a moment

this is not really a friday morning type of entry. then again, it’s friday morning, and here it is, so there you go.

yesterday, i was waiting at the intersection of rose and gonzales to make a u-turn to get to krispy kreme, and i had a moment.

i looked around me at this intersection, with some twenty traffic lanes, including turn lanes, filled with cars, surrounded by expensive commercial real estate. i looked at the cars, and the conspicuous consumption. i tried to estimate the dollar value of just the automobiles within, say, a 500′ radius of me, and i couldn’t bear the thought. a brand new lincoln navigator swept past in the nearest turn lane and my mind shifted to thoughts of the surrounding land. paved, landscaped, prime real estate, meticulously planned and designed and laid out just so.

it’s too much. it is really too much. i tried to imagine in my mind fifty, a hundred, two hundred years before we got here, when it would have been wilderness, early settlers farming on the fertile soil, dirt roads being established, slowly overtaken by pavement and progress. and i thought, what have we done. what are we thinking? how can this be sustainable?

i tried to envision some pleasant science fiction, perhaps a utopian heinlein future, arising out of this. a world where technology had not ruined the earth, consumed all its resources and left it barren and spent.

i could not imagine.

by the time the light changed my eyes were damp and my throat was tight. but i drove through the donut drive-through, ordered a dozen assorted, and went on my way, pushing this out of my mind.

i don’t know what else to say about this right now, it tends to stall my thought process with an overwhelming sense of distant consequence.

20 thoughts on “a moment

  1. I have thoughts like this sometimes, where I imagine what it would be like if it were 100-200 years earlier. Then, through the view of hindsight that is history, I remember the tumult, the lawlessness, the disease and famine.

    And then I come back to the present, where technology has harmed the environment and “paved paradise”, but where I am alive because of the miracles of science…

    … and I thank God for progress, for the wisdom that has kept the world from (so far) destroying itself, and for the chance to make things better.

    Have a wonderful Friday, and a terrific Memorial Day holiday weekend.

  2. You crack me up.
    In the midst of so much consumption and waste you come out of your breakdown and head for

    the drivethru.

    That really is the only answer; you cannot solve the problem on the grand scale, so why not revel in it? Sigh…

    Come visit us up here sometime, we’ll walk to the local bakery collective and have pastries that won’t congest your arteries but will give you mouthgasms. And you’ll marvel at the bicycle traffic. But from my convertible, don’t get me wrong 😉

  3. stinky as that sounds, Jessica, it’s a marvelous idea. 46 litres of poop per cow per day is a lotta poop.

    46 LITRES. of POOP. my god.

  4. Doggone it, I was in a fairly decent mood till I read this post. My biggest sorrow is the arrogant way we have decimated the habitat of the wildlife that truly were here first……..Will humanoids ever, ever understand that as the animals go, so do we? Humans will be extinct in the far future.

    Maybe, if the planet lucks out, the new living beings will be animals who won’t screw it up like the human specie is doing right now.

  5. I think the REAL issue at hand is that Tess hasn’t ever had a Krispy Kreme donut. That’s wrong. They opened one up not too long ago. It’s about 5 miles, errr, five pounds from my house. What a beautiful thing indeed.

  6. I shall certainly incur the wrath of the Hawai’i Tourist and Convention Bureau by saying this, but the overgrowth and suburban colonization (I wish I could take credit for that phrase!) has even taken place out here. When Joni Mitchell wrote “They Paved Paradise” she was talking about Waikiki.

  7. I know it can seem overwhelming when you view the enormity of the problem…and it could make even the staunchest eco-warrior head straight for the drive through out of frustration and hopelessness…

    I think it might be good to think about a small thing you can do to either a) not contribute to the problem or b) counteract the problem.

    A few of my friends are brainstorming ways to encourage more breastfeeding. We had some simple ideas, and then the discussion turned to all of the factors that cause women to be leary of or resistant to breastfeeding. The thing was, when we thought of the simplest things, the problem seemed simple to counteract. Or at least, take steps toward counteracting. When the sheer voluminousness of the problem was apparent, we started to feel somewhat mired in hopelessness. But we went back to those simple few things. Those baby steps. And we were able to come up with some good culture jamming ideas to use.

    Anyway, I hope you enjoyed your donuts. AND I hope you don’t feel like resistance is futile. Thinking about this stuff is important. WRiting about it is critical. Rebelling against it is revolutionary.

    Keep it up, mama!


  8. yeah, i have a long way to go — i don’t really know if i even have that much room to talk, sitting there in my buick in the middle of all that excess, only slightly less excessive than the rest — well, a lot less excessive than a brand new lincoln navigator *ugh* those behemoths are just awful.

  9. I was thinking the same wierd stuff walking through Stroudsburg (“The city that goes to bed at a reasonable hour”)yesterday. I thought about “Phenomenon” (w/ John Travolta, of course) and remembered where he explained with his powers (using more of his brain than most humans) how “all things are connected, has it’s own energy”.

    I also think from the Matrix where humans are compared to a virus.

    I also found it ironic how us humans decided we were the most evolved species on the planet.

    Maybe I need a vacation too. Let’s go to Kansas. Betcha $5.00 I’ll scream and go mad from all that open-ness first! :0)

  10. You need a vacation. Say – to the middle of Kansas, especially western Kansas, where there is nothing for miles around. There are places without humans running around, paving everything, driving flashy cars and shopping at the Gap or wherever McFashion sends folks then. I’m living out in the rice fields – and civilization is creeping out, and in even the most lovely swamp- I mean wetlands, there seems to be some oil company’s stake in the territory. But I bet – just like here – there are some places within an hour’s drive that you and your little one could go picnic tomorrow to get away from it all?

    I can’t suggest anything to do about your scary thoughts of the future though.
    Except Krispy Kreme therapy.

  11. THAT’s it, tease the moose with maple iced donuts . . . sigh! Deep entry, kd. Thought provoking. Thanks

  12. and now i’ve moved on to the s’mores filled. it’s a two donut morning, and yes, donuts do make everything feel better.

  13. I hate to say it, but celebrating the donuts is part and parcel of the rest of it all….. It’s too bad the donuts can’t exist outside of the massive over-development.

  14. ratty loves donut therapy, yes. she. does.

    and i miss the dairies that are disappearing around here. and the little corner fruit & vegetable stands … time for a donut. and maybe a trip to the strawberry stand down the street.

  15. *sigh* I can relate. I live in the vastly over-developed Chicago suburbs. It is very disheartening. Urban sprawl and conspicuous consumption are real problems here. It’s one of the reasons that we really want to move – but to where? This seems like a problem everywhere. On a more positive note, some donut goodness will make the pain go away … temporarily. 🙂

  16. ok, now you guys are making me realize i shouldn’t complain. that intersection is probably one of the largest in the county, and a few miles in any direction from there will still get you to some farmland, which is protected by laws prudently passed a few years back. in fact, where i work is a small ‘industrial park’ area that borders on an open field, i even get to smell manure now and again.

    so, around here it’s not all that bad, except in spots, but still, it’s a bit much. and the developers are constantly harping to have the greenbelt laws repealed.

    because, you know, it’s like paradise in this part of southern cal.

    but as the eagles once said, you call someplace paradise, kiss it goodbye.

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