02 June 2017

On a day like today, I wish I was dumb and naive and blind. That I could spend my life in a golden tower of happy ignorance, never getting lost in a forest, never watching the sky for rain before I hang out the laundry.
I wish my father would have never explained to me about the water cycle and the importance of aquifers when I was a child who just wanted to spend a precious moment in time with him by the stream at the bottom of the field beyond our house.
I wish my parents never took it for granted with their books and science magazines and endless Sunday walks that I would recognise how everything in the natural world is connected, instilling in me, by the way, a deep respect for life on earth, from the dead lizard I carried for a while in the bib pocket of my overalls to the swifts nesting below the eaves and woodlice crawling inside my welly boots.
I wish I had spent my university time in a fever of mostly partying and never read a single sentence by Rachel Carson, James Lovelock or EF Schumacher. Never heard of the Club of Rome, A Blueprint for Survival, Fritjof Capra, Chico Mendes.
I wish I never went to the  inaugural meeting of the Green Party, never heard Petra Kelly say that if we want a future, the future must be green.
How I wish I never met Vandana Shiva and Farida Akhtar, never listened to a word from Wangari Maathai or Jane Goodall, never watched David Attenborough.
I wish I never stood at the viewing platform of the Grossglockner glacier on a hot August day in 1983 with a sleeping baby in my arms, while R took pictures of the massive ice sheet that today has shriveled to a fraction of its size.
I wish I never let myself be carried by the strong warm currents of the Indian ocean, surrounded by mysterious schools of fish, floating above a paradise of colourful corals that are now dying.

But most of all, I wish I had never seen this:


  1. I don't even know what to say. I am overwhelmed with such sorrow and fear.

  2. Unbelievable. We are reeling from the blow here in the U.S. It is no longer enough to resist. We must do more.

  3. We have the same wishes here. But truly I wish even more for the greenest awakening. I know I am crazy to hold out any hope when I truly have none, but we must. (Thank you for reminding me of Fritjof Capra, I may have to re-read The Tao of Physics.)

  4. A Tibetan Buddhist monk told me recently that people need only to hold the consciousness of what it true, what is good, what it right, to move the wheels of change. So I'm glad you were taught all these things, and glad you took them in. Love.

  5. I expressed similar thoughts with a daughter the other day. She agreed, but wouldn't sink into pessimism with me. 'If you live honestly, and ethically,' she said, 'you are doing your bit. You can't change the world, but you might be able to make one other person think and take more care. Then if that one person makes another think ...' They're wise women, my daughters!

  6. Love hurts nearly as much as it gives a reason to live. I'll always chose love.

  7. Looking on the positive side of things (as I usually do) the fact that you acquired such powerful knowledge at such an early age and that you have not rejected it, shows the amazing person you are.

    Pussy-Grabber-In-Chief can go get stuffed. We have you. :-)

    Greetings from London.

  8. But we cannot unwish knowledge and this, surely, is proof that we are adult. Able to create this essay of ironic negatives which we know will be read appropriately by others, that they will not take this piece at face value. And that's a wonder

    Ergo, you cannot wish you had not written this piece.

  9. So much expressed in what you have written. Truly difficult to process all that is happening. Despite all we must persist in resisting.

  10. Surely it's better to know, even when the knowledge causes pain. Believe me, I'm with you. I can barely stand to read about the corals and the ocean fishes and the elephants and the pangolins. It's like being stabbed. There's something to be said for just experiencing, without the veil of knowledge. But it's our responsibility to know, because action (such as is possible at this point) arises from that knowledge. Don't you think?