Dear Earth, a confessionOn 22nd August 2019 by Satya
Earth, whenever I do the washing up, I betray you.
I have a natural sponge, which would at least dissolve back into your lap when I’m done with it. Instead I choose the bright plastic sponge, because I prefer the way it hugs the contours of the plates. I choose the sponge that will spoil your waters.
I am aware that there are bigger fish to fry. I am aware that a new plant is hoping to pump out 80 trillion fresh nurdles per year. These fragments of plastic are the size of a lentil, impossible to catch, and live almost forever.
Still, I flush with guilt when I take the plastic sponge into my hand, because there is so much I am not in control of. Because I feel so inadequate to the task ahead. Because it is easier to feel guilty than to feel helpless.
My friends also report their emotions pooling in these smaller choices. One bought a new food processor and left it and its plastic packing half-opened on her table for days, seized with regret. One feels grief at years of bringing plastic shower gel bottles into her home rather than soap.
Dear Earth, I know that contrition is an emotion you approve of, because it is clean fuel – it burns fast, and leaves me with the energy to act. I also know that you don’t want me to tie myself up in knots. Seeing my own limits and accepting them with kindness is crucial if I want to have fellow feeling for my companions. My tiny choice is a replica of that of the oil bosses – trying to keep their children safe in expensive schools, or feeding their compulsive hunger with more and more objects.
I can feel you smiling at me, Earth, as I wrestle with myself. It is a wry smile, and full of affection.
The warmth of it untangles my tangles and brings me to gratitude.
Love, Satya <3