Quote For The Weekend (Heatwave Edition)

The Exquisite Author And Her Book

Have we fallen into a mesmerized state that makes us accept as inevitable that which is inferior or detrimental, as though having lost the will or the vision to demand that which is good? Such thinking, in the words of the ecologist Paul Shepard “idealizes life with only its head out of water, inches above the limits of toleration of the corruption of its own environment…Why should we tolerate a diet of weak poisons, a home in insipid surroundings, a circle of acquaintances who are not quite our enemies, the noise of motors with just enough relief to prevent insanity? Who would want to live in a world which is just not quite fatal?”

—Rachel Carson (and Paul Shepard), Silent Spring, 1962

An author who changed our country, despite the chemical companies/industry trying to discredit her. So cruelly. “Spinster”. And much worse—as DDT seeped into just about everything, including humans. Sadly, she barely lived long enough to note the success of Silent Spring. I hate that she died so young and at the peak of her career—at least she knew her book was working as an instrument of change—at least she didn’t die not knowing she’d made a difference. We’ve come a long way since 1962, we’re paying more attention to our environment, but how far above water are our heads—or, since Mother Teresa would suggest I focus on my own doorstep instead of everyone else’s, how far above water am I? The silly upright swimming pool’s water. Which has an obvious green tint to it, one suggesting DON’T GO IN THERE. Okay. I’m listening…

Saying it’s hot here is understating reality, is moot, tiring. We’re off to the pool place with our pool water sample. We’re thinking about ice cream and global warming and swimming pools that sparkle appealingly (good thing we’re getting more chemicals). Shuffling along in our flip-flops, little gent between us, we know we care about what we touch, smell, ingest. That’s why we Google things constantly and attempt DIY around the house. We’re just tired today. And a little cranky. So tired we might visit Walmart. We might forget our canvas bags when we visit the grocery store. And it’s possible I still have some melamine ware in our dishes cupboard(s). But our vegetables are organic. Ha ha! We’re chronic recyclers. We don’t use products that test on animals. Coconut oil is big around here. See? Life in this broiling valley that’s just a little too far from the ocean is anything but: “just not quite fatal”. In fact, it’s not possible for parents of lively 4 1/2 year old boys to experience any kind of life other than the toes-above-water variety. Right on!

Good. I feel better now. Still hot, but better! Ice cream. Yes. The kind no whales were sacrificed for.

Yours in frozen waterbeds (hmm—and frozen watermelon margaritas),

P sweating B

About PB Rippey

Writer, wife, mother, grateful. Fiction, memoir, poetry, kidlit (MG), member SCBWI. pbwrites.wordpress.com
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2 Responses to Quote For The Weekend (Heatwave Edition)

  1. PB Rippey says:

    Thanks, Valerie. I find Rachel Carson’s works to be more timely than ever…which is both good and disturbing.

  2. Great piece, thank you, and a wonderful reminder of Rachel Carson. An absolutely killling quote which i shall read and re-read, and loved your own philosophical pathway through the perils and dangers of the pilgirm’s progress!

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