Of Mice and Men

Under the snowdrifts, mice ate between the thorns.chew

 

On the Columbia River, men try to catch their salmon in the same way.

bonneville

 

In the second image, however, you can see the wall of industrialization that attempts to write an end to life on earth, and the resilience of people to it. But let’s not romanticize the Yakama fishers. Here in the industrial West, all humans are weeds, like the cheatgrass in the retaining wall below.

wall

 

This is the place left for us to inhabit now. The following image shows the same place:

herons

 

The Vernon Heron Rookery in Light Industrial Hell

The following image, too:

P1080192

 

The Okanogan River (left) Enters the Impounded Columbia

It is all industrial. Any of us who wish to live on our own planet now, must live in the weedy spaces between the constructions of the technological elite, but that’s nothing: the earth and its other creatures must live there every minute of every day. I showed you a giant Douglas Fir the other day…

IMG_3711

This Quinault tree is one of what were once millions like it in Washington. They rose on the bones and bodies of salmon. Now it’s one of a couple dozen. The rest were turned into cities, which have already been torn down. Because the salmon are gone, trees like this will not come on again. What are left are the weeds we must live among, as the weeds we are. What is left to us is to make a new world. We have the ability to choose that world. These men, for instance, pulling one of the last White Sturgeon, the ancient ones, out of the Columbia in front of the mothballed military reactors of the Hanford Reservation, have that ability.

sturgeon

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