I've finally finished this painting which has been languishing in my studio for a couple of years, waiting to be finished. I've been painting a lot this week, working on some new pieces for my "Faeries" series, and when I'd have a nice color mixed up I'd apply it the Green Thumb faerie too. Dab dab dab. Voila. I'm especially fond of the unkind-looking cat lurking in the flowers.
On another note, in my last post I admitted to sometimes secretly rooting for the planet to get even with humanity for vandalizing it so relentlessly. It’s an awful and senseless thing to wish. From a certain soulless perspective, I can’t help but see disasters and epidemics as tools of natural balance, and humans as a species of animals that is out-of-control overpopulated and needs to be checked. But then my humanity exerts itself and I think, the same thing that has allowed us to overpopulate, that allows us to supercede the basic laws of ecology, should enable us to... become better. We’re smart. We figured out agriculture, and how to survive winters in places like Siberia and Canada, and how to outsmart every obstacle the natural balance puts in our paths so we can have more and more babies... We should be able to also figure out how much we suck and GET BETTER.
Anyway, the day after admitting my traitorous allegiance with the planet, I read just what I needed to read: an interview with Jane Goodall in the new Sierra Club magazine. If anyone has a reason to root for the planet against us it’s her, and yet she has an extremely compassionate response to the very population issues that are threatening her beloved chimpanzees:
“There are many animal welfare groups that sometimes seem to forget that human beings are animals too and we need to include them in our sphere of compassion. There are people, particularly in the conservation community, who seem to have very little regard for the social injustices and miseries around the world. If you know enough about poverty and its hopelessness, you totally understand why people are cutting down trees and setting snares. If you know families ravaged by HIV/AIDS, or if you’ve been to refugee camps and seen the children, you have a new perspective. And then it’s irritating to find conservationists not wanting to bring people into the picture.”
Education is really the only hope. She points out that it has been proven, time and again, that once women receive basic education, family size starts to decrease. It’s all so basic, and yet so immense, such a scary-huge amount of education to provide! And I’m not talking about abstinence-only education, ye gods! But I’m not going to get into that. I just wanted to say how that magazine arrived in my mailbox just when I needed it, and Mother Jones came the very same day and damn, that is a good magazine. My love/hate relationship with my species continues, but it’s good to remember to hate the right people! (Tom DeLay anyone? Ooh, Rick Santorum, I LOVE to hate him! There are just so many, it’s like a candy shop of hate -- isn’t that a sweet thought? Probably not what Jane Goodall was hoping to impart!)
Yes, I KNOW hate is not the answer, but understanding, compassion, and hard work... to provide education, to provide stability that will decrease family size globally. But oy, the scale of such an effort makes my head hurt. WHY ARE THERE SO MANY PEOPLE????