Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I can run but I can't hide

I have had a love/hate relationship with the environment my entire life. My father, a biology teacher and skilled amateur naturalist, educated me from birth in the our world's cycles and diversity.

Among the lasting benefits are my knowledge of much native flora and fauna, an appreciation for ecology, a sense of responsibility in "living small" on the earth and belief in the power of individual action. One example: my father was a champion of Michigan's "bottle bill" in the '70s. He spoke before the Michigan legislature on this issue and appeared on Detroit talk radio.

When I was in high school my father became clinically depressed. His disease frequently took the form of diatribes on how the world was going to end soon (species loss, acid rain, overpopulation, you name it) and Homo sapiens was responsible. I heard about global warming 20 years before the mainstream media.

I see in hindsight, and with the benefit of my own potentially crackpot psychoanalysis, that my time in a joint law-natural resources program and subsequent, though brief, career in environmental law, were efforts to save the world and cure my father. Though there may be power in individual action, it cannot stop climate change or exorcise depression.

When I realized that, I had a period of 5-10 years where my environmental radar was markedly muted. I suspect it was still orders of magnitude beyond the average Jill. But I did not spend my nights pondering how best to protect my family when the global food shortage happened.

Lately, I feel the old terror -- that my father's predictions were actually premonitions -- returning. One can't turn around without hearing how bad things could be very soon. I am anxious again. This has several repercussions related to this blog.

1. I often find myself reluctant to post.
The usual fare of doulicia, birth and knitting, seems trivial when the Fate Of The Earth is at stake. How important is an epidural or Briar Rose Fibers (no offense, Chris!) in light of the ledge toward which our species appears to be racing?

2. I sometimes post about environmental ideas, but worry they're too heavy and off-topic. For example, instead of the tome you're reading, I'd intended to just put links to my latest gestating project idea: DIY solar oven construction. [In case you want the links, check out this and this and, definitely, this!]
I have been thinking about what Little Red Hen calls "blog identity." I'm not sure what mine is. Initially it was doula. Then knitting doula. Now is it environmental knitting doula? With my thinning number of birth posts, am I really more an environmental knitter? A slightly delusional knitter? Instead of doulicia should I be knitlicia? doLetItGoAlready? Does it even matter "what" [type of blogger] "I" [a pseudonym anyway] am?

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Blogger honeybee said...

I find myself obsessing (that is the correct word for what I do) about impending environmental cataclysm and the subsequent downfall of civilization in fits and starts. Periods of deep worry about it all coincide with my whole chronic up-and-down psychological health dealio.
Sometimes, the anxiety receeds and I think "well, I'll just go about my business and raise a family the best I can" and then a few months later, it's "no way I'm ever bringing a child into this doomed world."
I so get your post.

3:51 PM  
Blogger kristina said...

I mull over blog identity all the time, and have finally come to the conclusion that I can have multiple themes in my blog. My blog is a small window into what makes me, well, me. And pregnancy/birth stuff, political stuff, cultural stuff, parenting stuff and lately environmental stuff are all a part of that. And whatever else I feel like at the moment.

I've got lots of blogs in my feed reader that hit on one or more of the above areas. And it's always a plus when a blogger writes in more than one topic. I get to know them better, and I expand my own interests/knowledge at the same time.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Bekah said...

Nope, it doesn't matter what your "blog identity" is. This isn't a periodical in search of readership stats to serve to interested ad agencies. If it interests you, write about it. I have a choice whether I want to read it or not. ;)

2:30 PM  
Blogger mm said...

Came for the birthy/doula type things... staying for the knitting and environmental posts. Love them all!

3:51 PM  

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