

I think many of us have been shocked speechless. Or else, somehow subconsciously we think if we don't talk about it, it will go away...I've finally found a little something physical to do, besides pray - it may not be much, but hopefully every little bit helps. The link to Ripplesketch is on my blog, right now - though I think that particular project will only go through June. I wish that would be long enough for the problem to be resolved...Apart from that, the only thing I can think to do personally, is to try to drive at least a little less often. Grow what I can at home without chemicals (which are often petroleum based), and those I can't grow or do without, buy those that are grown/made closer to home. I still mess up though - as I realized after I bought a wading pool. Plastic=petroleum product...I can't believe I didn't think of that. Doh! It's everywhere, though. Aye, a-ye, aye...
Maybe that's part of why so many of us have felt subdued though - haven't vocalized more. Deep down, we know that we've been a part - however small - of the problem. Our own oil/petroleum product consumption is part of what's driven this particular engine of destruction. If we didn't make it so profitable for them, they wouldn't be there.
I hope somehow we can stop being quite so greedy - though we're human, and that seems to be at least part of the condition. We all want to go places, have new things. For the sake of our planet, I hope we find some solutions, though. Quickly...

i beati said...

amen all the way sandy

ainelivia said...

Hi Patry, haven't "spoken"with you in a long time. the oil spill is sad, and yes it's true big business seems to get what it wants regardless of the consequences. the photo you posted brings it home to me, because most of the images we are seeing are not so close up. It is hard to imagine the damage to the sea, the land, nature, and all the animals who live there, including us.

talking about this with a neighbour, she said to me, "we need to pray". I didn't say it at the time and your post makes me wonder why, my thought in response to this was "we need to shout and scream".

We need to be heard.

hope all is going well with you, I know from facebook that you are "editing", and look forward to maybe a new book? all the best Carol Ann

LitPark said...

Me, too. xo

Danny said...

Most 'Mericans wont protest until one day they sit in front of the worship box, turn it on and find that the simpsons arent on. then, there will be protests and fighting in the streets...until then, what time is it on? ;)

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Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Martin Luther King, Jr. what an incredible phrase! absolute true !