TIMES LIKE THESE?

When the worst happens – a cancer diagnosis, a Trump victory – I always take solace in the realization that outdoors the world goes on the same – the sun still rises, the air is sweet, birds fly and insects crawl, indifferent to our worries and drama.

 

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But, you say – but what about this earth, rocking on a razor’s edge of man-made changes, the  effects reaching deep into hot Amazonian forests, frigid Arctic ice and everywhere in between? Will the choice America has made mean it all only gets worse now? And what of humans, because we’re a piece of the earth too, as much as we forget that. Will imbalance and suffering worsen, and what of that? You’re right to ask. I don’t know.

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41 comments

  1. Lynn, Thank you, thank you for BlueBrightly post this morning. I needed to read your text as I am sitting at work feeling sad and a little ill​. You reminded me that I will survive this election result.

    Best, Joan Gordon

  2. Yesterday I rode the bus to Quito and noted what looked like Roundup damage.. and then realized it was drought that turned the normally-green landscape into a yellow-orange army green color. I pondered the 200 species that we lost the day before and the 200 we will loose the next day and the 200 that were perishing as I rode the bus to Quito…

    People often say, “Yes, but nature will bounce back if we perish..’ — but what about those extinct species? I marvel at people’s lack of compassion or interest…

    Like you, I go to Mother Nature for grounding, but where will she go when she needs to decompress or refuel?

    • You have your ears to the ground and are so good about reporting what you see without letting it get you down, at least not so disturbed that you can’t keep going. I applaud you for that, Lisa! Thank you for asking the hard questions.

  3. I think it could have been worse… from an outside perspective, we could say that the chances of global conflict has just been reduced – and world peace is probably more important than everything else, first and foremost.(Although I do understand the domestic reasons for the disappointing outcome). However, as you mention, there is the issue of the environment and one could probably look at it this way – if voters world-wide were as energised and motivated about saving the environment as they are about the elections, we would probably be well on our way to solutions.
    J.J.

    • I don’t know if the chances for global conflict were reduced by the outcome of this election. It would seem otherwise, but all bets are off – this person is unpredictable. I like your comment about the environment. I think it’s hard for people to feel energized to act about it because it’s either invisible to them, or it’s just too big and they can’t imagine having an affect on the outcome.

      • You make a good point about the unpredictable part – for me, watching from afar, it seemed like a very difficult choice for voters. The thing is that tensions with a certain large country had already been ratcheted up for months on end was indeed also used in the election campaign by the one party. Whereas one candidate expressly said that they prefer to improve relations with said county, the other was going to do the opposite once they were in office. To me this seemed like a very dangerous situation.

        So, a general unpredictability (which for the moment seems mostly verbal) in one candidate is perhaps better than an almost guaranteed escalation in relation to a specific large adversary. Although it’s probably not all that clear-cut for many people. Of course the problem is now we end up still having to deal with the environmental issues and that has just seen a very probable setback due to the results.

        At the end of the day though I think it comes down to us, the individual consumers (no matter who is in charge) – if we take responsibility from the bottom up, and conserve and cut back unnecessary and excessive consumption and emissions (in all forms), everything else will eventually follow.

  4. These are gorgeous images. The pine with the raindrops my particular favourite. I think we can blame the arrogance of the political elite and career politicians who look after their friends and think nothing or rather, are so distanced from the ordinary people that they have no concept of the struggles, for the Trump victory and Brexit. It’s a worrying time on both sides of the pond but the world will keep turning. Climate change and Trump’s disregard for it in one of the countries that contributes most to the problem is of great concern of course.
    We must just take everything a day at a time and enjoy the environment around us as best we can. We have so little control. I rarely listen to the news now. My MS and emphysema limit what I can do and my prognosis is not particularly bright so I let the world’s problems pass me by and I make the best of every, capturing the beauty with my camera whenever I can.

    • That pine needle (actually fir I think) photo is one I’m happy with, too. And I have more! 😉 It was an amazing moment – seemingly millions of raindrops poised on the needle tips, sparkling and shimmering in the sun. I looked up into the branches and realized if I pointed the camera through the branches and towards the sun, I would get some great effects.
      The arrogance you speak of was also the reason Hilary lost, and the reason the left-leaning press (I’m left-leaning too, but sometimes the media’s slant bugs me) didn’t get the prediction right. I could feel what was happening and had been worried for a while. There will be more of this – Brexit and reactionary leaders. Many people are angry, fearful and unheard, and I think the issues are complicated. People want simple answers.
      I hear what you’re saying – you have to assess the whole situation and figure out what makes sense for you to do. You may be using your time in a way that is rewarding to you, but it also gives many other people pleasure and respite. That has great value.

      • It’s certainly a very successful photograph!
        Left leaning too I fear this period of great change and unpredictability that we’re in that’s for sure. Despite the results of recent poles and elections which should clearly be sending a very loud and clear message to the political elite and to the media, we hear politician’s and the media pundits speaking of popularism in the pejorative, discounting the views of millions because they know better, they’re smarter, better educated, the ordinary folks views don’t count because they’re not smart enough to know what’s good for them and that to me is the fundamental problem and the reason the fascists for example took Germany by storm in the 20’s and 30’s. The economy in tatters following the treaty of Versailles, it was the ordinary people of Germany that were paying the price and Hitler promised to make the difference and let’s face it, he did, unfortunately it came with a huge price in the form of extremism, bigotry and nationalism that went beyond.. When people’s voices are not being heard, they turn to the extremists who promise they will be. Le Penn in France is now suggesting that the Trump victory has paved the way for her National Front party to take control in France. Yes, seriously worrying times.
        Thank you Lynn for your lovely final comment. It’s always lovely to hear that what one does or strives to do gives others pleasure. 🙂

      • I should just add regarding Hitler of course, I was speaking principally about his early rise to power. What ultimately transpired, the murder of millions of people, well the world must never be allowed to forget and perhaps now would be a good time for lots of reminders. We had our Remembrance Sunday here yesterday. A very timely reminder of the sacrifices so many people made to bring it all to an end. 😦

  5. I share your pain and your anxiety but take solace in the fact that life experience has shown that fear of what is to come is almost invariably worse than the eventual reality.

  6. I do understand why there is so much pain and resignation after the election. It’s going to be some hard times ahead. But you are also very right. Nothing like Mother Nature to bring one’s mind in balance again.

    • Thank you Scott – I’m glad – see my reply to Adrian’s comment above. It was up in the Cascades, in a pristine-looking place that is actually within earshot (unfortunately) of the highway. But you barely hear the traffic, and it’s a great getaway for people who live in Seattle, a straight shot out of the city up to the pass. And easy walking. There were thousands of mushrooms that day, and we saw two American dippers – do you know that bird? I love them. Eagles, too, and my totem Great Blue Heron.

    • And thank you for yours – there is nothing like the touch of the hand on paper; the traces you leave give me joy. Really. The other day I wrote down a list of watercolors: Cadmium red, French ultramarine, Sap green, Burnt sienna, etc. Magic just to think about the names. Painting remains a fantasy, but one of these days I’ll act on it!

  7. Absolutely wonderful photos, Lynn. I agree with you and many of the commentators here. Worrying times indeed!
    And in four years there’s another election. I wonder how much will have changed by then, by good or worse. I find it hard to understand and cope with, but as you say, concentrating on Nature and what oneself can do, helps.
    x

  8. But you have found great beauty in this difficult time, which means you did better than I did. Looking back, I still share your deep concern about the planet. Everything else can be reversed but I fear a tipping point in the balance of the planet. Still, I turn to the garden in solace.

  9. I have been subversively delighted at the ways people are finding to give negative feedback to both Trump the Rump and Pence. But are right. My go to response has always been to retreat to the wild, but now the questions and worry follow me there. Just how bad will his policies be for our planet? With the Republicans in control of Congress, where is his brake?

  10. Reading this a few weeks later Lyn, sorry for being so slack with my visits to your beautiful work. The doldrums of the past few weeks aren’t going anywhere in a hurry are they, not with the crazy appointments he’s making with Rick Perry the cherry on the crazy cake. The GOP say they’re not for big government, they’ve got that one right. They’re for super big business and it was the ordinary people who bought this for Trump. And the Russians allegedly. But ordinary people and the planet pay the prices and while Westerners like to pay peanuts for cheap crap from China the Chinese landscape has undergone huge changes to it’s environment in the pursuit of manufacturing and industrial dollars. And where are the Democrats these days, who even are the Democrats these days. Didn’t poor old Al Gore get a thorough rinsing at the hands of Trump’s environmental reach out last week! Agree with your comment re Hillary arrogance earlier, that victory was never a given despite all push to believe so. Beautiful shots btw!


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