& I’m pretty sure I’ve written before about showing up, & while I sat in court today the thought passed through my mind that my life/Life seems to be all about showing up.
& I was showing up today [November 30th], I did show up, it was a court hearing about the proposed York-Durham incinerator being planned for right down on Lake Ontario, just-just-just west of the lovely (not) Darlington Nuclear Generating Station on beautiful Lake Ontario, & a whole bunch of us showed up – we did! – & it all took hours & hours & I had the thought quite a few times during all those hours that old Charles Dickens really got it right when he said the law is an ass.
The law is an ass, in many ways, & I am betting even those who earn their livings from it would agree with that assertion, but that thought will have to wait for me to pursue it another day perhaps…
& we don’t know yet what the learned judge will decide, but by golly he actually came right out & acknowledged & thanked those of us in the “audience” for our participation, at the end of the court session, which went on for 6 hours instead of the 2 we had thought it would take, with expired parking meters & time for lunch (& some wonderful belly laughs, what fun!) in the coffee shop in between
& during the lunch-in-between I’d picked up a copy of a local newspaper ‘cos it happens to have a photo in it that I thought it would be good to have
& I drove back to my small town Durham Region town & even though it wasn’t really “suppertime,” I was ravenous, & I thought wouldn’t a beer & a burger be nice?
so I went to my decent local restaurant (there aren’t so very many of them in my small-town Durham Region town) & ordered a beer & a burger & I looked through the paper that I thought I only bought for the article/photo of the $75,000 incinerator groundbreaking party
& then I’m looking over the book I happen to have with me Dying from Dioxin by Lois Gibbs of Love Canal fame, & I heard Lois Gibbs speak, once, at an IJC (International Joint Commission) meeting, ½ a lifetime ago, or I guess it only seems like half a lifetime ‘cos OMG such a lot such a lot such a lot has happened since then
& I read how dioxin suppresses the immune system (& simultaneously I’m hearing the song “Mercy, Mercy Me” – things ain’t like they used to be, radiation underground) & I’m thinking
“Holy Geez! I came here to GET AWAY from reality, but it looks like reality has chased me down once again, the Universe doesn’t always have the same plan as the one I have, reality is showing up
& I read about dioxin which is produced by municipal solid waste incinerators, by the way, MSW incinerators like the one the big brains (not) in Durham Region are about to have built, & how dioxin downloads into our babies through our breast milk(1), & our babies wind up with more dioxin than we Moms have (‘cos we download our own lifetime load to our babies)
& I read about how endometriosis is on the increase
& then I remember too that today is 2 years to the day from when I was arrested in the federal finance minister’s office along with 6 other activists, & later we were sentenced in this very-very courthouse I am now sitting in for this hearing about a dioxin-producing incinerator-to-be
& I’m actually wearing the same outfit – it’s my getting arrested outfit, apparently, my black jeans & my white shirt, & then I notice the dudes on TV are talking about “movember” & mustaches
& I think, Shit, yeah, isn’t this about prostate cancer awareness or something? (you see how little I pay attention to the “news,” & what’s on television), & think yes, Dave (who was also arrested in the federal finance minister’s office 2 years ago) is gone now, he died of prostate cancer two months ago, & I am absolutely 100% convinced his cancer was caused by his mother’s exposure to lead as a young woman(1), & now he’s gone, & we really couldn’t afford to spare him, you know? & he was only 56 years old
& then I drink some water (my beer is gone & I’d really love to have another but I know I really mustn't) & I drink a few sips & I think
& I eat my dill pickle, the last thing on my plate, & I remember my pretty amusing dill pickle story that I love to trot out whenever I can, but you know what? let’s leave that one for another day too, shall we?
& I think again
Yeah. Showing up.
It’s all about the showing up, isn’t it??
& I wonder, are we all showing up?
Are enough of us showing up?
p.s. & I think I am showing up, on the whole, & it also sometimes seems when all I really want to do for a few hours is stay away, the Universe seems to have another plan in mind for me
show up...show up...show up...show up...show up…
p.p.s. couple years later I am adding this p.s. -- long long after I posted this, I came across this wonderful wonderful item that I now include every week in my e-mails among the "quotes for the week" I try (& sometimes fail) to update weekly:
“4 Rules for Life: Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. Don’t be attached to the results.” -- Angeles Arrien, U.S. teacher, author (1940 – )
(1) Sandra Steingraber’s book Having Faith – An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood, Perseus Publishing, 2001, discusses dioxin downloading & maternal lead exposure & lead crossing the placenta.