"Since the media is no longer here, no one is asking the questions, and BP seems to have the run of things. I have been in a deep depression the last two weeks coming to term with the fact that the nation's attention span doesn't seem to allow for any more real reporting about the spill. One of the main problems is that to solve this issue involves confronting our very own personal behaviors and habits, and it makes it a much harder thing to deal with day-in and day-out. We just want it to be rosey and good and for the birds to live happily ever after, and that's not the case."
The above quote is from Drew Wheelan who blogs for the American Birding Association and has been reporting findings from the Gulf that are much different than what you will hear on the evening news. Drew has become one of my heroes, along with most of the other organizations and bloggers I link to. For some reason, though, I was drawn more personally into the experience through Drew's covering it. In the past few months, Drew has awakened to a reality he finds difficult to face. And yet he continues to face it day after day, he continues to consistently report what he finds and try to gain attention, and he's man enough to tell us how dmaned depressing it all is - especially the head-in-the-very-oily-sand attitude of his fellow Americans.
He linked to this site by the Louisiana Environmental Action Network. There is very disturbing video on this site - hundreds of dead birds on Raccoon Island, not necessarily oiled, but definitely killed by something.
I understand Drew's feelings all too well. I continue to experience depression and some anxiety as I learn about the true state of the world, my complicity in that state, and how very late it is in the game. Like Drew, I'm learning about these things in a very short period of time. These intense negative mental states were not new to me. My life-time struggle with alcoholism and mental health issues had wrought similar states in the past. Everyone assumes that awakening is a glorious, spiritual experience usually accompanied by states of bliss and oneness. I beg to differ.
Awakening is hard-ass work; it's mostly not fun at all and the frustration level itself can be paralyzing. But there is something through the other side and for me it's a burgeoning sense of purpose. Every day that I stay sober I beat the odds. Every time that I post about the crime in the Gulf, which is only a symptom of the larger crime being perpetrated, there's a chance the right person will read it. Every plan that I make and implement to live closer to the earth is an opportunity to feel my true place and share how I think such village living is a huge part of the answer to the world's woes.
My wish for Drew, and for anyone else struggling with anguish over our world, is that they find this same sense of purpose. That they know there is no small action now. Everything counts.
When we need comfort around here, we turn to our food. Slow comfort food. One of our favorites is roasted roots, rustic. Here's my favorite version:
Roasted Roots, Rustic
1 sweet potato or yam, sliced
1 yukon gold potato, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper sliced in strips
1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper sliced in strips
1/2 onion sliced however you want it
cloves or garlic, as many as you want, these turn out so yummy and are packed with myriad health benefits along with all the other ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp coarse ground sea salt
1/2 tbsp ground black pepper
few sprigs of fresh rosemary (optional)
Place ingredients in an oiled cast iron skillet. Drizzle olive oil over all and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for an hour. Eat. Go to heaven.
Thanks, Drew! For all your hard work and commitment. You are not alone.