Monday, October 15, 2007

Blogging for something bigger than me

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

I'm sorry guys - my posts have been few and far between and I've had so many thoughts on this, but most remain in the drafts folder, in partially written emails, in notes scribbled on gas receipts in my car. I am starting to figure out this quasi-depression I'm in - not a depression in the standard sense but the hiding from feeling the depth of what I've experienced in the last year. The willingness to ignore the truths I've discovered because I can't philosophically understand why they exist. It's getting harder and harder - I can't process such things on the page for some reason but every night my dreams unfold like one-act plays that speak directly to the 'ish' I can't seem to acknowledge during daylight. I wake up with insight I'm hiding from, only to stuff it down and go about my day, sans writing, sans reflection.

So today I let that go for a moment and recognize something that's been on my heart since I came back from Africa. I may not be able to process that experience as a whole yet - but I can tell you this. I have never been more aware of waste than living in a village sheltered by lovely rolling hills, where children die because of a lack of education and income is non-existent. People don't have money to consume the stuff of health - solid nutritional food, milk, medication. But the local bar was always bustling, and the path I walked every morning strewn with the waste of nights spent away from home trying to drown out the reality of the lives being lived. I look now at the waste in my own community - some of which is the same: the remnants of each of our attempts to escape the life we find ourselves in - whether through copious amounts of cardboard coffee cups or the butts of the day's nicotine fixes. The difference here is we simply have so many more choices. We don't have to consume the crap we do - we have infinitely more resources than in developing nations - so why are we surrounded by an equal amount of crap? In Africa, the infrastructure wasn't developed so the trash lined the streets and overflowed from the few public trash cans. Here we hide our consumption - we throw it away in neat plastic bins and a man comes to collect it once a week and it's gone from our life. But it's NOT gone from our community, from our planet. It's covered in dirt and raked over in ever expanding landfills that we hide carefully from view (or build suburbs on). It's made me sick ever since I returned - the incredible amounts of crap we consume and throw away.

I'd like to see us all do something about it.


Blogger Indiana James said...

I don't know what it is, but I've developed a similar hate of waste over the last year and a bit. It's gotten to the point when I go to a store and make a small purchase, I tell them not to bother bagging it for me and just pocket or put said purchase in my backpack. I just wish more people would take the time and put off that instant gratification...

10/19/2007 9:50 AM  

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