To my favorite, funny little people
What can I say, now that it’s too late?
I can tell you the obvious: that I’m sorry, that I tried.
I can tell you how sorry I am, that it ate me up. That even as we sat in bed with the nightlight on, reading together about coral reefs and finding Dory, I knew there was not much time left for those bright and beautiful places.
I can tell you that I tried, that even though it felt hopeless, still if there was any chance left then I wasn’t going to quit. I can tell you that this is why we always took the train, why I pestered politicians, why we changed what we ate, why I got myself arrested that time.
But what I really want you to know: that the hardest thing was living through a time when we could have turned this around, but that most people just carried on as if it didn’t matter.
There will be a thousand explanations for this. You’ll hear that people were selfish, that we were trapped in a consumer culture, that our politicians were craven servants of fossil fuels, that the media didn’t keep us informed, too preoccupied with dance contests, fashions and trivia.
There is something in all of this, but I want you to know what it felt like at the time. It felt like a dream, where everything seemed so normal, but under the surface, there was a horrible and brutal truth we all pretended didn’t exist. Hardly anyone even spoke about climate change and the destruction of the natural world. If you did, more often than not the conversation would be shut down, familiar devices pulled out of nowhere to dismiss, sidetrack, and silence your concerns.
And outside, the world — the thoughtless, concrete and metal, fume-choked, all-consuming human world — rumbled on, deaf to the warnings and unwilling to lift a finger.
I want to tell you that I am sorry and that I tried.
Previously Published on Medium