Had a hard time sleeping last night. Awoke around 2:30 am. Became aware that something was bothering me, something that has been gnawing on me for a while. Something dark, like a…like a dark sandwich you could say, surrounding me, engulfing me, demanding of me its attention…
I tried to ignore what it was, then realized that I needed to face it. To process it, whatever “it” was.
Facing the “dark”
Then it came to me. It was how I heard a while back that the Russians took out one of their own satellites. Causing over a thousand of remnants of the satellite to be spread across the upper atmosphere of Earth’s orbit. Threatening to take out other satellites, spacecraft, for years in the future. While I have not read it as a possibility, perhaps some of these pieces will be falling to the earth too?
Despite this event happening, to be precise, a couple of months ago, it is still difficult news for me to hold. Already I’m deeply concerned about many environmental issues, with global climate change, ozone depletion, water pollution, and large-scale rampant mining pockmarking the Earth etc.
With additional concerns on my mind closer to home, pit and quarry development threatening the flow and health of our water systems, irresponsible land-use development, this pollution in our upper atmosphere is the one that haunts me, grieves me, most greatly of late.
My reasons for grief
Why do I feel grief mainly only this issue? Well, if I was to admit it to myself, (which this process of writing is helping me realize), it is that I *had* still been feeling hopeful we could find solutions for these other challenges facing us.
How? By drastically cutting our greenhouse gas emissions to the point that we drawdown emissions (hard to do, AND possible), further reducing ozone depleting substances, working towards widespread adoption of organic farming to lower the use for polluting fertilizers and pesticides, igniting a global awakening of the harm caused by mining…. etc. etc.!
As for more local challenges, they are challenges which I can help shape even more! In which I can have an even greater voice! Our reality DOES NOT have to play out according to the current narrative of continued and augmenting environmental destruction!
This pollution to Earth’s upper atmosphere by satellites, though…is one for which I haven’t figured out a solution (albeit being one that far brighter technical minds than mine have been working on).
Why did I have hope?
Which got me thinking, in the dead of the night, some more. Why is it, when I can think of solutions, albeit far-fetched and herculean-scale challenging ones, I feel okay? Do I really think that I could solve any of the other environmental challenges that are on my mind? Even if I think I know what could be done to address them? After all, I am just one person. And one person can only do so much. A thought which I have been letting sink in....
No! Instead we need to join together. To work together, finding through UNITY of purpose the possibility of the miracle we are all so longing for. Yes! That is it! If only we could join together!
The popular narrative
Writing the morning after my sleep-interrupted night, I am reminded of the stories I have been told so often in the movies and books. About a lone hero saving the day. One who faces their fears, strides into the battle, and miraculously overcomes all obstacles.
What a silly story! What an unreal story! In reality, now, on this Earth, with a population nearing 8 billion, and a list of crises longer than we even know, with new challenges, (like the increasingly serious threat of satellite debris polluting the Earth’s upper atmosphere), rearing their head nearly every day, it is worth slowing down to realize that no - one - person - can - do - it - all. No one. Nobody. Notta.
Choosing my pill
As I reread what I have written, I let this sink into my consciousness further. It is a hard pill to swallow. The red pill involving recognizing my, in actuality, tiny potential for impacting what is happening on the Earth, AND my INFINITE potential for changing what is happening when joining in this work with others.* Potential that, I will admit, some close to me have been saying for a long time, and is only now getting through to me…
(For anyone who does not know, this is a reference to the blue pill and the red pill offered by rebel leader Morpheus to the main character, Neo, in the movie The Matrix. Swallowing the blue pill would enable him to wake up in bed and believe whatever he wants to believe, and while taking the red pill offers the promise of him waking up and learning the truth about "reality".)
Despite this being a hard pill to swallow, I feel a deep need to do so. Only then might I be able to shake off this dark sandwich that haunts me. Perhaps you would like to swallow the red pill too? If you have not already..
Either way, hoping to meet you on the other side!