12.17.2006

punching a hole in the atmosphere

Recently I promised a friend to blog some gloom and doom. It's not that they exactly asked for "gloom and doom", but they did point out how gloriously happy Alison and i make our lives sound on here. I hadn't really noticed, but the observation made me take a look and i agree: Too much sunshine!

I figure this is mostly because i've been on temporary hiatus from my usual marxist rants. I've been enjoying that hiatus, however, and think i'll continue it. So, today, as an alternative, I'll go with another sure-fire G and D staple: the environment. I'm going to address it in a roundabout kind of way though. Here it is:

I went to pick a little bit at a jam last night. I'm not quite sure what one would call the region of the state i was in, but i'm sure it has a name. (All areas of the state of South Carolina have a name. Alison and i live in the Lowcountry. Up north from here, but still near the coast and most likely the area i was near is The Pee Dee. There's also The Midlands and Upstate. I gotta tell ya: although almost all of these areas are indistinguishable from each other--all of them being entirely flat and sandy--you've gotta hand it to these South Carolinians: they really know how to name a place.)

Anyway, i went pickin'. In a very out-of-the-way spot, deep in the backwoods, several of us stood around a old fuel-barrel cum outdoor-woodstove. A herd of children there furiously stoked it with firewood 'til the stove was glowing red in the darkness.

We'd play a tune, talk a little bit. Play some more, talk some more. At one point (i believe it might have been between Soldier's Joy and Salt Creek) the topic of temperature came up. Turns out that that area of the state is warmer than it used to be. "...Gloowbal Warming", suggested one person laconically (with that strange, long vowel sound used by folks around here). I was pleasantly surprised to find this comment not met with derision. One older gentleman, just there listening, skeptically contributed this thought, however:

They talk about that gloowbal warming and they blame it on the automobile. But if you think about it, that stuff's been going on since we started sendin' up all them rocket ships. They punched a hole in the atmosphere 's what they did.

I wish you could have heard this. Although...uhmmm...ridiculous, it was beautifully and sincerely said. It also rendered the group of us entirely silent. For a moment we just stood there and listened to the gentle ping of the fuel barrel and the whoosh of air over it's flames. Finally, someone, with quite a bit of grace, quietly said: Well... . ...I guess that's one way you could luke at it....

Now, although i don't expect people to follow my twisted lines of logic or understand the emotional connections i sometimes percieve in stuff, I want to show you a headline from today's paper. I find this headline and that rocket ship moment tied together by millions of tiny, sad little filiments...there's just something similar about the sounds, about the brutalness of the actual words. There's something in the fantastical nature of both declarations. They each speak to where and how we live. They are matter-of-fact, and both address how everything, eventually and always, must come to some kind of end. This is the headline:

Chinese River Dolphin Was No Match for Prosperity


1 comment:

Alison said...

Mmmm...millions of tiny, sad little filaments. Nicely put. I knew just what you meant.