“A disaster is a lot like a revolution when it comes to disruption and improvisation, to new roles and an unnerving or exhilarating sense that now anything is possible.”
That’s a Rebecca Solnit quote. I resonate with this very much. We’ve been living it with the pandemic and it seems we’re entering into a new chapter, of unknown territory: this chapter of impending climate disaster. What’s going to happen?
It seems that every generation has dealt with some version of an ambiguous amorphous potential disaster. One that I think about sometimes is how in the 80’s there was the threat of nuclear warfare. I didn’t experience this myself but even when I was young I remember residuals of those conversations. It’s not really a thing that comes up anymore. I wonder if this threat of climate disaster will be like that?
I know that’s perhaps a little too hopeful but I’ll leave that question there anyway. What will it take for us to move through this tense time of feeling like everything that we are familiar with is about to collapse? Maybe that’s what we need is for everything to completely implode, the systems of profit to fall in on itself and for the world that we know (or rather the systems that have been created by humans) to completely crumble so that the earth can be renewed.
Is it possible that humans will survive such a collapse? I guess it depends on how reliant we are on those systems that have become unsustainable.
One of the reasons I used to tell people when they asked me why I became a nurse was that in the event that the world that we know of ends, what kind of skills would I want to have? This felt like a half-funny joke answer that I liked giving at the time. But also, in all seriousness, how are we going to get through this?
The answer that makes the most sense to me is community. Having people we can count on and who can count on us. I was talking to my brother-in-law Tyrell about seed-saving and some other things and maybe I was a little anxious about it and he reassured me by reminding me that no one person can have all the skills that will be required to survive. If things do collapse, we’ll need each other more than ever. And in coming together, we benefit from one another’s gifts and skills.
This is a photo of borage I took this morning at the community garden close to where I work. A plant that lifts the spirits of the heavy-hearted and gives courage to those who need it (thank you Elisha for sharing this plant’s wisdom with me). May the spirit of borage carry you through these uncertain times. Thinking especially of all the veterans who have served throughout history, particularly in those world wars that consumed the lives of all who lived through those generations as well.
Just some thoughts for today. Be well everyone.
photo taken on unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh Territory