Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Hopelessly Grotesque Earth

I found the image above when searching for an appropriate one for Tary's woods. I know the kind of place she talks about. I grew up in Florida before the days of over-development and the trickle in economy.
There were palmettos and oak trees, pines and wild magnolias and scrub enough to fill a void, landscape a paradise. White and black sand paths wended their ways through palmetto stands and huckleberry bushes vied for sun light alongside paw-paw shrubs.
The image above is from Edward King, 1848 to 1896 and James Wells Champney, 1843-1903. They called it: : "Some Tract of Hoplessly irreclaimable, Grotesque Water Wilderness of Florida". Really. Seems like the archaic macho bit of dominion over the Earth is still alive and kicking in Florida.
I call it bullshit. But it is still the prevailing train of thought for developers for the state of Florida. Our lands, like many in other states is being over-developed and overrun by an influx of refugees from other countries and other states. They gather here for the weather.
The result is a diminishing habitat for the indigenous wildlife and sinkholes as the water table is sucked dry in the northern part of the state to supply the southern part of the state with potable water.
Another symptom of the overpopulation is the destruction and encroachment into the Everglades - a natural weather buffer for hurricanes in the state of Florida.
Scientists have predicted a several foot rise in the sea level due to global warming. So come on down from whereever. Float in from Cuba and Haiti. Run the fence from Mexico and South America, all you would be new Floridians. Flush your toilets. Shower. Cook. Pave your bit of Florida Earth. Shit. Have kids. We will swim and drown together.
When the last gopher tortoise and the last Florida Panther and the last Florida Brown Bear and wild turkey and boar and red fox have succumbed to loss of habitat, we can salute each other on a job well done of developing the state. i'll be on my inner tube.

My Little Woods by Tary Peace

There were days I ran from a glaring fluorescent white world of the corporate tundra. I didn’t have far to run. The developers weren’t successful enough to smother the whole area in concrete. Because of the trees…the standing people… and the marsh and creek and scrub next door, they left some wooded acres. The land was too problematic to sell easily.

So there I would run. I would hide in that tiny remembrance of how things were. It was there I would go to cry and pray and make bold attempts to regain a sense of self without a computer or a production report or co-workers that chitchat about J-Lo’s ass.

Those woods were full of Floridian things I hadn’t seen for a long time. Florida fence lizards, hooded merganser ducks, and hawks just to name a few. There were gopher tortoise holes spread all about in what are called colonies. That’s a rare thing.
After I tiptoed in the first time to those little woods, I was addicted. I had to go. I had to partake of the wildness there and l always tried to leave an offering of sorts. I left leaf lettuce for the tortoises and pecan halves or plain brown rice for anything else that might want it.

One day I found a turkey feather. Then another, I saw where it had dusted itself in the sand. I knelt down and could still smell the essence of her birdness there. I felt blessed that day and many more that followed. I was always looking for more feathers and spoor and more proof of that wildness I craved. One hot, hazy day she revealed herself to me. The turkey-hen saw me and saw me seeing her. She just stood in the shadows of the live oak and palmetto, watching me watching her. And then she moved on. That day I felt chosen. Just like the day I saw a 3 inch tortoise eating the lettuce I’d left as an offering the day before.

Those were golden days. I wanted to share those days with others but they just looked at me with disbelief and urged me to be careful and saying, “It’s not safe in those woods”.

A couple of months after I was granted release from going to that cold, stagnant building to work I began a battle with the Dark Man of depression like no other battle before. I came so, so close to laying down my life to join him. I knew how and where I wanted to die. I wanted to lie down in those little woods to rest for as long as the universe would let me. I went there to make sure... to pick the place.

On that cool, golden day I entered the woods crying. I saw the beauty of the earth and sky there and knew that in my leaving I would be giving up on all that I loved. I begged for relief. I shed my clothes and waded into the cold little pond. The sun was gold and quicksilver on the water. I pulled the water-moss all around me and could feel the heat from it. It was so alive. I was so alive. I was baptized in life.

I left the woods that day feeling spent and grateful and for the first time in weeks I knew I could once again overcome the Dark Man’s beckoning. I also knew that he would call again. But for now, I have a respite.

Three weeks later the bulldozer came to the little woods. It left no tortoise hole. It left no palmettos. It left nothing for a turkey or fence lizard. It systematically covered everything that walked or crawled. The trees…the standing people… were the only witnesses of the tortoises that were buried alive. The tortoises would remain buried alive for months, until they finally were granted their long awaited death.

I will not die in those little woods and I could not stop their death.

(Ed's note: There were many discussions of Tary's Woods. She called the various 'green' agencies that were supposed to protect endangered habitat. They were all too busy to help. It wasn't the lack of bitching and activism. Tary did all that. I, for one, will vouchsafe for her in that. This was a personal, shared, and archived attempt to get the people who SHOULD be interested in what was going on in Tary's Wood. Maybe we should all take a hint from the 1960s activism - lie down in front of the bulldozers, call the press, strap ourselves to trees. But. Will it be enough? ...... Love, Dina)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Molly's Gone

I read that newspaper columnist and writer Molly Ivins passed from her bout with breast cancer. I'll miss her. She was a hellraiser that managed to get the ridiculous antics of politicians everywhere across for what they were with humor and satire.

Martha sent me this link that has a film clip on it of Molly's "Dildo Diaries". There is language and images that may be offensive to some, but no matter what your bent, she will show you the idiocy that passes for government.