“I hate this fucking culture.”
–Derrick Jensen (on numerous occasions)
The big news in an individual’s life is rarely big news in the world. Yet, the microscopic and the macroscopic are present in each other; the characteristics of a culture at a given moment are played out in the lives of its citizens, in everyday events (and non-events) and vice versa. Our particular current cultural moment in the USA is marked by brutality, malice and insensitivity. So each of us will find ourselves face to face with these things every day (and sometimes in the mirror). Some days will stand out more than others, naturally, and I had one of those this past Monday, when a particular Ash tree was killed in Portland.
I knew they were cutting down the Ash tree a few days ahead of time, so I arranged my schedule so I would be around for the event.
First, because the tree stood in the middle of a garden that Clarabelle and I had planted and I wanted to monitor the crew to prevent too much collateral damage.
Secondly, I wanted “bear witness,” as they say. On this topic, a friend on social media said: “Bearing witness to the heart-wrenching experience(s) is, and will be, some muscle we’ll all be facing and needing.” That’s for sure. And that’s the experience I had.