reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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everything to lose. pay attention. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

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“one million plastic beverage bottles are bought every minute around the world. yet recycling rates remain low.”

(article:  our addiction to plastic, national geographic magazine, 12.2019)

close to midnight and the texts started arriving fast and furiously.  a warning from My Girl that she was “fighting with people on instagram”.  her passionate responses to objectors on #pattiegonia’s instagram were well-spoken, well-placed, adamant about the wellness of this good earth, vehemently supportive.  i paid attention.

pattie gonia is an environmental advocate drag queen.  a voice.  a loud, sincere, fervent, educated, inspired, contemporary, courageous voice.  pattie/wyn is out there making a difference.  it is easy to be proud of them, to stand with them.  with the partnership of rei, they have created video to draw attention to the things we, as earth-dwellers, have failed to prioritize.  if you watch their dramatic and profound videos, you will weep.  guaranteed.

we must pay attention.  what plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic netting, garbage, waste….are doing to our mother earth is deplorable.  we would not live in such a house.  why then do we live on such an earth?

i was driven to nausea the other day when we were helping someone clear out a house.  it was our job to load things up in big red and go to the mini-dump not far from us.  we pulled up and backed up to one of many large dumpsters, all connected to a compactor, to throw in what we had in the back of the truck.   it took my breath away watching all the people throwing in all the stuff….just in this tiny corner of the world.  the great pacific garbage patch looms in my mind’s eye.  THIS is the reason we still have our 40-plus-year-old stove.  because i can’t imagine where it will go if we just throw it out to get a shiny new model before it’s necessary, just to make our kitchen look chic (which, incidentally, is impossible anyway.)

we have been conscious, using refillable water bottles, repurposing, recycling everything we could recycle, a practice of being consumers-of-less, less buying, less keeping-up-with-the-joneses, more picking up trash and, scarily, pulling up next to people who throw things out their car windows to tell them they ‘dropped something back there’.  but we have been learning. and we can do more.  we all can do more.  we have to.  pay attention.

“…right now, there are more plastic pieces in the ocean than stars in the milky way…” (everything to lose by pattie gonia)

it’s bracing.  and it’s tragic. and it needs our true attention.  as pattie gonia says, clothed in a dress made of plastic bags, fully standing in garbage, a ticking clock her companion,  “we have everything to lose.”

 

a short documentary to learn more about pattie gonia:

 

read DAVID’s thoughts this NOT-SO-FLAWED WEDNESDAY

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we don’t really pay attention. [d.r. thursday]

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and then, while no one really paid attention – distracted by other things….

this painting is called ICARUS and, not being too much of a study in mythology, david told me the story.  now, somewhere in the bank of knowledge that i have learned and somehow forgotten, it resonated.  no matter.  it is certainly relevant now.  the shout of “squirrel!!” and the shifting of gaze happens time and again.  our attention-deficited-culture becomes distracted by you-name-it and we miss things that are happening, that are more monumental than we realize.  icarus flew too close to the sun.  we try too hard.  we push.  we seek to achieve.  we don’t pay attention.  we miss.  we get burned and fall.  others fall around us.  we don’t really pay attention.

what is really happening in our world while we are paying attention to the latest headline?  what is really happening in our world while we get caught up in the latest rhetoric?  what is really happening in our world as our politicians play shell games with us while the stuff of real importance they skirt past us?

david knows that i don’t really like this painting.  it’s one of a very few that i would say that about.  (just as i am quite sure there are musical compositions of mine that are not his favorite.)  i feel a kind of mayhem, a kind of negativity from it.  it unnerves me.  but, alas, it is a contemporary statement.  we don’t really pay attention.

read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

view ICARUS in the gallery

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ICARUS ©️ 2005 david robinson


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it can wait. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

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we drove into new york from pennsylvania and one of the first things we saw on this beautiful drive was this sign.  “it can wait,”  it declared.  so true.  what’s so important that can’t wait a few miles? traveling at just 60mph that would only be a mere 5 minutes away. i was infinitely proud of my homestate of NY and the effort to acknowledge and accommodate today’s technology while not superseding safety.  distracted driving is against the law in many states, including NY and for good reason.  we have all been privy to devastating stories, accidents that might have been avoided, moments when paying close attention should be paramount.  providing a place to communicate is smart; these text stops were fairly frequent on the road and there were always cars and trucks parked there.  but on the road, speeding down the highway?  no technology present.

we are kind of at the back end of technology, david and me.  the girl and the boy are smack dab in the middle of it.  and the little children and young teens we see running around with ipads for entertainment or their own cellphones are clearly at the leading edge.  we’ve watched while standing in line, even at the post office, as a mother hands a small toddler a phone to play with while waiting.  i’m not sure where conversation or making up games or riddles on the fly went.  i remember standing in a zillion lines in the post office with the girl and the boy (shipping has been key in my business) and they seemed perfectly content to wait or, ohmygosh, just talk.  no technology present.

but it’s different now (saying this is a sure sign of us getting older) and everything is more immediate and more distracted.  how many times have you seen a couple together in a restaurant with cellphones at the ready, lingering halfway between their tablemate and the pull of the internet or the text or instagram or twitter…  the look on one of the faces an expression of defeat or, worse yet, an aloofness that comes with not being able to compete with the magnetic pull of that small device across from them.  “it can wait,” i whisper silently, wishing the other person at the table could hear.  what’s so important it can’t wait? what’s more important than those moments spent together, really together?  paying close attention.  no technology present.

read DAVID’S thoughts on this NOT-SO-FLAWED WEDNESDAY

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flawed cartoon wednesday

49Steps BIGcopy copy 2interrupting is an art form on long island.  i know this. i grew up there.  and, apparently, i carried this forward.  it took d a while (read:  a few years and meeting crunch)  to realize i was paying attention, that i wasn’t ignoring what he was saying when i interrupted…i just knew where he was going with it and jumped ahead.  now, i do realize that sounds pretty rude.  it’s not my intention to ever be rude, so i have tried, in recent times, to w.a.i.t. before i speak…at least a little bit longer.  if you are nearby when jen and i talk, you will think we are interrupting each other, talking in a circular path and arriving back at the point; carol and i have, for decades, conversed in short snippets of interrupted tangents.  regardless of our intent, no one wants to be asked to “pay attention!”

yet, we have all these ways, nowadays (using this word makes me sound old), to not pay attention.   how many videos have you seen where people are walking in a mall (or somewhere) texting or reading on their cellphone and fall into a fountain (or some other obstacle.)  we sit with others and try to hold a conversation, but they are busy on their phone or some device checking facebook or texts or twitter or the news…so many ways to not pay attention, so many distractions.   we see the tragic effects of split focus while people are driving cars.

we are no longer just giving our attention to the moment.  we are interrupting conversation, our work, the activity we are involved in, each other’s safety.  we would be well-served to pay just-a-little-more attention.

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read DAVID’S thoughts on PAY ATTENTION!

 

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