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Byron Shire
December 4, 2021

Here & Now #55

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Image S Sorrensen
Image S Sorrensen

S Sorrensen

My place. Sunday, 8.40pm

‘I think it’s really presumptuous of people to say the world is f***ed, when this is the only reality we have. How can it be f***ed?’ I ask.

I know this will trigger her. She’s feisty. And it does.

‘Oh right!’ Her short hair bristles. ‘So with governments and industry changing the planet’s climate, with groundwater being poisoned by a corrupt state government, with huge dumps of plastic swirling around in the oceans… everything is alright, you reckon?’

With a look of disgust, she sucks on her wineglass, which is half empty. Her face flushes cabernet sauvignon. She fingers the neck of the violin on the table. Even in a dying world, there’s music.

I sip from my glass, which is half full.

‘I agree with you,’ I say. ‘It’s really depressing – even though you left out species mass extinction.’ My humour falls flatter than a shock jock’s Earth. ‘But really, how can the only reality we know – this life, this existence – be wrong? Compared to what?’

‘Compared to a world where people respect the environment,’ she says. ‘Compared to a world not run by complete morons whose ignorance is only matched by their bloody smugness…’

The other dinner guests feel a bit awkward.

One tries to calm things: ‘Well, Bentley was a win. It shows that things can get better.’ Calming One smiles and raises her glass.

‘Yeah, Bentley is saved,’ says Feisty One. ‘Just so people can feel good while the Pilliga forest is ravaged, the Great Barrier Reef is choked, Tasmania is razed and Australian farmlands are laid waste so some fat shareholders can pay for their kids’ American education.’

She looks at me. ‘But S thinks that’s the way it should be…’

Her sarcasm is heavy, but I detect a sparkle in her eyes.

Despite her reaction – or perhaps because of it – I like the Feisty One. Like many smart people, she’s frustrated in a world where stupid men make stupid decisions that result in an unhealthy future for the planet and all who sail on her.

And she sure can play that fiddle. Earlier, she’d played along to the Calming One’s ukulele and sweet voice. It was beautiful. Humans aren’t bad.

‘I don’t think it’s the way it should be,’ I say. ‘It’s the way it is. Anyone with a functioning neuron can see that state and federal governments in Australia are the obedient digging tools of corporations. But we can’t say this reality – the only reality in town – is wrong. What is happening must be natural. How can it be otherwise? Was the Big Bang wrong? There must be a big picture we can’t see.’

All eyes are on me. Outside a bat shrieks. A moon shines. Hell, I’m diving in.

‘It’s like the fetus. It has a groovy environment. Warm waters to lie in. Plenty of umbilical tucker. Mum all around. It thinks, “Ah, this is living.”

‘Then around nine months, its environment crashes. The water disappears and it is being forced towards a hole that is obviously way too small for it. ‘It thinks, “Oh my god, everything is f***ed”.’

‘The fetus cannot see the bigger picture. It cannot anticipate the amazing future after the “crisis”. We don’t see the big picture either.’

Calming One and Feisty One look at me. Both smile in a way I imagine they would smile if I told them about the unicorn that lives among the ironbarks behind my shack.

‘Oh really?’ Feisty One says, a smile breaking through. ‘That’s your justification for your happiness in a f***ed world? A fetal fantasy? A bigger picture we can’t see?’

‘Actually,’ I say, ‘I have seen the big picture…’

… to be continued



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  1. That is brilliant. I always have this guilty dilemma about whether it’s Ok to be happy when there’s so much to be unhappy and angry about. Now I’ll just think of S. Sorrensen’s approach.
    Anyway, what’s the point of being alive and striving for a better world if you can’t enjoy achievements? And make no mistake: Bentley is a HUGE, history-making achievement. I see it as the beginning of turning back the toxic tide of unconventional gas mining. Yay for LTG, yay for the Greens (especially Jeremy Buckingham) and yay for all the fabulous individuals and groups who united against Metgasco!!!!!

  2. Lovely writing as always and I agree with the sentiment. Cynicism apathy and despair are not worth the keyboards they’re so often typed on.

  3. Yes S you got it. Our world is completely normal. Otherwise it would be different. In fact, humans never had such a good life, especially in developed countries. But with the present human intelligence and consciousness, the underlying traits of fear, greed, ignorance and our egos need for power and addiction to desire, we are exactly where we are now. Humans are very successful, but we will reach our limit, which includes the destiny of most other species alive on this earth. Our bottleneck is coming soon and it will stimulate mutation and evolution. Life wants to ever more express consciousness, from stone to plant to animal to us and then……….? (may be homo luminous or super mental humans.) Yes, we can’t imagine the greatness and splendour of the evolution of consciousness on spaceship earth. Seeing the big picture and living in the now, is the way forward.

  4. I like the Feisty One. Feisty Ones saved Bentley. We need many more of her ilk if we are to ensure state and federal governments in Australia are NOT the obedient digging tools of corporations. Feisty Ones are the world’s immune system. Contenting ourselves with unicorns that live among the ironbarks is what the corporations crave. Yay for Bentley.


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