I am not doing the right thing to keep my house. I am not doing the right thing to take care of my cats. To take care of me. To take care of my health.
I need to work to make money to pay my mortgage, to pay my food, to pay food for my cats, to pay for my diabetes medicine, to pay for my cats medicine, to pay for the energy i use, to pay for the phone i use, to pay for television and internet access.
I know. Insane.
A year ago i wrote a post My futures.
I know the private life. I have lived it for the past thirty years. It’s difficult and hard work. There is peace and quiet. And loneliness.
So, if i have to make a choice, i’d rather choose a public life. It will be equally hard work, it will be equally difficult. But it is also filled with friends. I will not have complete freedom in choosing the things i do. But on the whole, i think i will be happier. A bit messier too. But that’s alright.
I am not leading this public life yet. I am talking with people i meet on the streets. One time i saw a man on the Beursplein yelling at the people passing him by. Yelling they were racist, treating him wrong. I walked up to him and said that i didn’t agree with what he was saying. I hugged him. He started to cry. This was all i could do.
Most people i talk to tell me about their lives. One woman spoke to me about the boys in her neighborhood, who threaten to enter her house. A man told me about his volunteer jobs and the various functions he had as volunteer.
I try to look at people’s faces when i walk past them. Some do not see me at all, they walk by, their eyes turned down, hiding from everyone. Some say hi. Some react like i am trapping them. A girl once said to her boyfriend that i was staring at her, turning to him for protection. I simply walked by and caught her eyes, that was it.
I am working in the Peace Garden since April this year. I did start a few years ago in the Gandhi Garden, but didn’t follow it through then. I am happy i am working in the garden now. Happy to meet new people, who are all different, but still the same in some key areas. Care of this world, care of the food they eat.
Soil is the second biggest reservoir of carbon on the planet, next to the oceans. It holds four times more carbon than all the plants and trees in the world. But human activity like deforestation and industrial farming – with its intensive ploughing, monoculture and heavy use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides – is ruining our soils at breakneck speed, killing the organic materials that they contain. Now 40% of agricultural soil is classed as “degraded” or “seriously degraded”. In fact, industrial farming has so damaged our soils that a third of the world’s farmland has been destroyed in the past four decades.
Reading this article Our best shot at cooling the planet might be right under our feet on the Guardian website makes me so mad. We are ruining the earth under our feet. Using technology and science to make excuses for ourselves. We need more food, we say! But we throw away around 40% of all the food we harvest.
We are all insane. We are all living in this dream, where things are right, where what we do makes sense, where we live the best life we possibly can. Because we have the science. We are right. We say.
I do not agree.
I am not the first person to say this. To be honest, i feel more like the last person to say this. I have bought my food in the supermarket for years. I have worked for money for years. I am living in my house for the past 21 years. I went along in the same dreamy rhythm as almost anyone else living here, paying taxes and mortgages and energy and all other stuff a person uses in this western world.
I am not saying i have all, if any answers. But i do remember how i used to view this world growing up and for a large part of my adult life. As me simply a part of the world. This world which seemed to go at its own pace towards its own goal. Me tagging along. Trying to find a right spot for myself.
It is not like that. We all are here living on this earth with a certain responsibility towards its destiny. It is not politicians who decide, not businessmen, not scientists. Each and every one of us can make the choice to make this world a better place.
I wrote this in Food. I still feel like this. I actually feel even more like this.
Each and every one of us can make the choice to make this world a better place.
I should say this differently.
Each and every one of us makes a choice: to make this world a better place – or not.
So yes, i am insane.
I am stepping out. The money i still have is caught up in my house. It is not that i want to give my house up, certainly not. But in the end, if it is necessary, i will do that.
I will fight with my heart and soul for what i think we need to do. Take a step back. Take care of this planet, with our entire heart. Grow food in the soil, where we can. Think with our heads and hearts and hands. I will try my utmost to talk to other people about this. It is hard for me. It is easier for me to hide. But it has got to stop somewhere.
I have thought of myself as a queen of this new world. I am not that. I am a hard working woman with her hands in the earth, singing songs and filming videos and making walks and photographing the earth and the sky and the water around.
I am insane.
We have come to see ourselves as the lords and masters of the Earth, entitled to plunder her at will. The sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life are symptoms that reflect the violence present in our hearts. We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the Earth; that we breathe her air and receive life from her waters.