Sober seasonal thoughts, and some poetry, from Paul Kingsnorth responding to the outcome of the United Nations Bali climate change junket -
[...] I am not depressed. Why? Because I have given up expecting better. I am cultivating an almost Buddhist detachment. I am no longer naive enough to imagine that Hilary Benn can go to Bali and save the word. Not naive enough to imagine that the rich will give up their riches to save the future. Not naive enough to imagine that the corporate/government complex can get us out of a problem it got us into. I have lost faith in the political process. And you know what – it’s joyous. I haven’t felt so free, so creative – so hopeful – in years. There is nothing for it but to find our own way. To stop expecting The System to deliver. It never can.
What will save us? Who knows if we even need ‘saving’? I know it’s Christmas, but we don’t have to think like fundamentalist Christians all the time – don’t have to keep worrying that apocalypse is around the corner. Even if it is, there’s nothing Gordon Brown and Greenpeace can do about it. What will save us? Digging our garden, being in love, writing poems, standing up for our inevitable place, belonging, fighting off the encroachment of corporate culture, walking in the woods, knowing who we are, grounding ourselves – and not believing the talk of those who expect the suits and the bankers and the big-picture thinkers to get us out of what they so long ago dragged us into. This system has its own momentum now. This tide will not turn until it is ready. And us? We have to ride it. And you know what – I am beginning to believe that we can.
Have a good Christmas.
The Stars Go Over The Lonely Ocean
Robinson Jeffers, 1941
Unhappy about some far off things
That are not my affair, wandering
Along the coast and up the lean ridges,
I saw in the evening
The stars go over the lonely ocean,
And a black-maned wild boar
Plowing with his snout on Mal Paso Mountain.
The old monster snuffled, “Here are sweet roots,
Fat grubs, slick beetles and sprouted acorns.
The best nation in Europe has fallen,
And that is Finland,
But the stars go over the lonely ocean,”
The old black-bristled boar,
Tearing the sod on Mal Paso Mountain.
“The world’s in a bad way, my man,
And bound to be worse before it mends;
Better lie up in the mountain here
Four or five centuries,
While the stars go over the lonely ocean,”
Said the old father of wild pigs,
Plowing the fallow on Mal Paso Mountain.
“Keep clear of the dupes that talk democracy
And the dogs that talk revolution,
Drunk with talk, liars and believers.
I believe in my tusks.
Long live freedom and damn the ideologies,”
Said the gamey black-maned boar
Tusking the turf on Mal Paso Mountain.