Monday, April 06, 2015

During the Q&A on Saturday, a visitor asked if the warfare currently underway in the Middle East doesn't take priority on our list of things needing direct action?

Without hesitation my response was, "no, climate change must be acknowledged and accepted before anything else can be addressed."

I found myself wondering on the short drive back to my apartment if this is what I truly believe?

It was then that I realized how enured I've become to the horrific violence we're living with every day, and how desensitized I'm becoming.  Maybe we all are falling victim to an acceptance of a level of inhumanity that not too long ago would have been unthinkable.

Not only on "the dark continent of Africa," but in our own streets against the homeless; against young black and brown men by police who have become our para-military forces; on television in a constant stream of crime shows; stories of unsolved "cold" cases; an airliner with a young depressive at the controls crashing into an Alpine mountainside; helpless young people gunned down on a faraway college campus; young women being kidnapped and sold into sex trafficking never to return; so much, so awful, so endless ... .

Is this the way of the world that has always been and that we're only now -- through the insistence of technology -- unable to escape knowing about?  Are we being de-civilized at an accelerated rate?

... then I found myself admitting that the foreground of my life; and maybe all of our lives, doesn't reflect that reality at all.  That my days are made up of good friends doing great things, kind thoughts and pleasurable prospects ... while in the background there is world misery that is almost too much to incorporate without being threatened with the onset of soul-searing depression of the kind that shared the controls with that young mentally disturbed pilot!

Maybe it's the result of the fact that in ancient times only the catastrophic (earthquakes, wild fires, and other natural disasters) would extend beyond the borders of our villages until a crier from the other side of the mountain brought news weeks and maybe months after the fact.  We were protected by the isolation of the times in which we were living.  That no longer is possible.  If ISIS invades Syria within hours we have not only a count of the casualties, but the most horrific details of the actual methods used to vanquish their perceived enemies.

... and the most dire of all fates tends to pale in comparison with the immediate dangers -- that most dire threat of all would be the now-impending destruction of the planet due to man's effect upon the living environment, and the destructive denial by a few of the most powerful among us who fail to see any way to profit from planetary protection.  Until they can decide among themselves just who can lay claim to the Sun, itself, we may have to stand by helpless against their all-consuming greed.
How does one mere mortal attempt to balance all that without losing any sense of control over even one's own destiny?

This is a time when I'm so aware that there is but one Life, and that we're all sharing it. 

Sunday, April 05, 2015

As if having the Secretary of the Interior Jewell pay us a surprise visit last week weren't quite enough ...

... The Today Show announced through our superintendent that their crew would be visiting on Wednesday, April 15, to film my next public bus tour! 

I'm trying desperately hard to not allow myself to even think about what lies ahead, and today is Easter Sunday and I've no exciting plans to take up my thoughts and calm the anxiety so my mind is now leaping ahead with a noticeable tightening of every nerve and sinew in my body!

There are ten days until that happens, but by the time our park visitors begin to gather at our front doorway to board the bus on that morning -- I may be ready for the Looney Bin!

One would think that all of this would be routine by now, after all it's been almost two years since the governmental shutdown happened, and the public exposure that has become such a major part of my daily existence.  But for reasons I cannot explain, I'm suddenly feeling crowded and vulnerable ... and there's that familiar sense of unworthiness... this, even at a time when I'm feeling so effective in my presentations, and deeply aware that I'm doing good work that is being recognized widely.

I suspect that -- as I feel the now familiar surge of adrenaline each time upon entering the little theater and that rush of whatever-it-is that brings such closeness between me and those faces that makes for such a feeling of intimacy and that graces the room with each experience -- so it will be as we board the bus for our tour of those scattered park sites.  So it will be, hopefully, when those cameras are rolling ...

Will let you know when it will be shown.  And, as is customary, that crew will spend 4 hours with us to capture 3 minutes of air time!  So why should this seem any more than what we've been through before with these media teams?  Since the next week is National Parks Week, it's probably safe to assume that it is for this that this piece is being produced, and then life will return to whatever we deem is our new normal.

What more can lie ahead?

We keep "max-ing" out!