Of course not.
I was anticipating the event because,
at this moment, unity and community are what I can give, and what I most
need. I grew up on the ocean. I treasure it more than
anything. It's been my solace, my guru, my inspiration and my friend. I wanted to
face it in communion with others to express my apology, commitment and love.
I commented on Stefanie's blog, "Yes Stefanie... I absolutely plan to be there!!"
Right after my comment, another commenter wrote, "Waste of time..."
As a writer and activist, I'm used to being critiqued by those who don't agree and by those who question my actions. But where most comments have minor affect, this "Waste of time..." annoyed me. I thought a lot about it.
If the commenter meant our beach action wouldn't stop the oil from spilling, he was correct. If he meant by holding hands, we couldn't affect corporate greed and government ineptitude, he was correct. But as to being a "waste of time" - on that he was dead wrong.
What that commenter failed to understand is the value of communal
passion and shared expression. What that commenter failed to understand
is the need for unity and community during crisis - particularly this
crisis - that affects the one physical thing we ALL share and can't exist
We have but one planet. It should be the love of our lives, and we need to save it together - as one global family.
There are ways we can learn.In February, 2009, I attended a screening of Fuel, winner of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award for Best Documentary. It's directed and narrated by young filmmaker and environmentalist, Josh Tickell, who grew up in Louisiana. A year and a half ago, when I first saw Josh's movie, it affected me profoundly. I was particularly struck by its scenes describing the damage oil had already done to the Gulf. The historic depths of deep water drilling were addressed, and they were chilling. Oil was widely dispersed through the waters and being processed on the land. People and animals were sick and dying. The film was prophetic.
I have the Fuel DVD at home. After our Hands Across the Sand action, I watched
the film again and found it more informative than ever - on the gulf oil
region - and the effects of oil on our planet. Here's the trailer. If you want to learn more about oil, Fuel
is the film to see.
As to the comment that our Hands Across The Sand was a waste
of time, I believe it was quite the opposite. It was a success for
those who were there.
Did our actions stop the oil spill? Of course not.
Did we express our love for our planet as part of the global
community, creatively, and in unity?
Here are more photos. You be the judge:
From my perspective, this was no waste of time. We have
just ONE planet. We need to collectively honor it. And we
all must change to save it.