Problems when thinking about our relationship to the earth.
1. The earth can be exhausted. Not from its point of view, but from ours. What do we do when we hit limits? Or when some of us see limits and others don’t? When one small limit here (computer chips) means major shortages there (new cars).Not that new cars are so crucial.
2. What we do about all these vulnerable people who have no place to live? Leaving deserts, war, whatever. Just let them die? How do we bear that? What is that action already doing to us?
3. Many of the “things” we must protect are not objects or even terrain, but rather patterns and systems like the ocean currents or the winds — the weather makers, the roads of the sea, the cycles we barely know about like El Nino.
4. “Owning” land means taking responsibility for what happens on it. “Governing” land is a form of owning and means providing concern for every creature living there.
X. This is an associated remark that isn’t quite relevant but related. About 1990 or earlier I realized that status in society is not the ultimate goal of life, though my family thought so. I stepped away from whatever reputation I’d had before which upset people who had been using my “status” to enhance theirs. Secretly, they considered me a secondary person who would tolerate them using me. They were wrong. Not denomination nor cowboy art nor writing was what they thought they were and none claim my loyalty. Both relatives and former colleagues are deeply invested in the post WWII standards of personal achievement, institutional affiliation, and inevitable progress through education. They are not seeing what is bearing down on them.