The pressure at 35km under the ocean will crush a human
Did you get lost swimming?
Stress is the elephant that sits on your chest
Keeps you awake at night rushing like a train through your veins
Why would you choose it, hand over hand over hand
Ascending a rope to nowhere?
Perhaps you didn’t choose it – you just live beside it, attached by an invisible thread
Beneath the ocean is quiet, dark and deep
Did you get lost swimming?
You would have run out of air long before you reached down here
Long hair flowing on the tides that no one sees, but some can sense
Nobody swims 35km straight down deep
Mermaids are fables are they not?
Or perhaps they are just incredibly strong
And live, at the bottom of oceans
Where no human being belongs
*Some people create their own stress. Like a habit they choose the drama – sometimes unconsciously – or it chooses them and like an animal caught in the headlights they are run over again and again, cortisol addiction – it’s real. Some people have stress thrust upon them, like an unwelcome relative that wasn’t invited and no one saw coming.
Stress is a disease more virulent than the flu. It emanates from the pores of another, like smoke through the room, second hand breathing leaves the non smoker wheezing
When it is gone, for whatever reason, I swear the air is different
I light incense and the trails move in languid twirls and spirals instead of straight up and to the right
It seems to sigh
So do I, my chest expands, and I can breathe again.
I like to listen to people I don’t necessarily always agree with in order to try and remain open to other opinions and points of view. A balanced perspective. I would hate to become so closely adhered to my own ideas that it blinds me. Besides, I enjoy those moments when the way I have thought about the world gets turned on it’s head and an entirely new view opens up.
So when it comes to politics – which I usually avoid – I find it worthwhile, listening at least to the other side. Today that was Sarah Wilson’s podcast Wild Ideas. I can feel her shaking the way I have been bought up, I can feel her shaking a few different trees actually.
I’ve been listening to her interview with Jason Hickel on the mind tumbling concept of economic degrowth. Western society is so addicted to growth and consumerism – it is leading to the destruction of the planet, keeping people on treadmills to nowhere and increasing disease and health problems from things like stress, heart disease and obesity.
Interestingly, some countries like New Zealand and Ireland are already moving towards alternative models.
Green ideas will not save us, we have to simply learn to live with less, consume less and change what we are consuming. That idea sits at odds with the capitalist mindset – one which I benefit from I might add.
As construction business owners, I’m aware our business model is capitalism in motion. If you would like to see environmental waste, then look at the aftermath of any building project – we try, but the off cuts and plastic wrapping and materials that we use are quite horrific. And then there is the high stress and physical detriment of being a business owner in general. Would I change all this? Yes in a heartbeat, and as every year passes I grow more tired of it.
There are two ways to be secure (which is what keeps most people on the treadmill) One – become rich. Two – live within your means and reduce unnecessary consumption.
Sometimes it feels futile to be making changes at an individual level and we give up – if nothing else the podcast this morning reminded me not to do that.
Here’s the podcast interview, because I don’t like to raise a topic without also raising a potential solution – I think this is a valid one.
Blog post written 24/3/22 thanks to Sandra Bitman Unsplash for header photo.