Tag Archives: life

Habibi

Dear daughter,
if you’ve inherited my heart
then don’t be ashamed
of how desperate you sometimes feel
or how you stain sheets and shirts
that you are sopping wet
a walking hemorrhage
curious hands in the shower
the first menses of a young girl
a virgin writhing on a bed
you are on fire
you are like your mother.
So how could I ever talk about sin or damnation
when you have legs like creaking doors?
you welcome ghosts home
so I know you will know hell intimately
men who like to punch women in the face
who tongue kiss girls who look like their mother
men who hold you down, face in the mattress.
Daughter with a soft body
the hardest ones will fall for you
and you will usher them in
seek out their sharp edges
the abrasion
and by the time they’ve finished
you will be bloody and sore
teeth marks on your thighs
your torso a burnt house of worship.
Habibti, you do not deserve it but
you will be loved in fragments and fractions
until you no longer look like yourself
until your mouth is just the shape of his quiet name
oh my little girl
rip him out of your body
you come from a long line of women;
Hawa who doused herself in petrol
Ayan who pulled out her own teeth
Khadija who fell asleep in the river
forgetting is the hardest thing in the world,
remember that.

– Warsan Shire

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The House

Mother says there are locked rooms inside all women; kitchen of lust, / bedroom of grief, a bathroom of apathy. / Sometimes, the men – they come with keys, / and sometimes, the men – they come with hammers. ~ Warsan Shire

Does it sound alarmingly like this? It does to me.

A woman should be a cook in the kitchen, a lady in the parlor, and a whore in the bedroom

But then again I’m paranoid and overthinker. You know…

A person who thinks all the time
Has nothing to think about except thoughts
So… he loses touch with reality
And lives in a world of illusions
By thoughts I mean specifically, Chatter in the skull
Perpetual and compulsive repetition
of words, of reckoning and calculating
I’m not saying that thinking is bad
Like everybody else
It’s useful in moderation
A good servant, but a bad master
And all civilized peoples
Have increasingly become crazy and self-destructive
Because through excessive thinking
They have lost touch with reality
That to say…
We confuse signs
With the real world…
This is the beginning of meditation
Most of us would have
Rather money than tangible wealth
And a great occasion is somehow spoiled for us unless photographed
And to read about it the next day in the newspaper
Is oddly more fun for us than the original event
This is a disaster…
For as a result of confusing the real world of nature with mere signs
We are destroying nature
We are so tied up in our minds that we’ve lost our senses
Time to wake up
What is reality?
Obviously… no one can say
Because it isn’t words
It isn’t material, that’s just an idea
Reality is…
The point cannot be explained in words
I’m not trying to put you down
It’s an expression of you as you are
One must live…
We need to survive to go on…
We must go on.

I’m getting sidetracked again. Heard this one somewhere but I’ve have forgotten it and remember just now. It supposed to be something about meditation or something but listening to it made me jumpy and edgy and itchy. Like yoga, it makes me more nervous than I ordinarily am. But let’s go back to the topic at the beginning of this post about rooms and lust and lady and whores which put another idea in my head about a knight in shining armor that in reality just an ordinary bloke in tin foil.

In my experience, conscious or unconscious, men, in general, expect women/girlfriends/wives to be surrogate mothers if not parents, organizers, housekeepers, psychiatrists chefs chauffeurs jack of all trades and above all vessels for their lineage and co-breadwinners and a whole lot more while looking like a pin-up model 24/7 opening the door for them when they come home, a glass of something strong in hand and ready for a good tumble in the hay, all of that without complain. They never consider the possibility that maybe we want a male version of what they expect but you will never find/read/heard something like this: A man should be a cook in the kitchen, a gentleman in the parlor, and a gigolo in the bedroom plus an Onassis when it comes to financial capital  and a true blooded prince when it comes to pedigree anywhere because of what else but double standard it is.

Keys or hammers, change locks before they come and don’t let them too close if you value your core and your sanity. Close but not close enough to do some damage that could never be repaired. We have a saying in my country that when it comes to loving someone, don’t give your all. Leave/save some for yourself in case so you will be able to bounce back no matter what. And if they come as Thor, buy the biggest magnet you can find and take away their hammer, but not before you hit them hard on the head to cause enough amnesia.

Till next time.

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Fahrenheit 451

“Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore.” ~ Fahrenheit 451

Faber means here that we have to be risk takers and proactive: he uses the image of “do your own bit of saving:” in other words, see the drowning person, swim out to save him, and if you die while pulling him to shore, at least you are doing the right thing.

This is good advice because it means participating in solving problems, taking the initiative to help others, and being the change you want to see. This is especially important in a society where everyone is taught to be passive and quietly accept the way the world is while immersing themselves in televised fantasies.

Like the Latin carpe diem, meaning “seize the day,” it is saying that you need to take a stand for something – do something with your life!

In this society in which you don’t always have a lot of choice in what you do or what happens to you, you might as well take a stand for what you believe in and start thinking for yourself.


The above article made me think of two of society’s known cliché which I hate the most: Herd mentality and majority win. Most people want to belong they are afraid to rock the boat so they keep their real thoughts for themselves. Smart move you would say but I’m stupid so I disagree.

keeping the church in the middle and compromising for the sake of peace is good_ up to a certain limit and not at the expense of your own principles no matter how far-fetched they may seem.

I know it is hard to swim against the current and no one does it for convenience but you’ve got to stick with what you believe in and go for it even if it means standing alone.

The first paragraph above, I have mix feelings. Mainly this: See the drowning person, swim out to save him, and if you die while pulling him to shore, at least you are doing the right thing. A bit foolish for me. I’m all for saving someone but not if you know you’re going to die for it. Sounds to me like those world wars where so many died for the cause they don’t even believe or understand but been forced or lured to become heroes.

I think in all situations you have to see the big picture first, analyze your chances before making a calculated risk. In other words, follow your heart but take your brain with you.

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The Edge Of Never

“Just that dwelling and planning is bullshit, you dwell on the past, you can’t move forward. Spend too much time planning for the future and you just push yourself backward, or you stay stagnant in the same place all your life. Live in the moment, where everything is just right, take your time and limit your bad memories and you’ll get wherever it is you’re going a lot faster and with fewer bumps in the road along the way.” 

― J.A. Redmerski

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Find your fucking balls and reattach them

This is what I keep telling myself lately, find your old companion guts and get reacquainted damn you!

Where is the girl I used to know? The one who never stops at nothing to follow her heart. The one who didn’t let forces of nature detained her if she wants to gallivant. Now, a mere rain is enough to keep you inside? Pathetic!

You used to be fun, full of ideas and never have a qualm to put them in action. Remember the time you started hiking at four in the afternoon despite the thunder and lightning and the torrential downpour? You had to change clothes in the car because you were soaking wet. How about the time you went into the mountains to search for the missing head of a student who had been raped. You did it at one in the morning so nobody could see and stop you because an unauthorized person wasn’t allowed on the premises and they said it was dangerous. You armed yourself with a big bolo and head on. Where is that brave girl now?

Remember the cemetery? How about the collapsed subdivision where a lot of people had been buried alive. You sneaked in past the guard and spent the night there because you were convinced that where there are catastrophes and human casualties the odds of having contact from the other side are stronger and perhaps you’ll get lucky and could communicate with one of them.

And the time you rowed a boat for four hours to spend a night in an abandoned lighthouse in the middle of the ocean and got caught by a tropical storm and had to find your way to the nearest shore in the dark. How about that?

Others might say it is not bravery but foolishness and it may be so but that is not the point. The point is the fact that you changed beyond recognition. Not even the shadow of your former self which is preferable than totally disappearing altogether.

Where is the spontaneity, the passion, the drive the hunger? The hunger is there alright but you are trying to quench it with pseudo replacements. The doubt, the worry, the fear… where it is coming from?  Is it called getting old, like your daughter stated a long time ago which you refused to acknowledge? Your niece whom you adopted and brought up to keep from following the footsteps of her mother (and failed miserably) told you once upon a time when you first got together with your now second husband that you became boring as hell.  You didn’t acknowledge that too. Now, there is no choice left but to admit it.

What happened? What changed?

Okay, the situation is different so is the status and they go hand and hand with compromises but to forget who you are and become a totally different person is unacceptable. You can make loads of excuses but they will not justify what you have done to yourself. You are an embarrassment to all the free-spirited women out there. You call yourself a gypsy, a nomad? Once upon a time maybe but not anymore. Not for a long time. You become a hothouse flower, an invalid, a kept woman, boring and unimaginative the only adventures you are embarking are those that in your head. I despise you. I hate what you become. Where are your guts? Why you are existing (because I cannot call what you are doing living) against your principle and everything you believe in? For what? For security? For comfort? Bullshit! Nothing is secure in this world. You of all people should know that. And if I recall correctly, it was you who said you would rather live in the streets than be caged. Do you still think that way? Apparently not.

Your son said it is better to live and die than not to live at all. He told you that after you voiced out your fear for his safety backpacking two months in India and going on camping trips to war zones and being in the midst of a rally in Paris. That son of yours is a male version of you in every way. The once upon a time you. The wanderer adventurer fearless you. Look at you now.

Don’t cite age as an excuse. There is no such thing as too old for this and that. Age is just a number. And your condition? All the more reason to live right here and right now before you reach your expiration date. Live now that you can still walk and enjoy. Go out there and live without regret. That is what you supposed to be doing instead of being a prisoner in your own home.

You are not some caged exotic animal. You were born and brought up in the wild. That’s where you belong. Not in a fancy house with a fancy car full of fancy gadgets and designer items. Since you care about them anyway? Big houses and big cars and expensive things mean nothing. You can’t bring them where you’re eventually going. What matters is how you spend your borrowed time on this earth. I am telling you, find your fucking balls and reattach them before it’s too late.

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Lessons on Aging & the Juicy Stuff Beauty is Really Made Of.

“The self-respect and peace of mind you long for is not out there—it’s within. I hate that, I resent that more than I can say. But, it’s true.” ~ Anne Lamott

I fired a part of me the other day that has been demanding I look a certain way, weigh a certain number, and be a certain size in order to be “enough.”

It happened in my closet as I was trying to put on yet another pair of tight pants and felt a twinge of embarrassment that they didn’t fit anymore.

I heard that voice say, “See, you’ve gained weight. How could you? Hurry up and cleanse so you can drop 10 pounds fast.” For the first time in my almost 49 years of life, I finally heard myself respond differently. “No more of this madness,” I said out loud as I grabbed a different pair of pants that were a size larger.

I picked up the journal where I had written my health and weight goals for the month. With fresh eyes, I read what I wrote. The goals sounded great on paper. However, I had been so busy trying to fix what’s on the outside that I was missing the entire point.

It’s an inside job.

Sometimes the longest road we can travel is the one we make from our head to our heart. Suddenly, what I had known in my head for years finally made a direct heart landing. My goals had become barriers rather than stepping stones toward what I truly desired from the inside out.

Our bodies are not problems to be solved.

Anne Lamott once said, “One of the blessings of age is you surrender to the truth of time and life that things droop and sag and it’s fine, and if you worry about it longer it starts to argue a wasted life. You can spend your life burnishing the surface, but in the meantime, you could be on the floor playing Legos with your kids and grandkid.”

I opened a blank page in my journal, took my pen to paper, and set out to write a vision regarding my health and weight aligned with my spirit. I prayed for a bit and meditated for a while, asking God to show me what I needed to know. My hope is that what landed will be of benefit in some way to others who grapple with accepting their bodies and this thing called aging.

The Juicy Beauty Manifesto

I am not the size of my pants or the number on a scale. I am not the comparisons I make or the body I had 20 years ago. I’m not my triceps or once-upon-a-time firm ass or the before-kids flat stomach.

I’m not how I look in my jeans or whether my stomach has a roll or if my hair is turning gray. This confining version of myself that determines whether I am pretty enough or strong enough or thin enough or sexy enough or busty enough…whatever the enough is for that day, is officially fired.

From now on…

I will sincerely apologize to myself any time I want to criticize how my body looks. I will stand still and wholeheartedly soak in the apology so I can continue to really see myself and love all of who I am. The truth is I do not have the body I had in my 30s because I am not 30 anymore. I’m almost 50. I will look at my curves and rounded edges with loving eyes rather than through a critical lens.

It is a privilege to age, one that I no longer want to take for granted.

And, when I look in the mirror at my naked body, I will stop focusing on what I see as lacking, and, instead, I will be grateful for this version of me. This older me, the one who is now filled with deeper wisdom and a more relaxed spirit. I have earned the lines under my eyes and around my smile. I have lived and loved. I have fallen and risen. As a result, I am softening, easing into a gentle way of living and allowing for more grace to move through me. It’s quieter here, simpler, and far more pleasurable.

I will embrace the beauty that is staring back at me and allow it to be enough. Whispering to myself, “There is nothing here that needs to be fixed. Nothing is broken.”

When I begin to find my mind wandering, I will ground it in appreciation for my health. I will give thanks that my legs can walk, my fingers can move, my mind is still sharp, my breath is deep, my eyes see, and my heart pumps. I will mindfully and lovingly nourish my body with foods that breathe life into it. I will choose to live from a place of health and wellness. Eating will be about nourishment, rather than trying to obtain some endgame result of a certain weight or size.

If I make food choices out of love rather than fear or deprivation, the results will organically happen. I will allow my body to find its natural place at this time in my life.

I will no longer scare myself with black-and-white food beliefs or messages.

I will stop telling myself:
“I will never eat that again.”
“Once I start, I can’t stop.”
“I can’t trust myself with food.”

I will replace those messages with:
“Relax, dear one, and enjoy. You can trust yourself.”

I will move my body in ways that bring me joy. I want to do the stuff that makes my heart beat faster and eyes grow wider. I want to do those things as often as I can, creating happy, pleasure-filled moments.

The illusion that if I reach this weight then I’ll be happy or stronger or prettier is just the lie I keep telling myself. As I get consumed with that message, I start to miss all the juicy stuff that beauty is really made of. That’s a price I’m no longer willing to pay. Are you?

Starting today, let’s:

Give away the pants that no longer fit and go on a date with ourselves to find clothes we love and that no longer pinch. Life is hard enough than to be wrestling with tight pants.

Put the scale away and start to focus on what we are feeling rather than what we weigh. It’s flat-out mean to be stepping on that thing day in and day out.

Shut down the critical voice in our heads and replace it with kindness, love, and praise, offering ourselves the same messages we would a child or a dear friend.

Stop dieting, cleansing, restricting, and beating ourselves over the head with a stick that we will never be enough unless we look a certain way. Diets don’t work anyway.

Uncover how to unapologetically love ourselves and celebrate growing older and embracing the perfectly imperfect bodies we all have a right to age in.

There’s nothing more beautiful than a woman who recognizes her own worth from the inside out. From that place she is able to get out of her own way and focus on love and service, living a life from her highest self.

Now that’s juicy beauty.

Who’s in?

AUTHOR: ANNMARIE DEVLIN

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I am, I am, I am.

“I wonder why I don’t go to bed and go to sleep. But then it would be tomorrow, so I decide that no matter how tired, no matter how incoherent I am, I can skip on hour more of sleep and live.” 
― Sylvia Plath

I can’t bring in words how deep this quote from Sylvia Plath resonate with me. I know it all too well, the fear of missing out__ what exactly? For there is nothing a lot going on out there in the night unless you’re one of those people who love to party till___. Yet, that nagging feeling persists, that I supposed to be doing___ what____ instead of engaging with some useless occupation like sleep. When I’m feeling drowsy due to the lack of sleep, still I fight it, scared that something wonderful will happen while I’m dozing off, that I’m going to waste time by going to bed, and time is precious and fleeting I supposed to be using it to do something remarkable, important, lasting… and what is exactly that? I have no idea. All I know is I want to go somewhere, anywhere, see new things watch people visit new places do exciting things, anything as long as it makes me feel brand new and alive and elated and fuelled inspired content and for the moment happy. Am I crazy? Probably so. But so what?

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Me2

I don’t know, my favorite was always witch weather. That moment that in a gust of wind or in the rumbling sky or at the edge of a fog bank where suddenly, you feel different. A restlessness, a sense of longing for a place that does not exist. I don’t know if anyone else has felt the electric tense changing of that moment. It calls the magic to your skin. For a moment, you feel ancient and powerful and lonely, as if you forgot something important. Witch weather. For some reason, in that wild instant, you remember you are alive, and that means some part of you belongs to the everlasting.

~GoodReads

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Ladies, We Have a Choice

By Galina Singer

“You look tired!” was the first thing my friend said to me as she opened the door to let us in for dinner.

It annoyed me. I actually thought I looked pretty good that day, given the circumstances.

As much as I try not to let comments like that affect me these days, it did wake up the dormant monster of self-doubt. With each year, the pressure to “do something” to stop the inevitable signs of aging mounts.

My friend wishes well. But she simply cannot understand why I don’t get with the program. Most of my peers and even women much younger than me have already included anti-aging regimens into their maintenance routines, although most stop at injections and fillers. They’ll tell me, “It’s basic hygiene—it’s like brushing teeth!” in an attempt to make it easier for me to understand how low I’ve fallen.

Having “work” done is now the norm, so I stand out from the Botoxed crowd like a dinosaur. According to Psychologist Ros Taylor:

“The availability and accessibility of cosmetic procedures, the lack of stigma about having work done and the rise in women’s disposable income has meant the gateway is clear for this to become normalised. And it is only going to increase.”

Still processing the fact that six months ago I turned 50, I know I’m not invincible to the pressures women my age face. I also believe in having a choice.

However, I am concerned.

I am concerned, because over a relatively short period of time, what is considered normal in terms of “routine maintenance” for women has changed dramatically. It has changed due to the increasing emphasis we place on appearance in our social media-ruled lives.

As we navigate this new world, our image often takes precedence over our real achievements. The search for the forever-out-of-reach level of surface perfection leads us to confuse our values and do things out of social pressure—exactly what I teach my teenage daughters not to do!

An article in Time magazine makes me feel scared and powerless, as it states:

“You’re going to have to do it. And not all that long from now. Probably not a full-on, general anesthesia bone-shaving or muscle-slicing. But almost definitely some injections into your face. Very likely a session of fat-melting in some areas and then possibly moving it to some other parts that could use plumping.”

Not having work done is apparently now the new shame: “You’re going to get a cosmetic procedure for the same reason you wear make-up: because every other woman is.”

Women are succumbing to cosmetic enhancement because we feel pressured to. It’s the same reason that women used to wear corsets and had their feet bound and undergo female genital mutilation: because society demands it.

But, ladies, this is 20__ and we have a choice!

We have fought a long time for the right to choose and take ownership of our appearance.

When we inject our faces with stuff, it’s not coming from the same place as putting on a colorful lipstick to freshen up our complexion.

We are manipulated by the multi-billion-dollar cosmetic industry’s slogans urging us to be “the best we can be” and to strive for our “best selves.” The manipulation works because women have been known to readily succumb to pain to fit in and often confuse self-love with self-hate. We are steered to do whatever it takes because we’re told we’re “worth it”—implying that if we don’t, we only have ourselves to blame for “letting ourselves go.”

I find it unfair when the conversation veers in that direction. It implies that I neglect my self-care. And that is simply untrue. Having recently and finally freed myself from the unattainable, constantly moving target of perfection, I now take better care of myself than ever before through yoga, meditation, and working on fulfilling my potential.

Ask yourself: When we succumb to invasive procedures to look younger than our age, what are we trying to accomplish, exactly? Are we trying to turn back the clock?

Surely it’s not injecting poison into my face and paralyzing the muscles out of their natural movements that will slow down the passage of time for me and make me forget my age. And I just know that melting the fat out of my bottom to inject it into my lips will not make me feel any younger, either.

Whom are we trying to deceive? What are we trying to say? Or rather, what are we trying to silence?

Is it rude or anti-social to show up for dinner looking my age? To have my face reveal what I feel? Do I ruin the appearance that all is perfect in the world?

Am I too much of a mirror to my middle-aged friends, reflecting the real state of where we are in our lives—our age, our children growing and leaving, our long-term marriages in which the impending departure of children from home may dissolve the glue that held it all together for years?

Are we trying to pretend that while everything changes, we stay the same? That we are not aging? That we are not getting closer to the unspeakable, the ultimate: death?

Because that’s another pressure we need to face up to—the pressure to wake up. To stop running away from the truth and face the fact that time is precious and fleeting. That life is fragile and that we need to somehow change our relationship with it, before it becomes too late.

So, ladies, we have a choice.

Which pressure will you succumb to?

I am personally looking for a more sustainable path to aging gracefully.

As human beings, we are part of the natural cycles of life. The sooner we accept that essential fact, the sooner we can reconnect with the truth and, hopefully, accept where we are in our lives.

There is nothing ugly in nature. All of nature’s manifestations have a reason for being and serve as part of the miraculously-working whole. Change and transformation are part of life.

I am so done with the need to be perfect. It leads to tremendous pressure and isolation. It causes people to pretend and to hide and breaks down sincere communication.

We shall not stay young forever. As sad as it sometimes is for me to accept, that’s the only truth.

The point is not to look younger for as long as possible. Tampering with our looks does not change our physiology. What does help us to look and feel better is being mentally and physically healthy, while we live lives filled with purpose.

Let’s go beyond the surface. Beyond the temporary. Beyond glossy images of pretend life.

Let us go deeper. Accept the reality. Be grateful. Find our inner potential. Inspire others. Live according to the natural laws. Give back.

Ladies, we have a choice!

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Expect The Unexpected

It’s raining steadily for three weeks now but that’s not the problem. What makes it so difficult to go outside is the accompanying wind of 100/120 km per hour. Trees are falling, roofs are flying, cars, heck even trucks turned over on the road, what’s happening? And it doesn’t stop there. I never have seen a combination of hail, melting snow, rain/storm thunder, and lightning punctuated by intense sunshine you’d think it’s high summer all in one day for weeks! No wonder plants are confused they become bonsai image of their former selves. 

Emergency numbers are blocked. They are getting as much as 78,000 calls a day. Firemen and other social workers are at the end of their wits, so are the people who are affected by this strange weather. Where do we go from here?

Places that never saw snow are witnessing this strange phenomenon. I heard that in my country of origin they are expecting longer days and shorter nights. The previous summer is still fresh in my mind when no single drop of rain had fallen for three months causing vegetations to die and wild animals to perished. Now, this…

If we can only know in advance.

But__

You Know what they say__

Who wants to be foretold the weather? It is bad enough when it comes, without our having the misery of knowing about it beforehand.

When all is said and done, the weather and love are the two elements about which one can never be sure.

Right?

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climate change isn’t an “issue”

We’re so self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. “Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.” And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. I’m tired of this shit. I’m tired of fucking Earth Day. I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is that there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that someday in the future they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me.

The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles … hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages … And we think some plastic bags and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet isn’t going anywhere. WE are!

We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Maybe a little Styrofoam … The planet will be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet will shake us off like a bad case of fleas.

The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, ’cause that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed. And if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn’t share our prejudice toward plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn’t know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, “Why are we here?”

Plastic… asshole.

― George Carlin

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