“Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed … We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in.”
― Wallace Stegner, The Sound of Mountain Water
Right now, I’m struggling.
I can’t get my head around my work, my locus or how it is I’ve ended up towards the end of my life — nearly the last third — absent a sense of meaning.
Of course, there’s a lot of thinking ensconced in my struggle but my malaise is more than just a low point in my life. It is my life.
I’m my own worst enemy. Yes, I could keep taking the money, going down on bended knee to the moral imperative and wait until retirement, but it’s not me and never will be.
As you can imagine, this causes a degree of angst in my relationships not least the fact that I’m angry with a world gone mad on the idolatry of consumption.
I’ve talked this year about the changes I need to make. I will pursue those but, even then, I feel I need to go much further; namely, undertake a work/life/death pilgrimage. I frame it in those broad terms because I’m still not sure what I want to say. Yes I’m pissed off with the way work has failed to capture the spirit of the moment; yes I’m pissed off with our stupid government; but most of all, I’m angry that we can’t see how our behaviour, enacted on the altar of being the best we can be, is slowly killing the planet we need to survive.
Some would say I’m depressed. Of course I am. Who wouldn’t be but then again it’s not about me but rather it’s about all of us waking up to what’s really going on and dropping the pretence — and by god it’s a charade — that everything’s OK or will be made so by some BS geoengineering solution to climate change et al.
In terms of my writing, I’m definitely moving into a new space. I no longer feel compelled to criticise the system I’ve been part of for so long. Oh sure, it’s a big part of the problem that so few business leaders are focused on developing something more purposeful or allowing their people to connect with true self, but my ire, such that it is, has to be and will be focused on making a ruckus in whatever forum that I feel needs to wake up and smell the earth-catastrophe message.
I recognise I face a serious, uphill struggle (a) to build a business around my revulsion apropos the conspiracy of indifference and (b) find an audience that’s not heard it a million times before but, in truth, I couldn’t give a damn.
Just because something’s impossible doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it (see “A Hidden Wholeness” by Parker J. Palmer).
One last thing. I know as a lawyer, even one who’s had a hit and miss career, that I could lend my weight to the developing earth law movement. Indeed, I’ve toyed with doing some further exams but I simply don’t have the time or budget to entertain that right now. In fact, I think it more likely that if I do continue to ply my legal trade, I’ll do so in a way that supports businesses to reimagine the role of law and lawyers and the fact that we’re not all in it for the money or kudus of winning another trophy client.