9.3 C
Byron Shire
May 20, 2024

Here & Now #56

Latest News

Appeal to locate man missing from Mullumbimby

Police are appealing for public assistance to locate a man missing from Mullumbimby.

Other News

Death wish

Money that should be spent on decarbonisation is being spent on catastrophe repairs. We are putting out the fire...

Commemorating ten years since V Day at Bentley

It's ten years today since a wave of relief spread through Camp Liberty at Bentley, when those gathered discovered that the riot police would not be coming, and gas company Metgasco was being referred to ICAC by the NSW government.

Bev knows how to make a boob of herself

Some women make you feel good about yourself right to your marrow. Bev Killick is one of those women. She’s not a cutesy storyteller, she’s our Phyllis Diller, a graduate of the bold and brassy school of stand-up, delivering a non-stop energetic set every time. As soon as she blasts her way on stage, you know you’re in for a treat.

First baby born at new Tweed Valley Hospital

The new Tweed Valley Hospital opened on May 14 at Kingscliff and it saw its first baby born that day at 8.53pm.

New Tweed Valley Hospital opens today

The controversial new Tweed Valley Hospital opened to patients at 8am this morning.

Labor’s gas failure?

I can’t understand how Labor can commit to gas for the future while the UN Secretary-General said last year...

Image S Sorrensen
Image S Sorrensen

S Sorrensen

My place. Sunday, 8.45pm

‘The big picture is pretty bloody obvious to me,’ the Feisty One says.

A finger plucks at the violin on the table. A scratchy note hangs like a quote mark starting a new sentence.

‘Humans are destroying the planet,’ she says. ‘They’re a cancer eating away at nature.’ She pours the last of the cabernet sauvignon into her mouth, which is thin-lipped with distaste – not for the wine but for humanity.

‘But humans make music,’ says the woman beside her, picking up her ukulele in automatic response to the violin note hanging over us like a life sentence. The woman hums and strums. Beautiful. And calming.

We’ve finished the wine. Plan B: I pour cider into small glasses (with 60s-style blue-and-pink frosted glass) and add a nip of Finnish vodka. Sometimes I’m just plain inspired …

‘To humans,’ I say lifting my glass. Feisty One hesitates.

‘And to music,’ Calm One adds. We all clink glasses.

‘Our thinking, which separates humankind from nature, is recent. It’s the Judeo-Christian Garden of Eden thing. Before that, man was always a part of nature. But now it’s Man versus Nature. And man is evil.’

‘Well,’ Feisty One says, ‘It isn’t the jellyfish poisoning the aquifers.’

‘I don’t buy it,’ I say. ‘We are part of nature. We are natural. How can we not be? We have a purpose.’

‘And what might that purpose be?’ she says. ‘Plastic bagging a dead planet?’

‘Very funny,’ I say. ‘We always start our thinking with the idea that things are going wrongly. Let’s start differently.’

I drain my vodka and cider. Not a bad drink. Ice would make it better.

‘Let us assume that everything is the only way it is and that it’s okay. Now, what is the big picture? We have a living planet. It has lungs and a liver. It has … ’

‘This is awful,’ Feisty One says.

‘It’s just a thought experiment,’ I say. I’m starting to dislike some humans myself …

‘No, not the stupid mind game; the drink,’ she says, making a face.

‘Oh … Anyway, I reckon the planet is evolving towards consciousness. The planet that is, not humans. It’s becoming aware of itself. To be self-aware you need a nervous system. Humans are that nervous system. After 4.7 billion years of developing a sophisticated physical body, the planet is now waking up. Through war and invention humans have spread to every part of the planet and are connecting it like seven billion neurons, like a world wide web. So now when the tanks roll into Aleppo, the planet feels it. It feels its ice caps melting, its oceans acidifying.’

‘It could die,’ Feisty One says.

‘Being aware of your mortality is a sign of self-awareness,’ I say. ‘All of Homo history – from the first hominids four million years ago, through to the first Homo sapiens 200,000 years ago and their migrations out of Africa 80,000 years ago, to the establishment of Echonetdaily – has led to the most important planetary development since photosynthesis: the internet.’

The table is quiet, glasses empty. I gather them for a refill. Heads shake ‘no’. Someone gags.

‘And becoming conscious takes a physical toll. Ask Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane or Buddha under the Bodhi tree. Your oceans may acidify. You may die. That’s why we must fight to keep the planet healthy,’ I say, pouring myself another vider (or codka). ‘We must fight, but rest assured that humans are a natural (and the neural) part in the planet’s big picture.

‘Hmm. Tell me, oh Wise One,’ Feisty One says, picking up her violin and nestling it into her neck. ‘What happens when Earth becomes conscious?’

‘It sings,’ I say. ‘Musica universalis.’

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Brunswick 30 has been delivered to Brunswick Heads Boat Harbour

Following successful sea trials at Yamba the Brunswick 30 was delivered to Brunswick Heads Boat Harbour on Wednesday, May 15. 

Editorial – Just another unjust moment in history

Justice has been served and it’s a shit sandwich: whistleblower David McBride is now the first person to be sentenced to jail in Australia for reporting war crimes.

What do young people want and what do they think needs to change?

The ‘Your Voice, Our Future’ survey has been launched and is asking young people to put forward their views on what is important to them. 

Conciliation meeting over Broadwater floodplain development terminated

Richmond Valley Council refused a development application for a 60-lot residential development on flood-prone land on Rileys Hill Road, Broadwater, close to the Richmond River in October 2023.