We burn as bright as comets across the nighttime sky. And oncoming behind us is this infinite stream of junk and debris, as inevitable and persistent as the heavenly bodies.
In my lifetime the population of the world has gone from 2 billion to 7 billion. I can’t really get my head around that. I have no idea what 7 billion looks like. Do you?
The trail of garbage has grown alongside at an exponential rate as well.
There are thousands of WW II ship wrecks in the ocean, hulks of corroding steel, unexploded bombs, ammunition, leaking bunker fuel and diesel oil. The national flower of Africa is the plastic bag blown all over the deserts and savannahs. On the beaches of Bangladesh people deconstruct enormous hulks of oil tankers with torches and their bare hands. Our streets and highways are in a constant state of litter, and landfills preoccupy our science-fiction imaginations. And I haven’t even got to global warming yet.
As I once heard the great Canadian educator, Ursula Franklin, say at a conference, “As for God, we can’t keep calling on her as if she were the great cosmic cleaning woman.”
Yaaaah, I get it.
The chaos of the past trails along behind us. The storm of the future looms ahead, veiled as it is, in clouds of speculation, fantasy, and conjecture. I really don’t want to hold my nose, close my eyes and rocket off in that direction–me and 7 billion others–without checking the rear view mirror first. Not before some of this mess is sorted out, anyways.