There are no words

31May10

Listening for a way to be while drowning in oil.

Last night at a party in our little town in Connecticut, a friend confessed that she turns her head away from the news any time she hears about the nightmare in the Gulf, and won’t read about it anymore because it’s too painful. The emotions we all feel are overwhelming – pain, anger, horror, frustration, helplessness.

The headline in the Times this morning, “White House Tries to Regroup as Criticism Mounts Over Leak” is unfathomable. “White House”? They don’t seem to be able to do much about anything. “Tries”? Doesn’t inspire confidence. “Regroup”? With whom, the same folks who got us here in the first place? “Criticism”? Hardly productive, though satisfying. “Leak”? WTF, is that what they’re calling the American version of Chernobyl?

All around us, I see people struggling to find words to describe what is happening with this nightmare that we are unable to stop. Environmentalists trying to convey the full extent of the destruction and its consequences, news personalities with their wooden hair and frozen smiles trying to out do one another with clever descriptors, repeating over and over and over again what is numbingly sensational. Politicians looking to use it for personal gain by blaming the other side. And BP, in their arrogance and stupidity and lies and opacity trying to diminish it and make us believe they could end it.

What is painfully clear is that we have no words yet for what to do about it. We do not  have a language that informs, alerts people who might have ideas, creates solutions or mobilizes action at a national level. We do not have words that facilitate collaboration, that teach us how to heal or save the lives of the millions of living beings we are murdering with our addiction to oil. We have not built communication systems that allow people outside the system to communicate.

I try to imagine, and to hear the communication taking place in the ocean and flying above it and living on its delicate poetic shores. These creatures – so much better than we humans at communicating the important things about life and death. What are they saying and feeling? What do they know of the oily death that awaits them?  Why don’t we talk of them?

Perhaps we are unable to speak what needs to be spoken because we are unable to hear what needs to be heard. I am ready to do whatever I can to help, and I am listening for whatever that might be.

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One Response to “There are no words”

  1. 1 Lori Bloomberg

    Cheryl,

    you said what I feel right here.
    you said it very well.

    I miss working with you, your energy, your spirit.

    Peace,
    Lori


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