As usual when there is a disaster such as the earthquake/tsunami nightmare in Japan, I venture into a regular train of thoughts... I send out my prayers, guiltily count my blessings, ponder the devastation, wince as I consider humanity's insidious effect on our planet and its environment, and shiver to realize how close any of us are to a potential similar disaster.
My next thought is usually a fatalistic one, beyond the possibilities of real optimism, and that is that earth will one day, sooner than later, rid itself of the pesky cancer that is slowly and surely destroying it. To save itself, earth will rid itself of us. We've been not so much guardians as pillagers. I don't think this in an angry or frightened way, but - as I said - somewhat fatalistically. And it's almost comforting when I think, in centuries, or millenia to come, that the earth will start to replenish itself, a beautiful big, blue/green marble, floating in its Milky Way.
Reading The World Without Us by Alan Weisman set me on this path of fatalistic prediction. It's a compelling read, one which haunts me constantly, in a good way. Did you know that each piece of plastic you have handled in your life time - the packaging your first barbie doll came in, the broken toy truck which your parents through away - is still with us? That even if we were to all disappear overnight, it would be millenia before much of the devastation we have caused to our natural world would be righted, and that much of that devastation never can be, so powerful and deadly are our chemicals? There are too many of us and we all want too much. At a post-theatre dinner last night we talked animatedly about the scourge of our age: entitlement... we want it all, and I believe we'll lose it all.
Of course, thoughts like this are always married with the marvel of what we have created in art, architecture, thought and learning. It's intriguing how our species comes together in groups, in communions, to share art together, to worship together, to help each other. Of course you have the mob mentalities of the Hitler rallies and other such negative forces... so you see how it goes, my mind jumps around, the scales dip and weigh. I believe that those scales will right themselves at the end, and I do believe that we're doomed.
But hey! It's Saturday morning, I'm alive, there are eggs in the fridge, and there are sweet blogs to catch up on. I will buy myself some trivial item from the shopping list today such as new cloth napkins for the Easter table, or some padded clothes hangers.
After four days of rain, there is sunshine in the forecast and climbing temperatures, there are friends and trees to hug, so I'm feeling very lucky... while it lasts.