Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Future's Uncertain and the End is Always Near

With titles like that, it's a mystery to me why this isn't the most popular blog on the internet. I decided long ago that would be the title of my last post from Duluth. This isn't it.

I've done something completely unplanned, which felt simultaneously stupid and necessary to me--I've signed a new year-long lease. Unplanned to the extent that I had to call the landlord to get a new copy of it because I'd thrown out the one I was sent a couple months ago (and I think the rent got raised $10 a month in the process), stupid because barring some unexpected income I'm only going to be able to pay about four months rent and then will have much less cash than if I left at the end of June, necessary because the thought of leaving here and more particularly of the life I was going to be headed to was starting to give me suicidal fantasies. So we'll hang out here a little longer and see what happens.

I wrote that this isn't the last post from Duluth, but that title also applies to my computer which now often requires a reboot or two before it runs at normal noise levels. And really it always applies to each of us, doesn't it? We never know when the heart attack or the stroke or the bus will hit. I wonder what human society would be like if we all constantly acted on the knowledge that there might be no tomorrow. Would we be saints or sinners, tender or rapists? What do you think?

One thing that's certain is that the immediate future is uncertain for this civilization. There have probably always been people like me on the corner with "The End Is Near" signs, but eventually in every civilization they've been right. Is our time coming soon? And for those of us who oppose what this civilization has done to what we value, to other species, to the human being, should we be trying to speed up that ending? There's a long discussion (maybe more a lot of opinions than discussion) on that topic going on over on the Orion website following this column by Derrick Jensen. Join in, here or there.

A peek at one possible future: I've started reading Rick Bass's new book, The Wild Marsh, and I think it's going to be excellent except for the difficulty I have with the hunting passages. It's much longer, denser, and more contemplative than any of his other books I've read so it won't be a quick read. I'm also first in line for the library's copy of the upcoming book about Rod Coronado when they get it, so there will likely be posts about each of those books. If the good lord's willin' and the crick don't rise.


Northland said...

Glad you're going to be still residing by the shores of Superior.

Jensen's article is right-on, though I agree with some of the people who say that he doesn't have any answers to the problem of human nature. Not many want to hear about answers to the problem of human greed and overpopulation.
In answer to your question about there being no tomorrow, I don't think that people would do much different as long as there was some possibility of the status quo continuing still longer.

How do you reserve a book that isn't in the library's list of books yet? Did you suggest that the library purchase the Rod Coronado book?

greentangle said...

Probably won't last here long but at least I'll avoid a humid summer elsewhere.

The library here has books on order included in their catalog. I didn't suggest they get the Coronado book because I wasn't planning to be here, and was surprised to find it when I looked up a few books after signing the lease.

Dave Coulter said...

Found you via Foothills Fancies...I'm a fan of Derek Jensen, BTW.

greentangle said...

Thanks for visiting, Dave. Although I'm usually in agreement with Jensen's opinions, I find I can only read him in small doses such as a column or article. His books seem to ramble around too much for me to get through.

Allan Stellar said...

Hey Green,

For me, the thought of moving to the east coast would conjure up the same thoughts of self harm that you had. Frankly (and no offense meant to my friends on the other side of the country), there isn't much of anything interesting to me east of the Mississippi.

How about giving the left coast a try?

greentangle said...

Oh, I still love New England, the land and the culture, it's just the thought of living with relatives and lots of related circumstances that I hate.

I love the remoteness and wildlife and winter and the land/waterscape here but if any of the small cities I also love in northern New England--Portland, Brattleboro, Burlington--had any kind of reasonable jobs/expenses ratio that's where I would have been living with occasional Boston visits for the past 8 years I've been here. Duluth has little jobwise either but at least it's cheap so I got by longer.

I mostly feel the same way you do except for the other side of the river. I'd like to see the northwest and Pacific someday but the western deserts and mountains don't appeal to me at all compared to lots of water and lush greenery.

Anonymous said...

“Would we be saints or sinners, tender or rapists? What do you think?”

Tender saints. Whether due to the fear of cosmic retribution, or that it’s easier to be kind than mean, or that good simply feels better than bad.

The Vegas Vegan said...

I've been mildly absent from our usual circle of blogs, thanks in part to the AR blog. But I've been thinking of you, hoping you're well.

Glad to hear you're staying in your current residence - and don't fret. By the time you have to think about making rent, a solution will have presented itself. I have faith.

greentangle said...

Hi Lisa, yes I see your comments over there when I browse. And you pretty much followed Stephanie's lead in stopping posting on your own--I miss both blogs. Hope things are going well for you out in that cesspool of sin. ;-)

Anon, I don't know, I wish I could agree with you but I think it would just bring out the best in some and the worst in others. Does your answer mean you think the non-tender saint behavior which goes on now is because people don't think about it possibly being their last day?

Stephanie E. said...

I just came to comment on this and laughed a bit to see myself mentioned in the comments.

In fact, I came to write that catching up on these last few posts allowed me to take a deep breath. I don't do much of that anymore. Reading your blog is always good for me, friend. It helps me slow down, even if only for a moment. There is little peace, little time, little calm in my life and head these days, and for a moment just now, I flashed back to what blogging and reading and interacting felt like a year or maybe even year-plus ago, before chaos descended everywhere imaginable, and I lost the time and ability to do the kind of quiet thinking & writing & reading & interacting that was so good for my soul.

That new blog, Vida's replacement, is still out there, but still as dormant as Vida itself, I'm afraid. If ever I find a way to get myself back into that space, you--Lisa and greentangle--will be the first to know.

greentangle said...

Glad my blog could be of use, Stephanie. I suspect I'll disappear in a couple months and you'll have to settle for rereading old posts to find any comfort here, but I'm glad you remember those days the same way I do. May we all get to a new peaceful place.

The Vegas Vegan said...

Well, life seems to have a way of changing when we least expect it. Ebb & flow, waves & all that kind of stuff carrying us along. Sometimes we get a chance to drop anchor or go against the current. Hm. Not sure where all the water images are coming from considering I'm sitting in the middle of a desert during the driest time of the year?!! LOL!

Things are changing fast