Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Pave Paradise: the destruction of Eden

Yesterday I was horrified to find they have ripped up our beloved duck part, our name for the little lake in Coquitlam which we used to walk around several times a week. It is ruined. They had steam shovels tearing up the earth, ungodly loud machinery and thudding noises, mud everywhere, enormous holes in the ground, miles of orange plastic fencing. I was stunned to learn that they’re putting up an “amphitheatre”, the design of which reminds me of Hitler’s Germany, designed with ugly concentric circles of cold cement. It will be enormous and dominate the lake. The “view” will be this towering sterile structure you can't look away from. 

Our amateur birding, one of the few free pleasures left in our retirement, is probably over. Yesterday, incredibly, there were loons in the lake, but I was too upset to even appreciate it. The construction noise which never let up for a moment was sickening. No one else seemed concerned, but I suppose most of them live around there (which we don't) and already knew about it. I just can’t even begin to write about how this devastates me. Bill doesn’t even understand and accepts it all blandly, passively, as inevitable.

This is an example of “acceptance”, a so-called virtue, NOT protesting something horrible that destroys beauty. (I saw, for once, a good Facebook meme that said "I will no longer accept the things I cannot change. I will change the things I cannot accept." Just try saying this at an AA meeting, and everyone will converge on you afterwards.) This really has wrecked the entire thing for everyone, yet it wasn’t stopped. The amphitheatre will be booming and thrumming all the time with “performances” which likely WILL get rid of all the wildlife. I think I'd go with them.

I can’t even let myself think about this. Not the duck park, not the duck park, not that.  Not after everything else that has been taken away from me, like the lovely New West quay with its funky boutiques and real, non-mall-quality food fair, its creaking boardwalk by the water, now all ripped up, ripped apart and converted into sterile, boring office space - I guess, so the executives will have a nice, picturesque setting to work in. And all the peaceful quiet green places to walk – all destroyed in the name of “progress”. All the humanness, all the haven. Taken away by ROARRRRR, thud thud thud thud, clank clank – and a hideous concrete structure with sterile, uniform concentric circles, design courtesy of Albert Speer.

I can see one person at a town council meeting a year from now standing up and saying, “But all the wildlife has deserted the place. There isn’t a single bird left. All the herons, all the turtles, all the ducks and geese and cormorants and loons. . . “ “Oh well, that’s a small price to pay for an exciting new venue! The wildlife can go someplace else.” Or, "Maybe we can put out a few cracker crumbs and lure them back."

I keep thinking Leni Riefenstahl might like to document the beauty of all this. The design couldn’t be more incongruous, oblivious to the lush ecosystem there, which has always teemed with abundant life. EVERYTHING was drawn there, almost magically, a haven right in the middle of urban Coquitlam - and now nothing will be. They will leave, not favoring cement as a good place to rear their young.

The prevailing sentiment seems to be, look at this nice patch of land, and no one is using it for anything! Never mind that it is smack up against precious green space. And where else are we going to build this thing, now that it has been deemed economically feasible and a much-needed source of revenue?

And the horror of it is: it's true! Every other square centimetre of land has been swallowed up by the new style of condo, "salt box homes" that are tall and skinny and squashed-together. They are hideous, and the three or four stacked-up floors have tiny, boxy rooms joined by stairs. No older/disabled people allowed, and three or four baby gates to keep children safely penned so they can't (shudder!) explore their environment. But hey, isn't one small room enough? Why would a kid want to run around, anyway?

I try not to be sick, but I am sickened and feel a horrible foreboding about all that we’re doing. I don’t think it’s “cute” if wildlife shows up in your back yard. I don’t post “adorable” YouTube videos about it, because these animals have nowhere to go. They fasten on to humans or show up in the yard because they have nowhere to live and nothing left to eat - because THEY HAVE NO HABITAT! We are driving them into a corner, then complaining they’re getting in our way. Shooting them, of course, because "we hate to, but we have no choice”. There is no awareness that one thing is connected to another. These animals should just behave themselves and make do with less. This affects me every day of my life and is a major stress, along with all the horrors of climate change which WE have caused, and the utter escalating insanity in the States.

I'm coping once again with the spectre of possible health problems - I lost 35 pounds in four months, when I wasn't dieting and simply lost most of my appetite. Now my shrink, the only doctor I have ever respected in my entire life, tells me my kidney function is seriously out of whack. I need to go in and talk to him about it, and will try not to obsess until then.

And I will try once more to keep my mind off what is coming next. Which will be much, much sooner than we realize, and worse than we can imagine. Oh well - maybe it's not as bad as we think! There's always somebody telling us it's not as bad as we think. Maybe all the human beings will come back, if we just put out a few cracker crumbs.

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