There are no pictures today. The only pictures that I could show today are already on the television news, and they're too sickening to show here.
I want to giggle with you tonight. I want to tell you about the big ice cream cone I ate at suppertime, the chocolate-coated DQ tower of YUM that I've been craving for two weeks. I want to tell you about the farm, the estate, the plantation I visited today, the home of parishioners, complete with goats and chickens and sweet outside doggies and two ponds, and a perfect little A-frame cottage that's just right for me! I want to tell you what I learned about goats, and what a beautiful salad and scrumptious rolls I had for lunch, and how good the company was, including the little boy I baptized a while back, who sat under the lunch table today and sang, "Jesus Loves Me" (he was shy). And I want to whine about how I got reamed out (not by these particular parishioners, who love me) for not singing patriotic songs at church last Sunday, and what is all this crazy feminist stuff about Wisdom being portrayed as female?
But I can't. I really can't giggle and whine about all those things tonight. There's something else that's consuming me, and breaking my heart.
I can't forget the terrible images of the Gulf oil spill making landfall, of oil-coated birds, blinking in shock and slowly suffocating. After seeing those sweet lady chickens today, the ones that laid the eggs that I have in my refrigerator tonight, after watching my sweet owlets, who are fledging and leaving their owl box, one by one -- how can I forget those stunned, goo-coated birds, the brown wetland grasses that have been immediately killed, the fishermen who can't pay their mortgages while BP spends scores of millions of dollars on a huge PR campaign?
I'm just sick with it all. I'm sick to hear that the whole mess may well wash around the Florida peninsula over to the Atlantic coast, and perhaps even clear across the Atlantic Ocean. I even have a little corner of fear that this could turn into some apocalyptic, earth-and-ocean destroying event. I know, it's probably a little histrionic -- but it's all so out of control.
My heart hurts. My heart hurts for those 11 men who died on that oil rig, and for their families. By extension, my heart hurts all over again for those 29 miners in West Virginia and their families, too, because it's all about big energy corporations that place extraction and profit far above safety and human life and this beautiful world we live in. My heart hurts for the fishermen and tourism workers, and all the peripheral lives that will be disrupted and destroyed by this disaster. And I have a real soft spot for all those innocent animals who don't have a clue what's happening to them and their offspring and their habitat.
And worst of all, I know that I'm complicit in this mess, every time I start my car, every time I use some petroleum based plastic product (can you say "trash and grocery bags"?), every time I turn on my air conditioning. I like my gas cheap, my cars fast, and my travel unlimited. And so are we all part of the problem. We can all scream and whine and cry and be furious, but if we drive, or if we heat or cool ourselves or our bathwater, or do any one of a hundred thousand things that make our lives more comfortable -- better living through petroleum and fossil fuels -- we're all complicit in this. We've all contributed to the situation. Unless you're reading this from completely off the public-utility grid, you're surely complicit, right along with me.
And tonight that doesn't feel very good, to feel so involved, so much a cause of the problem, and so helpless to do much about it. That's all. I hope things will look a little brighter by tomorrow.