Monday, August 4, 2008

staying connected: the flip side.

danu p and mary. zambia. '96.

i thought i would be able to just sit and stare at a blank white wall for three days, now that everyone's gone. including safari craig. but no. this mind of mine keeps thinking and babbling on and on and fretting. shhhhh i say. just shhhh for godsake.

but it won't. instead it says, my god. look what has become of the world. look! read! look! plastic. plastic everywhere. they speak of plastic soups in our oceans. literally every square kilometer of our oceans the world over, has plastic in it. someone studied the contents of an albatross's stomache and found plastic toys, plastic bits and bobs mixed in with the mackerel who no doubt were also stuffed with Pacific Ocean Plastic. to my joy and delight i introduce you to Junkraft blog. (had a link here but had to delete: when followed lead me to something weird...research ongoing!? ok people, it insists this is it: i paste and copy hereforth:
which i discovered last night. two enterprising scientists are, as i tip tap type (on my plastic key board), floating across the sea from California to Hawaii (crossing many plastic soups swirling about in the Pacific Gyre) to urgently bring Plastic Pollution to the people of the world's attention. they are floating about on a boat ish - which floats on 15 000 plastic bottles. the sails and ropes are made of plastic rubbish. i learnt from marcus, the main scientist, that 10 000 pounds of plastic are thrown to the sea from Los Angeles alone in a day. the production of plastic water bottles for USA consumption takes 1.5 million barrels of oil a year...that much energy could power 250 000 homes for a year....don't you LOVE stats??? AND apparently japanese mothers are warned against breast feeding their babies in japan because of polluted meals. fresh fish which have survived on a diet of plastic sea thingys... toxic food. which leads me to the next big thing - cancer. cancer cancer everywhere. why? a spiritual sickness no doubt, due to dislocation from reality and the stress produced from this. living surrounded by concrete, cement, automatic everything, plastic food in plastic dishes being shoved into plastic faces with plastic noses, lips and plastic teeth. and this bizarre paranoia about health and living longer and "making it" yet we spew all this plastic into our rivers and oceans....the last greatest wilderness left on our planet.. and into our bodies oh oh oh! mind be quiet!! and i haven't even begun on the state of the bee....dying mysteriously - great hives of them....imagine the world with no pollination? NO HONEY?

so when our children (wearing their plastic shoes while playing with their plastic toys) ask "but what is honey?" we can tell them about The Bee. Who Used To Be. (hah) like when jemima was about four and asked who made honey and we told her The Bees. she thought about it quietly for a minute or two before saying, "oh and do flies make marmite?"

dislocated. to avoid it, stay connected to The Real World of The Earth. Coca Cola is it. The Real Thing. Bastards! but whew - love the stuff. especially during a bout of malaria. nothing quite like a cold coke. but i digress.

stay connected. to the real earth. avoid dislocation.

well. walk barefeet everyday on bare earth, or lawn, or on cold river pebbles or warm sandy paths and crunchy white beaches. give your feet the earth and your toes some mud. feel a thorn in the softness of your arch or the dry prickly grass scratching. the sharpness of a stone against your heel. when you walk, look around you, not down. re-teach yourself natural balance. walking bare foot on naturally uneven surfaces. cross a river on stones, walk across a log in a park with your arms out, looking up to the sky. (jeez. not sure i could do that either...) well. at least try. it teaches the body balance and fills the eyes with natural light. walk in the dark with no torch (flashlight) and teach your eyes night vision. look at the stars and feel your way in the dark. step by step. take a risk. and don't be afraid of the night, of the darkness.
we have got to try and stay rooted to the earth before its really really too late. before we turn into pale unbalanced plastic blobs.
how much can one earth take?

flip. enough said.

so yesterday mwali the syce and i rode out to the hill with one tree on the top. we rode to the summit and saw the maasai steppes flung far below, clouds' shadows racing across the plains. we rode through villages - the children singing " kitikaa kitikaa kitikaa kifaru!", the sound of african angel singing spilling from a tiny mud church, next to a sign in the middle of no-where saying " jesus blessed this shamba". oh? really? good god. next time please tell him to pop up my way for a cup of tea. mwali found this very funny. thankfully. and the sun on our backs, cowbells drifting on the wind and dust devils spiralling skywards. my heart felt full. i was where i wanted to be at that very moment. no-where else. it was perfect. perfect.

safari craig left today. with his new plastic phone which has a special plastic card which can connect to his email so he can be connected to the world. and to me. from the middle of no where. and i can email him back on my plastic computer and stay connected.

sigh sigh. flip.

Kitchen Board: Monday 4 August 2008:

Contributors: Janelle and divine guru famous artist friend Pamu.
Comments: quite. quite. and um. say no to plastic. i want a wooden keyboard. and a steel mouse.

toodely pip...and bisous comme j


tut-tut said...

I feel like I've flown along with you!

I quite agree, about the plastic.

Cyndy said...

Hi Janelle, Thanks for commenting on my blog! Now that I have discovered yours, I will be back for more reading very soon. You have a very interesting life! said...

love it. always love your words. we'll be plastic too one day - not us, you and i obviously, we'll be old and real but we'll be sitting in plastic chairs with plastic incontinency pants, eating from a plastic bowl in case we drop it - but several generations from now. they'll have morphed completely, plastic boobs, plastic chins, plastic bums. I agree. what is the world coming to. apart from plastic. obviously.

Reya Mellicker said...

Fortunately it only takes one million years for plastic to break down to its component bits. In terms of the life span of the earth, that's a very short while.

For our species and other species, like the poor unfortunate albatross, it's not so good.

When I get all worked up about the state of pollution, I like to read John McPhee books. Geology puts everything into perspective ... and now that doesn't mean I think plastic is great. Oh no, oh NO.

It helps me see the big pic, though.

Love your kitchen board which is, btw, NOT plastic.

Gary said...


Lately (or more than lately) I have had a sinking feeling about the way we are treating our environment because it shows a lack of respect for the gifts we have been given. The book I am currently reading "Sage-ing While Age-ing" by Shirley MacLaine is changing my perspective on the Mayan calendar which stops after 2012. It may not be an ending that is bad, just a shift in things as we know it. At a spiritual level this may be a grand thing - even if change is generally scary. I guess we'll find out soon enough. You have an interesting blog here. Glad to have found you as well.

Thanks for visiting my blog and for your comment.

Janelle said...

thanks tut tut!~ and cyndy thanks for filling me on misty and chincoteague island..and man you sure can play the bass...whew!
anthea, reya and gary - thanks for lamenting with my plastic cause...a million years is a short time, i guess. . . xxx janelle

Miranda said...

Ay. Didn't Einstein say that "if the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left" or summin like that. Aish. I like Reya's attitude. We gotta be positive. Hard, I know...

Janelle said...

did he REALLY!? well that just slots in PERFECTLY to the mayan calender - predicting as gary said, the end of the world 2012...whew spooky...spiritual shifts indeed...reya??? more enlightenment needed please!. thanks for popping by mo..about bloody time damnit..howz THE BIKE???? xxx janelle

Jocelyn said...

I popped over to say a quick "Thanks for visiting my blog," but then I stopped feeling the need to thank you for that--and more of a need to thank you for being you and so right and thoughtful and smart. This post was a joy to read, despite its sobering content.

I found, some years ago, that trail running centered me in a way that nothing else did; then I realized it was because that was often the only time in the day my feet weren't on something paved.

Now I need ten hours to go back and read all your previous posts...

Val said...

just wrote one and it vanished - still got L plates on here....
Yes Save The Bees - had one in my bonnet about that sometime now... and totally agree on plastic - its EVERYWHERE - spooky - but also useful at times, as coke is also therapeutic at times.... sigh!
Love your blog and the message boards :-)
the outride was fab - still patting off dust here. can we go again tomorrow??
love to all x

Ernest de Cugnac said...

bees, yes, it's said above, without them we are stuffed and it wouldn't take long.

On cancer, I'm convinced it has to do with "new" molecules. Life has crawled around on the planet for 100s of millions of years and then suddenly, in the space of 60 or 70 years we are awash with molecules that have *never* existed on the planet in any way, shape or form. Naturally our cells don't know what the eff to make of them and go crazy.

Janelle said...

val! HEY HELLO!! yes we can indeed go again today - across the plains and far away! going to go read your next posting now! HAH! should be doing lawyer and accountant boring blah...but hell...XXX

interesting ernest, interesting...i agree...i suspect its a combination of fresh stay fresh. also am convinced that suppressing emotions (and other wholly energetic feelings) leads to hectic cell behaviour...hmmmm....good to hear from you...nudge nudge... xx bisous xx j

Janelle said...

oh and jocelyn - THANKS for great comment!!! waiting for your next post you very very funny lady!!! XX janelle

Dumdad said...

Thought-provoking post as perusual.

I loved the line:
"oh and do flies make marmite?"

Of course, they do!

Right, everyone sing along to this old Kinks song entitled Plastic Man:

A man lives at the corner of the street,
And his neighbors think hes helpful and hes sweet,
cause he never swears and he always shakes you by the hand,
But no one knows he really is a plastic man.

Hes got plastic heart, plastic teeth and toes,
(yeah, he's plastic man)
He's got plastic knees and a perfect plastic nose.
(yeah, he's plastic man)
He's got plastic lips that hide his plastic teeth and gums,
And plastic legs that reach up to his plastic bum.
(plastic bum)

Plastic man got no brain,
Plastic man dont feel no pain,
Plastic people look the same,
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Kick his shin or tread on his face,
Pull his nose all over the place,
He cant disfigure, or disgrace,
Plastic man (plastic man).

He's got plastic flowers growing up the walls,
He eats plastic food with a plastic knife and fork,
He likes plastic cups and saucers cause they never break,
And he likes to lick his gravy off a plastic plate.

He's got a plastic wife who wears a plastic mac,
(yeah, he's plastic man)
And his children wanna be plastic like their dad,
(yeah, he's plastic man)
He's got a phony smile that makes you think he understands,
But no one ever gets the truth from plastic man

Janelle said...


Mud in the City said...

Thank you for brightening up a very grey and dull Monday morning in London with some African light and laughter!

Diana said...

The plastic water bottles. Oh good god the plastic water bottles everywhere over here. we seemed to survive just fine without them until about 5 years ago and now no one can seem to walk down the street without one.