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  • Erin


Updated: Dec 27, 2020

My aim with this blog is to benchmark, know and notice the world around me.

To have a place to go when I want to google "what time last year did the Phoebe show up in MY yard?" "What month did the nettles come up at the specific river spot WE go to?"

I want to learn how to know and to notice the things in my life that aren't google-able.

Another aim of this blog is to benchmark. One of my favorite essays (excerpted below) by Derrick Jensen ends with this directive to pay attention; to avoid declining baselines. I keep note of birds and plants I see on a paper calendar but also try to record these things here.

We had busy workdays today and aren't the best at dealing with over-packed days. We usually opt for the simple choice of not adding another activity but somehow we both had the energy to pack up a funny, but perfectly serviceable dinner of leftover oatmeal, crackers, apples, cheese and dried fruit and get our butts on the sand looking at the river during sunset. We don't have many more late-enough sunsets left this year to do this and it was worth the last minute scrambling.

And if I'm using this blog as a place for things I want to remember, I want to remember that: Get to the river. Even when you think you don't have time. Watch the sunset. Get those good butt-on-the-earth-and-not-in-a-chair-vibes.

Here's the excerpt from one of my favorite essays of all times called Against Forgetting. You can (and should) find the complete essay on Derrick Jensen's website.

"But here is what I want you to do: I want you to go outside. I want you to listen to the (disappearing) frogs, to watch the (disappearing) fireflies. Even if you’re in a city—especially if you’re in a city—I want you to picture the land as it was before the land was built over. I want you to research who lived there. I want you to feel how it was then, feel how it wants to be. I want you to begin keeping a calendar of who you see and when: the first day each year you see buttercups, the first day frogs start singing, the last day you see robins in the fall, the first day for grasshoppers. In short, I want you to pay attention.

If you do this, your baseline will stop declining, because you’ll have a record of what’s being lost.

Do not go numb in the face of this data. Do not turn away. I want you to feel the pain. Keep it like a coal inside your coat, a coal that burns and burns. I want all of us to do this, because we should all want the pain of injustice to stop. We should want this pain to stop not because we get used to it and it just doesn’t bother us anymore, but because we stop the injustices and destruction that are causing the pain in the first place. I want us to feel how awful the destruction is, and then act from this feeling.

And I promise you two things. One: Feeling this pain won’t kill you. And two: Not feeling this pain, continuing to go numb and avoid it, will."

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