Sunday, May 08, 2005

Enjoy the Ride

How do you bridge two worlds? I was reflecting on my prior diary (in the ‘blogosphere’, one’s essays, articles and other musings are often called diaries). I have been thinking lately of the things that we have given ourselves through our civilization. The ability for the common (U.S.) person to leave San Francisco and be in New York in time for dinner is astounding. To think that millions travel a daily distance, to and from work, that would take the better part of the day on horseback. They do it while eating breakfast, talking on the phone, putting on make-up, sometimes even while reading. They expend as many calories doing it as they would watching a sunset. I have a bunch of organically grown bananas on my table with a label from Ecuador on them. Ecuador! It is 5:00 am and my apartment is as bright as noon. It is an amazing and wonderful dream that I do not want to end.

My blogmate, Ran Prieur over on his own website, is preparing in his own way for the transition to a petroleum free world and I note that he is also feeling a sense of loss.
Says Ran...

“Is survival worth it? Do I really want to live another 50 years hanging out with the same people on the same piece of land, without ever again listening to Hawkwind's PXR5 album or eating chocolate ice cream or watching Brazil or walking down the sidewalk on a warm summer day surrounded by faces I've never seen before and hearing an old Boston song blasting from a passing convertible? Of course, my kids won't miss that stuff, and they'll get even deeper pleasure from immersion in reality, or "nature." But I'll miss that too, because it's alien to what I grew up in. I'll be an immigrant to the future, with one foot in each world, but belonging to neither.”

I was getting a ride home from school the other day from a fellow nursing student. She has a sweet little BMW convertible like the one above and I remarked about what a nice garden planter it will make when there is no more gas, of course after we remove the tires for cooking fuel and pull the alternator and belts for the homemade windmill. We laughed and I relaxed into the ride.

We should enjoy this. We should enjoy the toys we have while we have them, yet periodically practice roughing it. Take that luxury cruise, and then when you get home, try washing your clothes by hand. Go ahead and buy that plasma screen TV, then one night, shut off the electricity and read stories to your children by candle light.

If Kubler-Ross’s stages of grief can be overlaid onto all of life’s disappointments and not just death, then I have definitely entered the ‘acceptance’ stage. I am okay with what lies ahead. Complacent, however, I am not; among my summer projects - making a solar furnace and a bow and arrow by hand.


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