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May 20 / TrishB

Finding the crux

Or—what I learned from crawling through a pile of slash

Finding out what you really want to say, what business you’re really in, is a jarring thrill ride.

One moment I’m clear that writing for money is a useful occupation.

The next I wonder why I don’t just move to northern B.C. and take up buckwheat farming, wool spinning and water divining.

Even before climate change came knocking at the news cycle, I anticipated global upheaval within my lifetime.

I blame treeplanting for that insight.

Cutblocks, to be exact.

When you’re standing on a cedar stump that’s 20 feet across, in the middle of what is now nowhere, but was once somebody’s sacred grove, and you’re clutching a spruce seedling, you experience the discord between what’s been taken from Earth and what you’re ‘giving back.’

Cutblocks on Vancouver Island are…

… looming, perilous, slippery places.

Whole valleys are not just gutted, but gutted then clogged with unwanted logs and uncontrollable slumps, slides and creeps. Yellow cedar, a logger told me, didn’t have any market value. He used to roll it to the bottom of the valley to get it out of his way.

Of course, the bottom of the valley is also where the river is.

This waste, this stain big industry leaks all over justice, logic and ecosystems, this imposition of bad design still informs my opinions and motivates my desire for change.

I’ve slogged through, scrambled over, slipped down, and cursed an impassable man-made landscape left by business-as-usual. It changed me. Into an environmentalist. Yup–before it was cool.

How is this about finding the crux?

When I worked in the bush, I was a witness. I recorded impressions, asked questions of people who knew, and began looking for the reasons behind a world gone awry.

Why was it okay that grown men, who should know better, tossed 500-year-old trees into fish-bearing creeks with nary a peep of complaint? Why must we waste timeless value in the service of a fickle, fictional market? Why do people still drink Coke?

I’ve got my own opinions on that, which I’ll spare you.

But my crux?

To do whatever I can to inspire the cheerful, peaceful, gradual redesign of our culture.

Writing.

Graphic design.

Marketing Strategy Sessions to give momentum to great ideas.

I can do those things pretty well.

So that’s my crux.

It’s humorously small. But here it is.

 

P.S.

That logger, who worked back when they chucked yellow cedar into streams?

He told me he would never really ‘be’ and environmentalist.

But he really appreciated that environmentalists had forced some things to get better.

Turns out he really didn’t like doing things the old way, but he was trapped in his job and couldn’t change anything. He secretly relied on enviros to fight the good fight.

 

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