--When people ask me why I don't have pets, I say, "I can't even keep houseplants alive."
--But that's not exactly true. On Memorial Day, I bought plants that found their way into 4 pots that have spent the summer on my front porch:
--Some of the flower plants in the 2 big pots have died, but overall, those 2 pots have thrived. I lost a batch of mint, part of the basil, and a batch of dill, but the other herbs (mint, basil, and rosemary) are hanging on.
--However, I must confess that the big pots are not nearly as bushy as they were the first week-end that I brought them home from the Home Depot.
--When I was scrolling through my Feb. entries, looking for posts about my latest revision of my book-length poetry manuscript, I came across this post and the line "be the asteroid": "I heard a scientist say that an asteroid killed the dinosaurs; this time, we're the asteroid. What does it mean to be the asteroid?"
--The planet doesn't need us. The human species may die off, but other species will survive. Still, I continue to water the plants on the porch, plants who rely on me for water.
--I've also been thinking about the environment on a bodily scale. Earlier this year, I had two colleagues and my best friend from high school diagnosed with cancer, 3 different kinds. I thought about God, who loves all of creation, even the cancer cell.
--I've felt moments of shaken faith many times in my life, but that realization, that God loves all parts of creation equally, from me to the cancer cells that may kill those whom I love, that realization shook me for a few minutes.
--I've been intrigued by disease for many decades. I'm lucky enough to be able to be fascinated by Ebola from a distance. For a look at what it means close up, don't miss this postcard in The New Yorker. It's a description that hearkens back to medieval days and the black death: "The hospitals of Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, are full of Ebola patients and are turning away new patients, including women in childbirth. American Ebola experts in Monrovia are hearing reports that infected bodies are being left in the streets: the outbreak is beginning to assume a medieval character. People sick with Ebola are leaving Monrovia and going into the countryside to search for village faith healers, or to stay with relatives."
--Civilizations have collapsed before. This blog post talks about why one Bronze Age, interconnected civilization disappeared, and it makes disconcerting comparisons between that civilization and our own.
--We can try to comfort ourselves by saying that the seas won't swallow our front porches until we're dead and gone, that our U.S. health care system could handle Ebola when it comes to our shores. But it doesn't take much to tip the balance away from civilization and back towards a life less attractive.
Best Essay Collections of 2017 by Women Authors
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