I’m currently in the process of reading two books. Usually I’m not one to read two books at the same time, but one of them is a little too depressing to read before I try and drift off into neverland, while the other sends out lots of optimism.
The first is entitled What We Leave Behind by Derrick Jensen and Aric McBay. I cannot read this morbid book before bed. It definitely limits itself to day time reading.
But seriously, don’t let my use of the word morbid throw you off this read. It’s morbid in the sense that the authors lay out so vividly the irreconcilable differences between earth’s natural processes and our industrialized civilization; and that makes me feel quite nauseous when thinking about it for too long, especially when I need to have peace in my mind before I can fall asleep. Thinking about the demise of our planet does not bring that sense of peace.
The main premise of the book is that the root of sustainability is “one being’s waste must always become another being’s food.” This cycling process, the cycle of birth-death-rebirth, is not advanced within our industrialized culture. Our culture’s fear of aging and death, its fabrication of more or less permanent materials, it’s focus on unlimited growth, and our quest for immortality is amiss.
Although the book (thus far) continuously points to the fact that we’re killing ourselves (even when we’re trying to help ourselves — the healthcare system incinerates PVC medical devices that have been used to treat cancer, sending the toxic residue out to cause someone else’s disease), there is loads of wonderful information and some great statements in there. But I just can’t do it before bed (I get through 5 sentences and wanna throw the book through the wall). I still highly recommend it.
My designated bed time reading is The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food by Janisse Ray. And I’m glad I have this one before sleep. I’ve only just started it, but she sounds like a lovely lady.
“This book is for everyone, but it is especially for young people, in hopes that, given all the bad, you start building. Not skyscrapers or oil rigs, but lives that make sense, that contribute to a lighter, more intelligent, more beautiful way of living on the earth, lives that are lived as far outside and beyond corporate control as possible.”
I’ve only just started this one, but I think it promises to deliver real stories of people taking action (not just writing but doing), optimistic stories about taking back our food supply … stories like the one I hope to tell one day.