It is 66 degrees in NYC. That’s 18.9 Celsius. Capping a month of freakish warmth in the apple. The flowers are confused, bursting into bloom on the darkest day of the year. We humans should be more confused than we are.
I'm writing on the December 26, 2015 in Florida. I’m visiting my father, who turns 91 on Thursday. Florida is where we retire from work, or where we retire from thinking and go to Disney. The peninsula is dying, its coral reefs bleached and Everglades polluted and drained. Brazilians and non-consumerized Cubans rejuvenate a place that sinks into the dead sea.
Yesterday a Frigate Bird soared over us, sliding off the clouds over the Atlantic. The sleek mother of the sky, she never moved her wings… There is constancy with the Earth, even as she tries to shake off her main predator. We have let her down, but mostly we’ve let ourselves down. It is a year to despair about what we have done.
For the first time we find it possible to imagine leaving our city. Should we move to another part of the Earth? Could we ever do that? The city is lying to us. It is not the sophisticated big city of America. It is a real estate destination that eats its neighborhoods alive. The police manufacture fear. Its artists and working poor are banished to the fringes.
Or is it time to re-commit, to re-commit deeply. Maybe our years of work are not just lost. What if all the shouting in picket lines and parades and running from lobbies and hallways dodging cops – maybe that was practice for this moment, in 2016, when it is obvious to even the most de-politicized citizens that the Earth is moving on without us.
Florida and New York are on the ocean and they will change utterly. We are in the wind storm of evolution – finding a way to live when the Earth changes. Politics will mean trying to take some survivors with us to a new life.