• Desert-Writer

Listening

1-31-2019

I understand. The world is a busy place and we have many important things to do. Jobs to work, kids to raise, money to be earned and bills to pay. I’ll slow down later, I’ll listen later, there’s no time for that now.

Up front, I’ll admit that the author Cormac McCarthy is a hero of mine. Not a hero in the way that Superman is a hero; then again, maybe he’s that kind of hero too. He is hero because of his writing. Like Superman, he can knock me over with the lightest touch of words beautifully crafted into a sentence. Preciseness and writing bravery go a long way in my mind. For me, McCarthy is nearly a perfect writer. What could make him better? I have no idea.

My hero worship is not the reason I mention this author. I recently finished reading his play The Stonemason and was just finishing the book when McCarthy sprung his literary trap. I was caught. Three lines set my mind reeling. The sentences didn’t direct my thoughts, they opened a door and said “Come on in.”

Why could he not see the worth of that which he had put aside and the poverty of all he hungered for?” Then a few pages later, “Yet even before any of this, I had a dream and this dream was a cautionary dream and a dream I did not heed.” And on the next to last page of the book, these words, “We do not know what is required of us, and we have nothing to sustain us but the counsel of our fathers.”

Perhaps this was just three random sentences taken from that play. This is the message the words gave to me. Today is the last day of January 2019, and I question where we are going. What will this planet look like in twenty years, fifty or in one hundred years? My grandchildren and my not yet born great grandchildren will be alive to witness those years. What will it look like? Will we have put aside “the worth” to gain and lust after, “the poverty hungered for?”

Will we heed that “cautionary dream” that plagues us at night; the whisper that will become a roar should we maintain our current trajectory?

Will we hear the words that clearly tell us what is required of us? Will we be guided by and sustained with, “the counsel of our fathers?”

I live in the Sonoran Desert and watch the encroachment of mankind. An encroachment that demands more and more and more. I wonder if we will ever believe we have taken enough? Will we ever get our fill? Will we ever say I’m satisfied? It seems to me that the only animal species that takes, or perhaps demands more than needed, is that of humans.

“The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not everyone’s greed.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Go well, David

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