What can I say after months away? I'm restless. I've returned. The smoke from the fires in Yosemite fills our nostrils down here by the sea, the wind shifts and then it's the noxious odors from the oil rigs just offshore. That's what the guy at air quality called the sulphur smell that burns our throats when I called and reported it. The town's website complaints include eyes watering, asthma attacks, and my constant threats of moving elsewhere. Noxious, he told me, not life threatening. I looked it up, noxious is poisonous. Geez, who is this guy? The stuff we put up with these days. It stinks. We cram our landfills and oceans with our shit when it gets old so that we can buy new stuff that keeps our high going, you know, the high you get when you get shiny new shit? That feeling burns off fast, a few months later you dump it in the trash. Noxious. Delusion.
Or maybe the feeling is coming from the Los Angeles Port where the cargo ships wait in line like long red stuffed catepillers slipping across the surface of the dirty water where a few whales and schools of dolphins also frolic. The other day, a seagull lifted his wings just above. I raised my phone to capture a picture of its white outline against the sun and sky just in time to see the used condom grasped in its beak drop back onto the sand beside an empty rusty tuna can and a mismatched pair of socks.
I screamed when I heard they want to rip up the Interior and let the endangered species die because we NEED more stuff..stomp stomp stomp temper tantrum wah wah. You kids get back in this house!
Lordy, everything isn't so bleak, is it? When I get this way, super cranky, feeling what the Mother Earth must feel every time she bids farewell to another creature, species, that humans have carelessly tossed aside in the advance of toasters, and iPhones, and shiny new objects or latex condoms, large industrial complex, I swear to fucking god I am not kidding that I want to demand we return to living like pioneer women right now! (Minus cholera and typhoid and such, and of course, keeping the right to own my own body and Vote.)
Last year, I got married. Now, I wear a dead lady's ring. Nobody we knew, it's vintage, and I like to think there's a story behind it. I made a few up. Here's one: the kids hated her and sold the ring and danced on her grave. Here's another: he died in the war and she never remarried and wore the ring until the day she died and then gave it to her granddaughter. Here's the best: they lived happily ever after and died together in their sleep. But not from noxious odors. That's a good story. I just love recycling. Listen, I'm not his first wife. He's not my first love. Everything is interconnected. It's okay. Walk just a little farther down this path with me. It's not going to get as dark as you think, if we stop, we can't turn back, so let's just keep moving forward. Let's at least consider we stop raping the earth. It super depressing. Especially for the next generation.
When I was a kid, I lived in the wilderness. I remember the feeling of soft moss on sharp rocks in a cold mountain stream, barefoot always barefoot, under the towering snow-covered peaks, and the wild screams of the mountain lion in the distance, man that's alive. Love isn't even the right word for my wild adoration: melancholy beauty, awe-inspiring, magnificient, ungraspable, eternal, timeless, ten thousand realms in a single moment of life, impossible to define. Most days, I wish the Mother would put us out of our miserable little greedy selves, tremble and shout, "Grow up or I'm pulling this planet over!" Girl, just eat us already. What I think I'm trying to explain is that this way isn't working and we can't turn this thing around. Let's come up with a better plan?
I was made this way. I don't mind who I am anymore. Not one bit. I can manage it, mostly, except for the sleep. Is anybody sane sleeping these days?
Or maybe it's just because I finished writing the next draft of my novel and I am anxious, nervous, void of endorphins, weepy.
Restless and still here.