Into the 'Great Uncovering'?
It's peculiar how deeply we identified with the man lost in the Rogue River forests. We were hanging on the internet news, waiting for word, feeling the oncoming darkness and cold every dusk and know how, if alive, he must be feeling it.
I was mentally screaming at him, if you've got a lighter in your pocket (he did), then dig under logs and find dry tinder, build a big fire, so they'll see the smoke, then pile logs up to break the wind &
or please get back on the road and follow it downward. But then, Wednesday, they found his body in the creek.
In the same time period, thousands of us were put in the hospital because of car wrecks and are teetering on the edge of death, but these don't make the news. We wanted this guy, Jim Kim, to win, as if he held the hopes of all Americans to battle and win against the wilderness and reunite with his little girls and wife. It was like the tot down the well, the trapped miners or the astronauts struggling home in crippled Apollo 13.
These scenic back roads are there because of logging and &
mostly lacking signs, they're an invitation to disorientation and death. Even crossing from Mt. Ashland to the Applegate, I've come to unmarked forks, found myself low on gas and wondered how many dead ends I could check out before I was on foot at night. It's scary.
Nature continues to do its thing, doesn't it? Looking way down the news menu, one finds that one big insurance company, because of global warming, will no longer underwrite Mid-Atlantic coastal properties. And there will be no north polar cap in summer in 35 years.
Lecturing here last Friday, mythologist-author Michael Meade says we're reeling, personally and societally (if unconsciously) from the twin menaces of global warming and global terrorism &
and to achieve some kind of balance and hope (and inform the youngest generation), we need the vision and guidance of our wise elders, the same ones who went through "the Sixties."
But what's happening is we're getting a population of "olders," not elders and the institutions of the past that we used to count on &
the church, the White House &
are part of "apocalypse," a Greek word meaning "to uncover." So, he says, it's like the curtain is being lifted and we're seeing the emperors have no clothes and, well, the change we seek is up to us.
Meade, a wise, loud, rough man is on the front line, working with gang kids in LA, kids without the anchor of an older generation, but he says, as soon as you remove them from the gang environment and give them responsibilities and possibilities, they become altruistic to their fellow human within hours. That potential and goodness is always there inside us &
and it's a metaphor of society, so let's get started.
About this time, the Iraq commission, without using the exact words, says we can't win there, in other words, we've lost the war and it will never get better so we have to somehow (how do I put this gently?) leave. And preferably before the new Republican nominee has to defend the pointless war in two short years. Also facing reelection in two short years, and after a whuppin of Republicans at the polls, our Republican senator Smith suddenly finds the war absurd, even criminal.
No sooner is the ink dry on the election results than Obama surges up behind Hillary, showing rock-star appeal after two short years in the Senate and we have to ask why. It's because he clearly is not part of the problem and seems to know that things must change. With care and kindness &
and gradually &
but they must change and we must find ways to stop greenhouse gases and make peace among all parties in the Mideast. Or else.
is an Ashland writer and counselor.