FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Wake the Grandma Fletcher Up

by MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE

Hello, Earthlings. Because I’m inclusive, tolerant, I nod acceptance to all among the Greatest Generation, the Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y, Generation Z, whatever, whomever, and I shout out,“Kumbaya”, despite its bad rap. We are the world.

I’m extremely anxious and agitated though, worried about the future of this world that we are. Some say we’re at a pivotal moment, even past. Earth is rattling death.

The fever blister on the right side of my upper lip feels as if I’ve been kissed by a hot frying pan, smoldering validation of my distress. The small tube of Zovirax was obscenely expensive, despite the costly prescription plan.

I’m encouraged however that aid organizations insist Typhoon Haiyan is a wake-up call, that Filipino negotiator Naderev “Yeb” Saño pledged a hunger strike to draw attention to climate change, and that more and more of you are calling for action to reverse energy policies that are leading to our planet’s extinction.

Now, I’m going to detour: I’ve been considering signs lately. My private/personal signs are lowercase and not far-reaching. I hear a whisper, my conscience offering advice but instead of listening, I do something else, like open the door to a stray, a mistake for which I pay painfully—fever blisters/gastritis. Okay, then there are SIGNS, the uppercase, different in magnitude, often having catastrophic consequences and affecting wider swaths—land and life. Along comes the gastritis and familiar tingling that intro’s a fever blister.

There’s yet another category, from the lost and found: I was running, spotted something on the asphalt, and scooped it up. A pendant—Christ on a cross. I clutched it tightly and then gave it more room, caressing it with my thumb. Initially, I thought, sign. Then, bauble, sign, bauble, sign. Finally, not really a sign—an un-sign. I slowed to examine the extended arms, the lowered head. I imagined suffering, sacrifice, salvation. This contemplation led to questions about our purpose here, my purpose. Then, selfishness assaulted. “Hmm, is this real gold? Is this 14K or maybe even 18K?” That’s when I knew I had to give it away, that I could not take it home and magnify its hallmark. Musty memories of Baptist guilt panted at my back. I looked for the man who smiles at me, the one to whom I flash my fingers in peace. Usually, he’s leaning against a wall in the area that reminds me of the East Village. Saw him and handed the gold deity to him. “Thank you,” he said, taking it.

Okay, back to SIGNS. They should be wake-up calls. No, they should be wake-the-Grandma-Fletcher-up screams.

These monster storms are SIGNS.

That cataclysmic typhoon is a humanitarian crisis. A million children are homeless, emotionally scarred. An estimated four million people have been displaced. The exact death toll may never be known.

On November 19th, the Italian government declared a state of emergency in Sardinia after a cyclone struck. In just a 24-hour period, more than a year’s rainfall swamped the island.

Those who repudiate the science that supports global warming can’t deny the reality of rising sea levels. And rising sea levels translate to more flooding when superstorms strike.

The gods must be very angry. And they aren’t sparing America. Maybe they haven’t heard about American exceptionalism. Maybe they don’t care. I mean, calamities aren’t just occurring in the Philippines, and Haiti, those less exceptional places. Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy wreaked havoc in the USA. And on Sunday, November 17th, 81 tornados were sighted across the Midwest.

So, Earthlings, what say those of you who haven’t been affected yet? Look at the numbers among our species who have. Millions are traumatized, hungry, thirsty, without access to food, water, medicine, shelter. They are you—possibly in the not so distant future, when there may be nothing to eat, nothing sanitary to drink, no electricity, gas, anything. No aid. Nothing.

Missy Comley Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Baltimore. Email: missybeat@gmail.com.

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
May 26, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Swamp Politics, Trump Style: “Russiagate” Diverts From the Real White House Scandals
Paul Street
It’s Not Gonna Be Okay: the Nauseating Nothingness of Neoliberal Capitalist and Professional Class Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
The ICEmen Cometh
Ron Jacobs
The Deep State is the State
Pete Dolack
Why Pence Might be Even Worse Than Trump
Patrick Cockburn
We Know What Inspired the Manchester Attack, We Just Won’t Admit It
Thomas Powell
The Dirty Secret of the Korean War
Mark Ashwill
The Fat Lady Finally Sings: Bob Kerrey Quietly Resigns from Fulbright University Vietnam Leadership Position
John Davis
Beyond Hope
Uri Avnery
The Visitation: Trump in Israel
Ralph Nader
The Left/Right Challenge to the Failed “War on Drugs”
Traci Yoder
Free Speech on Campus: a Critical Analysis
Dave Lindorff
Beware the Supporter Scorned: Upstate New York Trump Voters Hit Hard in President’s Proposed 2018 Budget
Daniel Read
“Sickening Cowardice”: Now More Than Ever, Britain’s Theresa May Must be Held to Account on the Plight of Yemen’s Children
Ana Portnoy
Before the Gates: Puerto Rico’s First Bankruptcy Trial
M. Reza Behnam
Rethinking Iran’s Terrorism Designation
Brian Cloughley
Ukraine and the NATO Military Alliance
Josh Hoxie
Pain as a Policy Choice
David Macaray
Stephen Hawking Needs to Keep His Mouth Shut
Ramzy Baroud
Fear as an Obstacle to Peace: Why Are Israelis So Afraid?
Kathleen Wallace
The Bilious Incongruity of Trump’s Toilet
Seth Sandronsky
Temping Now
Alan Barber – Dean Baker
Blue Collar Blues: Manufacturing Falls in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania in April
Jill Richardson
Saving America’s Great Places
Richard Lawless
Are Credit Rating Agencies America’s Secret Fifth Column?
Louis Proyect
Venezuela Reconsidered
Murray Dobbin
The NDP’s Singh and Ashton: Flash Versus Vision
Ron Leighton
Endarkenment: Postmodernism, Identity Politics, and the Attack on Free Speech
Anthony Papa
Drug War Victim: Oklahoma’s Larry Yarbrough to be Freed after 23 Years in Prison
Rev. John Dear
A Call to Mobilize the Nation Over the Next 18 Months
Yves Engler
Why Anti-Zionism and Anti-Jewish Prejudice Have to Do With Each Other
Ish Mishra
Political Underworld and Adventure Journalism
Binoy Kampmark
Roger Moore in Bondage
Rob Seimetz
Measuring Manhoods
Edward Curtin
Sorry, You’re Not Invited
Vern Loomis
Winning the Lottery is a State of Mind
Charles R. Larson
Review: Mary V. Dearborn’s “Ernest Hemingway”
David Yearsley
The Ethos of Mayfest
May 25, 2017
Jennifer Matsui
The Rise of the Alt-Center
Michael Hudson
Another Housing Bubble?
Robert Fisk
Trump Meets the New Leader of the Secular World, Pope Francis
John Laforge
Draft Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Unveiled
Benjamin Dangl
Trump’s Budget Expands War on the Backs of America’s Poor
Alice Donovan
US-Led Air Strikes Killed Record Number of Civilians in Syria
Andrew Moss
The Meaning of Trump’s Wall
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail