As of late, in the early evening when I walk along the dimmed paths of Windgrove searching for an understanding to the world’s current unsavoury directions, there are an increasing number of days when optimism is difficult to grasp. Yes, there is a glimmer of light in the sky, but is it being swallowed up by the gathering dark?
“What keeps us from falling down, our faces
to the ground; ashamed, ashamed?”
The above quote is from Oliver’s poem “The Morning Paper” where she castigates the governments of the world for their “unbelievable yet approved decisions”.
“I don’t need to name the countries,
ours among them.”
She is referring to America, but Australia also seems to be hell bent on becoming a deeply conservative government where World Heritage listed forests are to be logged, asylum seekers from war torn countries denied their legal rights and direct action on climate change completely, deliberately ignored.
The Australian government is cutting spending to education, science, health and the environment. However, and without any sense of irony, they announced last week the purchase of $12 billion dollars of jet fighters. To do what???
If the government is to invest in aircraft, why not water-bombers to help put out the increasing number of catastrophic forest fires? But no. National security from a hypothetical external threat is more important than any internal threats.
But what always saves the day for me, is that when I do fall down with my face to the ground feeling ashamed, the micro beauty so obviously present is enough to bring me to my senses and send me back home — if not exhilarated — at least comforted.
The earth’s tactile presence reminds me that governments and corporations will come and go; that no matter how destructive they might prove to be, 4.5 billion years of evolution will not be totally undone by a few crazy fools. A blimp, perhaps, but the future holds promise of another 3 billion years for whatever species are around to enjoy the sunrises and sunsets of those coming days.
And in this present comfort of mind, an energy re-builds within me to carry out the patient, communal work of bringing a lasting peace to this world. I walk purposely back home knowing that if peace can’t be readily obtained, I’ll strive in whatever small way I can to keep the bastards honest.