If I didn’t live a block from the Seine, I sometimes wonder if I’d still be in Paris. I’ve spent most of my life next to or in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, you see, and I can’t live long without a body of water nearby. Even the dirty brown streak of the Seine, a sad, sad substitute for the Pacific, an icky little skid mark in comparison, satisfies that criterion.
The fact that I’m a Pisces has nothing to do with anything at all, but it’s a pretty coincidence.
I’m not complaining about the murky strip of river that is standing in for my ocean, really I’m not. I walk my dog along it every day and it’s water and even though I can only look at it, not that I’d want to get in it, yuck, it gets me as close as I can get for the moment to Madison when she dumps the bottle of Morton’s in the tub and unfurls her tail.
This post is brought to you today by the letter W because it’s Blog Action Day, a day when bloggers all over the world publish posts on the same socially or environmentally conscious theme and this year’s theme is “water.” (Last year it was “poverty,” and I wrote about it here on frogblog.)
I put on my drama queen costume and say I would die without water but, every week, nearly 38,000 children under the age of 5 really do die from unsafe drinking water and unhygienic living conditions.
We don’t have problems like that in the West.
(Mini-mermaid maintenance in Indiana, while Dad was at Purdue.)
For a time, I lived “on the shores of Gitche Gumee,” a formidable body of water, not an ocean, but big enough that I couldn’t see to the opposite shore and badass enough to swallow the Edmund Fitzgerald. It served as a Pacific surrogate for a short time. Much later, the almost three years I lived an hour from Death Valley nearly killed me, though the thunderstorms were magnificent and flash floods made temporary baby-beaches of the dunes. By the time I escaped and moved back to the ocean I was like one of those fish in Africa that live in ephemeral ponds and dehydrate into crispy fishcakes in the dry season and then come back to life with the spring rains.
I don’t feel like getting on a soapbox today. Sorry. I feel like selfishly daydreaming. I don’t rant as much as I used to on this blog anyway. Maybe all the people in my building tossing cat litter into the recycling bin and plastic bottles into the trash bin and American morons voting for Tea Party morons and fucking Sarko rounding up and deporting a vulnerable and disadvantaged ethnic group to pander to the far right are slowly draining the fight out of me. At least today I don’t have much fight in me.
Sometimes I just want to say to the world what my mother said after a dozen years of watching my little brother and me knock each other around, from her spot on the couch where she was drinking white wine as was her wont in the years immediately following her divorce: “Go ahead and kill each other. Just don’t knock over the Christmas tree.”
Anyway. Do me a favor and go here and scroll down to “Suggested Post Ideas” to get some compelling factoids about the state and use of water on our poor abused and declining planet. And then please sign this petition. And then maybe donate some money to Blue Planet Network or a charity of your choice (preferably one that doesn’t shove religion down throats along with spoonfuls of mush) so I can keep on dreaming of warm salt water on this fall day in Paris without feeling guilty about not having done my duty. I’ll be grateful to you. Besides, I wouldn’t ask you to do anything I wouldn’t do; I donated to Worldreader.org last month. (I guess I am still fighting after all.)
My darling husband knows the Seine is not a permanent solution, so he dangles this carrot in front of me on gloomy days. We’re toying with the idea of going there “next,” when and if next happens. Rents there are less than half what they are in Paris and you get an ocean too.
I have not lived on the Atlantic, but something tells me it will do just fine. I should be able to stick my toes in it at least a few times a year. And I’m sure it looks and smells right, and I’m sure it sounds right. Like an ocean.