Thursday, January 15, 2009

Something in the air

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for.
We are the change that we seek.
~ President-elect Barack Obama

2009 is the year of change, if we make it so. I’ve gone walkabout for too long now and it is time to come home to writing in this space again. I don’t know if anyone else missed “the old bike” as much as me, but I’m going to get back on, start pedaling, and see what happens. I resolve to change my no-good lay-about writing ways.

President-elect Obama’s inauguration is next week in our nation’s capitol; I plan on attending some of the weekend’s pre-festivities and look forward to sharing stories afterwards. Additionally, I resolve to be more conscientious of the part I must play in turning Senator Obama’s rhetoric to action. What role do I play? What about you?


Sometimes old adages prove true. “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Example #1: it is interesting and encouraging to see a growing consciousness not only of more sustainable ways of doing things, but also of the need for a fundamental examination of the motivations behind those actions. As Sandra Steingraber points out in her essay in the current Orion magazine, the increasing trend towards Velcro and Croc-style slip-on shoes weakens our self-reliance by removing knot tying as an early childhood skill and deepens our petro-reliance by adding yet more oil-based products to our lives. Knot-tying as self-reliance? Yes. While arguments can be made for ease and comfort, do we not lose when we trade map for GPS, pick-up for delivery, post-cards for Facebook? The path of least resistance can be difficult to climb in reverse.

So what is staying the same? The ability of some old-fashioned technology to solve more than one problem at the same time. Sighting houses for light can also greatly increase energy efficiency. Reusing materials salvaged from the garbage cuts down on landfill and keeps your wallet fat. Drying your clothes on an indoor line in a winter NYC apartment lowers your electric bill and helps humidify a dry space. A little bit. Any which way you slice it, this last activity, drying clothes sans electricity, is a new endeavor we’re trying in 2009 – commonplace technology in many parts, outlawed practice in some, exciting pastime in a my TV-free apartment. But that’s another story.

Interested in learning more about clotheslines? Check this out. I resolve to pedal around and check more things out. For example: will President Obama plant an organic farm on the lawn of the White House? I don’t know, but thanks to my friend Dan I now know that these folks hope so – and more power to ‘em!

2009. Winds of change are blowing. Reap ‘em.


Mary and Jamie said...

Welcome back. Good to see you writing again. Will check in to check out life on the other side of the country. Hope you and Lauren are well. We'll be in NYC over Labor Day weekend for a wedding. It's a ways away, but we should dine together. hugs.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, Fango. You have been missed. Come along and ride'em up, the fantastic voyage! -Boh

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