Skip to main content

The rising hills, the slopes,
of statistics
lie before us.
the steep climb
of everything, going up,
up, as we all
go down.

This we all know. The data is catastrophic: 390, soon to be 400,  and sloping upward; 7 billion soon to be 8 billion, and sloping upward; species extinctions sloping upwards… the steep climb lies before us.

We are entering a period where catastrophe will become the norm and the fraying of the web of life will seem too much to bear.

And we all “go down” in the face of this. Every day these statistics bear down upon us and we find it harder to bear up.

In the next century
or the one beyond that,
they say,
are valleys, pastures,
we can meet there in peace
if we make it.

The earth will abide.  The earth will survive the statistics we impose upon it. We are short-lived. The oldest Bristlecone pine has lived 4700 years, so far.

In the next century, “if we make it,”  if our unprecedented shopping spree comes to its inevitable end, as it must, things may get better over time. Perhaps, in a hundred years or so.

The economic party that has been the second half of the twentieth century has fostered more shopping than anyone would have predicted, more shopping than has ever taken place anywhere at any time. (Paco Underhill  Why We Buy: the Science of Shopping)

We push our carts over concrete laid upon the earth but, in what to the earth is the briefest moment, that concrete will crumble and return to living soil and the crap we bought, made from resources wrenched from the earth at the expense of the web of life, will be dust and ashes.

Yet the collective, suicidal insanity that we call our economy is, right here and now – right in our lifetimes, turning the world in which we live into monetized, commodified misery.

If, if, we can make it through this misery there are those who say there is a brighter future awaiting those who survive. I’d like to think there is. In those peaceful valleys and pastures perhaps we can become the people, to our lasting shame, that we have failed to become as of today.

To climb these coming crests
one word to you, to
you and your children:

stay together
learn the flowers
go light

Those who “make it,” those who survive the climb up the slopes of statistics and down the other side will be those who have learned to

stay together
learn the flowers
go light

It is what we must teach our children.

(poetry: Gary Snyder For the Children)

Originally posted to grains of sand on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 09:31 PM PST.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site