Tag Archives: destruction

Are you hopeful?

Photo by Torsten Dettlaff on Pexels.com

My doctor asked me this just a moment ago. “Are you hopeful about life?”

I had to pause before I replied. Hopeful? Not really. I mean, who could be, with half of Pakistan flooded, other countries suffering under water and fire and drought and general environmental destruction? Others under war or the threat of same, famine, disease? People wielding guns everywhere as if that was a normal way to behave? Men being absolutely intolerable to women? (I know, not ALL men)(not all people or countries, either, but you take my point, and I could argue that every country is suffering from environmental damage…)

And don’t get me started on the downfall of the United States, a once remarkable country, slipping into hatred, violence and fascism with barely a care as long as the stock market is strong…

It’s hard to think hopeful thoughts at times like these, even as Covid is stepping back into the forefront, polio is giggling in the wings, and we are all bracing for the next unfamiliar virus caused by living too close to too many diseased animals.

A few years ago my family and I bonded completely on the Despair.com images – the combination of beautiful photography (as one could see on motivational posters everywhere) and a snarky message was irresistible. But then they seemed too close to truth, too true to be a joke. I recently returned to the site and found myself laughing again, but then I don’t want to think that way.


It’s just too easy to be sarcastic, angry, depressed. Everyone seems to be doing it these days, too, road raging over nothing, yelling at politicians, throwing hate on anyone that seems to have created a bit of shadow on one’s day. I suspect the pandemic did two things that we will have to recover from: first, we got stressed to the maximum, with no way to work it off, and second, we were left to our own devices too long and have forgotten how to be human. A good human, I mean. The human showing our good sides, the kind side, the side that wants to get along with and help others and our planet. Not the human showing our bad sides, our aggressive natures, our general willingness to believe ridiculous things, our lack of intelligence.

So how to force enough hope to make it worthwhile to get up and face the day? It isn’t easy – especially for we aging sorts who see our abilities shrink with each passing week.

But then, we tap in. We volunteer to help someone, or learn something new and exciting, or catch the view of the clouds massing on an end-of-summer day. And suddenly, from some dark corner, a little cricket song of joy seeps out. It is sustaining.

From “The Cricket in Times Square”, illustration by Garth Williams https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cricket_in_Times_Square

And then of course the best things happen, like the DOJ gets more stuff on the former president that makes it sound like he might just be sent to jail, or some action by civilized people results in more provisions for the poorest among us or a restoration of faith in democracy, and the song gets stronger.

Maybe can turn this sinking ship around, get it to safe harbour before iceberg season. We only have ourselves to blame for the situation we’re in; we know we have the ability to fix it.

Yes, I have hope. I can hear myself arguing that I’m deluded, but I’m still clinging to the lifeboat.

It’s just getting worse…

Okay, as if falling space junk wasn’t enough, apparently the granddaddy of all volcanoes is muttering to himself and getting ready for one of those huge gaseous explosions ascribed to grandfathers everywhere. Only this one is going to block out sunlight and make it rain ashes everywhere. Mount Tambora, its name is. Learn it well.


If I didn’t know better, I’d say it was about time to sacrifice some virgins (if we can find any) to the volcano gods. They seem to be angry lately, along with the earthquake gods. The earth seems cranky.

I think they need some male virgins this time. Just sayin’. We women have had a bum deal with the whole virgin sacrifice thing for ages. I think it’s time for the men to take a turn. You know, step up to the plate, take some responsibility other than hauling poor girls to be shredded by giant monkeys or thrown into lava, etc. The last time men were done in regularly for sacrifices was back in Aztec times, and what with all this stuff about the Mayan calendar and the 2012 date they determined for the end of the world, maybe they knew something those other peoples didn’t.

Besides, all those female virgins have already been promised to various terrorists/martyrs. (depending on your view, and we are nothing if not politically correct here at dorothyanneb). There are only so many of them about.

Be that as it may, if this volcano happens, we won’t be worrying about global warming for a while. It’s going to be cold, frosty, and smelly. Sulphuric. Gates of hellish. I sense gnashing of teeth and wailing, and I rather suspect my new bubble umbrella will be unable to cope with the hailing flaming bits of lava, chunks of metal from falling satellites, asteroids, and the occasional tossed lottery ticket.

It’s at times like this that I can hear the old folks saying ,”Here we are, can put a man on the moon, and still we’re going to get covered with lava!” I think our research has been wrong-headed. We shoulda been looking down instead of up!

And with all the earthquakes happening all over the world (200 near Mt. Tambora alone), I can’t help but wonder if all the interior of the earth is seething. Since Yellowstone park is just one big volcano, what’s to say it might not join in the fireworks? Which would pretty well wipe out the problem with the oil sands. And the pipeline. And the western Provinces and states…

Honestly, it’s hard not to get the impression that we are like tiny fleas on the back of the earth and she is getting ready to shake us off. Maybe we should stop biting her.

And get some galvanized steel umbrellas.