“If Christ hadn’t delivered the Sermon on the Mount, with its message of mercy and pity, I wouldn’t want to be a human being. I’d just as soon be a rattlesnake.”
There is a sickness passing through the Land, and it will consume us if we don’t identify it and take the necessary steps. The sickness is plainly evident everywhere, in everything we touch and do and our current prospects are dismal because of it. It has to do with our alienation to the Land, with our allowing the alienation to fester for so very long. But that’s all I can say I know for sure. I can’t put my finger on it any more than anyone else can, but because it’s so central to what we’ve allowed for at least the last few generations I feel that any effort to say or write anything about the Land without confronting the sickness would be just another useless nature-writer’s jabbering on top of a pile of nature writing since the wrecking ball years of the Reagan Era, the kind that, as my friend Brandy used to say, would put Jesus to sleep.
Jesus, at least the Jesus I grew up with, was a good guy. Why bore him, then, with beautiful, hollow words that miss the point of our predicament? Given the current landscape, the politicians in the pockets of a metastasizing plutocracy, the symptomatic fascisms that inevitably accompany that sort of thing, given who’s in charge of our country in these most critical of times, several questions rise up from the last couple of centuries of missed opportunities like sturdy viruses escaping from the compromised ecosystems of our once-healthy forests. If we’re so smart, these questions ask, why are the bastards still running things? The wrecking ball didn’t miss its mark. Why should we? If we’re so smart, why do we continue to allow the bastards to tell our stories for us?
No, this sickness has been around for a long time, and nothing we touch or do is immune anymore, nor can it be otherwise. It will consume us if we don’t fight back. But fight what?