Posted by: scintillatingspeck | July 11, 2013

My current attitude towards Doom.

In keeping with my promise to write about it here, I’m returning to the subject of Doom.  For those unfamiliar with this shorthand, Doom, in this case, refers to all the ways in which the world is completely screwed up.  This blog post will not be about all the whys and hows of Doom, nor attempting to persuade anyone of anything, but if you’ve been busy digging turnips for the past several decades and need an update, go ahead and search for… oh, never mind, go back and find those turnips you missed.

What this is about, instead, is my attitude.  Am I worried?  Am I taking action?  How does my small, mortal life intersect with global events?  What is my responsibility?  What isn’t?  Is there a proper philosophical stance for me to adopt in reaction to Doom and/or near-term extinction?

Long-time readers of this blog are no doubt aware of my immersion in Doomerville for the past 8 years or so.  My thoughts, feelings, and actions have shifted dramatically over time.  I’ve certainly experienced anxiety and depression over Doom, and changed my life in various ways in response to it, grappling with how to live, where to live, how to be a good parent under these circumstances, how to be a moral human, etc.  Over these years, I’ve followed the threads of information and emotion as far as I could.  And now I’ve landed here.

Where is “here”?  Here is a place of basic acceptance.  It isn’t perfect, it isn’t any type of “I’m more enlightened than thou,” it isn’t all beautifully articulated and tied in a bow.  It’s just plain recognition, arriving at this particular sandbar of truth.  I’ve seen so much information, digested it cognitively and emotionally, and I’m still digesting.  I don’t think I need a heck of a lot more information, though.  At this point, it would only be like kicking an already thoroughly-stubbed toe.  I don’t object to others gathering information, and surely there is still a large majority of people who need to be informed, but I’m not them.  What is it I’m accepting?  Limits.  Mortality.  Cycles set in motion that can’t be stopped.

Simultaneously, and not coincidentally, I think, as I’ve shifted towards acceptance, shedding layers, shedding various beliefs and attachments, my burden has grown lighter and lighter.  The air, even as it fills with greenhouse gases, seems clearer.  My breathing seems deeper.  I feel more open to compassion than ever.  Relinquishing all that seemed solid, all that seemed safe and real, opened up a portal to a downright ecstatic way of being.  I didn’t end up in an endless black hole of cringing despair; paradoxically, miraculously, I’m experiencing gorgeous, full, lie-on-the-ground-and-pound-your-fists-and-cry-it’s-so-beautiful joy.  Joy!  How could it be?  Where did it come from, and where is it going?  Who knows?  I taste every moment like a peach.  My life is not perfect, and I still trip and fumble all over the place, but even the tripping and fumbling are sacred acts, ways of learning, gifts of life.  Can I encase the joy in amber, make it last?  There is no remedy for a ripe peach but to eat it.

Have I succeeded in being a moral person?  I don’t know how to answer this question.  I feel that I’ve done what I can, probably more than most, in terms of activism, and there are always more opportunities to engage.  I’m doing what I can to raise and homeschool my child.  The everyday decisions of life, around transport, energy use, food choices, etc., I think I’m making the best choices I can with what I have.  I’m mostly choosing to spend my time connecting with people through writing and conversation, spreading love in ripples outward, touching people with words, hoping that all the care and enthusiasm and listening and sharing will help us all stay connected to the ultimate vastness of being, and help us identify our true priorities for our lives.  The nagging question Am I doing enough? will no doubt reverberate through all my days, but I’ve learned that flogging oneself continually for one’s perceived failings carries its own moral hazard.  I’m willing to bet that complacency is not a significant risk for me.

I don’t believe there’s any “correct” philosophical stance on Doom.  I think people will arrive at the conclusions that they do, and I have about zero control over it.  All I can do is examine my own thoughts, modify as needed over time, and carry on until I can’t carry on anymore.  If I influence anyone else, fine, but that’s not really the point.  Is it too hokey to say that I believe in the power of love?  I do, though.  Let Doom come rolling over my home, my landscape, my beloveds, my life, and I will still be sowing love in a renegade garden, knowing its ubiquitous fruits remain.

photo credit: Lilly Lombard

photo credit: Lilly Lombard for Grow Food Northampton



  1. I’m living with uncertainty. Doom in next 30 years is highly probable. And there is a possibility of no doom in 100 years. i accept the probability of the first and working on helping to create the second.

  2. I’m very glad that you somehow feel so good even amid your awareness of our dire predicament. I don’t understand how that’s managed but I was moved by your feelings about it. Thanks.

  3. Here is my take on Doom these days.

  4. I am a long time community organizer for positive change. I am also terminally ill at a younger age. The challenge is seeing doom with optimism.

    Marcy Westerling

  5. […] interesting; having written about my current attitude towards Doom, I saw a considerable increase in the number of people reading my blog.  Having noted on Facebook […]

  6. Plant olive trees.

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