And the more I listened, the more I got overwhelmed and disheartened, but also inspired to hear how many people ARE standing up. So what do I do? Continue painting whimsical owls in my studio in the forest? Make ospreys with 45's hair grasped in their claws? I felt a need for heroes, so I spent several days thinking and listing and breaking away from animal form to struggling with human. I ended up with 4 mugs: Michele Obama, Sylvia Earl, Elizabeth Warren and Rachel Maddow. They are all people who give me hope, who make me feel like I have a voice and that if something matters to you, there are things you can do to change it. I'm not sure what to do with these 4 that stand out from my usual collection. I will most likely auction them to raise funds for Sylvia Earl's Mission Blue. They diverge from my characteristic confident line. But then, I wasn't feeling very confident. I have to admit that I did some crying. But there is a song running through my head:
"Cuando todo parece jodido es cuando hay que poner!"- When everything looks f-*, it's time to act- ("Jose Sabia" by La Vela Puerca).There's inspiration out there.
It's time to stop reading and focusing on dystopian narratives and look for sustainable solutions, even in the smallest scales. The robots ARE taking over. They drive better than we do. But that also means the massive work force of drivers will lose their employment. What should they do next? Do we become a nation of artists? Re-users? Bug-eating chefs? Farmers? Inventors? Trash eliminators? The main point is that we remember and celebrate our humanity.
I was recently uplifted by a news item about local restaurant making their play for sustainability; using their kitchen scraps to feed maggots who then feed fish which poop in the water that feeds the plants that go to the restaurant (Perennial, SF). Nathan Coffman, the director of Living Systems , Oakland, who provides this service says,
"The way you subvert the dominant paradigm is by having way more fun than them and making sure they know it"
I can stand by that.