I saw footage of a girl sitting atop a cliff overlooking the ocean, knees hugged to her, her hair and the seagrass blowing inland together.
The sea was being the sea, slamming itself against the rocks below her, its sprays like hands with misted fingertips.
The girl breathed them in together, air and vapor, feeling at peace, whole, as free as the source of nature.
Then a man’s voice, a harbinger in a voiceover, warns, “That nice sea breeze might not be so enjoyable anymore…”
The girl, all of us, could be breathing in microplastics he says… The voice is one of us updating all of us on the latest apocalyptic events.
The vegetation has already been struck, its tropical rain forests stripped of trees and beasts, its viruses sent scrambling for new hosts and finding Humanity, their amazing magic carpet ride.
So too the disrupted sea it says, is in its own death throes, thrashing back at us what is killing it.
We were so high, do you remember? Riding the industrial revolutions like college kids on spring break. Steam, science, digital tech… Top down, hair blowing back, the sun on our skin, iced beer in a cooler, a couple of volleyballs, tunes blaring, us hooting and hollering, the beach ahead… Cyber-physical systems.
In our collective lifetimes we’ve caught so many glimmers of ultimate fulfillment, each one like a mirage shimmering atop the asphalt on a summer road trip. Before we reach it, it disappears, another one is ahead, and another…
A wild swarm of woes is a dot in our wing mirrors…
The end of forever is closer than it appears.
Virus vs. Humanity.
What’s the score?
433,259 to 7,794,798,739*
That ain’t nuthin’! Humanity’s got it in the bag.
But Virus is still scoring beacoup goals and showing no sign of stopping!
Doesn’t matter, dude, Humanity has unlimited players on the bench.
For every player that leaves the game, 2 to 3 go in.
Most of us love our kids.
Certainly we didn’t set out to lay at our progenies’ feet the deadliest burden of all time: our Earth in red alert, raging with heat and disease.
Yet as expected, so many of the unjaded young ones already here are clued-in to the work at hand and choosing corresponding college majors and life paths.
And the generation of babies on the way and just arriving will open fresh eyes to the sight of this torn up stretch of road.
They’ll come into the game with their own personalities which will be played on by the current heaviness and by the mixed bag of beliefs and psychologies of their parents, the measure of their stature to be determined…
In any case, it will be life as they know it.
History classes may make them angry at, or sad for, or neutral regarding their short-sighted predecessors.
So many things will bring them round to the same choices we had when we were kids: do nothing, play at doing something, or go all-out on the journey.
They’ll have good examples, though…
All those unjaded young ones who’ve seen it all go down and are arming themselves for the healing battle—My money’s on them to start a winning streak.
* FIGURES USED IN GAME SCORE SCENARIO:
__433K covid-19 deaths worldwide is for 6/15/20, but every day the figure goes up and can be viewed via this site at the bottom of the page
__7.8B is the current world population and can be viewed at this site
INFORMING MY THOUGHTS IN THIS POST ARE THE FOLLOWING:
__Girl by the sea/harbinger passages are based on this video
Also that sentiment is echoed in Wired, 5/12/20
More on microplastics: 6/11/20 Newsweek
__the state of the sea – of interest, this 2018 The Guardian article
__Struck vegetation, ”Destroyed Habitat…”: June 2020 issue, Scientific American
Worldwide births-to-deaths ratio: BBC Science Focus, exact date unkn/estimate 6/2020
World Population now 3x the sustainable level from worldpopulationbalance.org
__The most inspired summation of our situation that I’ve read is from UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres’ “…Wake-Up Call…” in an address to the World Health Assembly in New York, May 18, 2020.
Contemporary Miss Allister… magnificent, both the story which is not so much that but a thought-full message, and the crafting of it. Shared on FB and Twitter.
You’re golden, EllaDee – passé as comments have mostly become, contemporary Miss A loves them as did her vintage self. In covid19 times, it stirs the feeling of gadding about with friends.
And I thank you so much for sharing this rampantly structured post…really, what else to call it but a think piece?!
Wow – it’s wonderful how you describe the freedom we once had. I miss its wildness and simplicity.
The future is always with the un-jaded young’ uns. They come at it with a fearless optimism that we have lost somewhere along the way.
Oh the freedom to strike out of the house to Anywhere! Now to go shopping and eat out takes the guts and fierce determination of the Daniel Boones and Lewis-and-Clarks of old…or lack of common sense in the cases of mass stormings…
And I remember that fearless optimism…yes, I was invincible once…