I found myself leafing through an old journal this afternoon. I’ve got scads of them lying around, in drawers and in boxes. I’ve got handwritten volumes, and I have files on computer hard drives, flash drives, and floppy disks. But I rarely ever read the words that I’ve written. No regrets here, I will always write because I am a writer.
As a teenager I thought I was writing to leave behind a trail of my life for those I loved. There were so many secret thoughts and feelings in my head that I wasn’t ready to share with the world that I felt I needed a way record them. Since then, I’ve become aggressively open with everyone in my life, and the journals that I keep are just a record of the thoughts that ebb and flow.
Today, when I was flipping through an old brown volume, I stumbled across something I wrote that struck a chord with me, and I thought deserved repeating. I wrote it December 13, 2011, not long after the Occupy Wall Street movement was set into motion, and my writing was heavily focused on a crazy blur of dreams that seemed focused on the end of the world as we knew it.
As I re-read what I had written, I was not only struck by some of the profundity of the words, but more so by the lack of control that I must have been feeling at the time. I was also struck by the strength that I had gained in my personal well-being over the last 3 years, and how this sense of desperation and powerlessness is now so absent in my life.
Looking into the past can be a dangerous game, it is the plea that we have to return to better times. The past is the place where regrets are formed and we re-tread the paths not taken. But once in a while, I think it is of critical importance to connect with the child inside of us, even if that child was a 29 year old man looking out into a world that seemed to scare him. We acknowledge the fears that we had and the fact that we have conquered them time and time again, and we re-file these memories back into the drawer or the box that they came from… or we burn them. But that’s a lesson for another day.
A Letter to the World to Save the World
December 13, 2011
If I could find the words, all of them. If I could find all the numbers and pictures, graphs, and charts that somehow added up to save ourselves, I wonder what they would all say. I wonder what the reports would look like, sound like, taste like. This collaboration of vowels and pixels and fragments capable of changing the minds and lives of every human on this planet would surely be a universally loving magnum opus the likes that we have never seen.
What would it say? Where are all the secret fragments that we just haven’t found yet, the ones that tell us exactly where we are going and just how we got here. The fragments that make the whole of humanity understand that we are really worth saving.
Because I want to live.
Would it talk about the sea? The rising levels and the thinning swimming things.
Would it talk about the air? Our impending warming globe.
There is a sadness so constrained to my chest and my imagination. And all the movies and books use all the same scare tactics as my mind. Watching my walls burn down, watching me survive the oncoming tides, and the fires, the droughts.
But all this that’s in me, wants to be better than this. It wants t find the right words and change everything all around, but it keeps getting caught up in itself, because the sadness tastes like doubt and fear and a part of the sadness wants to just let go and watch the whole world fall to shit.
Because there aren’t enough words in the world for all 7 billion of us. There’s no way to set it all right without rebellion of epic proportions. And in the end it won’t be about camp-outs, it will be about strength and anger.
We’ve crushed it all, and turned every speck of it into plastic. And even the sound of the ceiling fan’s monotonous rounds remind me of the oil that all of us are swimming in.
Trevor Ellestad is a writer, an herbalist, and an ex-yoga teacher who spends his days creating plant-based magic at Vega. Trevor keeps a tidy home with his partner and their as of yet un-named spider monkey of a kitty cat in Vancouver, BC. At night, Trevor likes to surround himself with plants and obsess over the seemingly simple lives of cats and robots.