A poem by Margaret Atwood, a graphic on our waste of food, and commentary on how they are related. Roxanne deserves full-credit for sending me both the poem and the graphics that follow. I think I did a great job of cutting and pasting them in 😉
The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,
is the same moment the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can’t breathe.
No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.
If you’d like to hear Margaret Atwood read the poem, click here.
Eating Without Wasting Food
I couldn’t get the single graphic from Sustainable America : “Eating Out Without Waste.” so I had to snip it into three graphics, one after another. The article from which it was taken offers more of its own commentary along with suggestions for how you can adjust your dining out eating habits to resist the trends depicted below. Beneath the final graphic, we offer a short commentary on how the poem and these graphics tell at least part of a very important story.
The poem’s message is clear: We don’t own a thing, but are interlopers, hanging out with nature as long as it accepts us as guests….which is becoming less and less likely as time passes….and passes without our better aligning our priorities with Nature’s rhythms.
The graphic points to our cultural shift over many decades, a shift characterized by over consumption, not just of food, but of cars, gadgets, clothing (due to fashion shifts, calculated to generate over consumption) and much else. Indeed, most of what we consume, if we were honest, we over consume, at best and too often, grossly over consume.
The poem and graphic are connected because our over consumption is grounded in an assumption that if something is “there” we/I/you have a right to it. Even if we don’t “own” it now, we have a right to own it whenever whim strikes or Amazon offers a deal. But the real culprit is not the individuals who over consume, but the capitalist system whose survival depends upon over consumption and uses the media and social media to create cravings in all of us. And the corporatocracy’s thirst for growth is grounded in its own hubris that the world is owned by corporations to do with as it pleases.
How do we extricate ourselves from this bind? Whether we do or not, doesn’t matter to Mother Nature and we will either learn that we are guests and treat nature as our all too patient hosts, or we will be evicted.
In solidarity and hope,
Roxanne and Paul
Categories: Climate Change, Agriculture, Land Use & Wildlife