Monday, February 9, 2009

21st century oyster

I'm old enough to know better. I have (through a combination of stars and planets and my inability to shut up) bought myself 4 observations tomorrow by two different people. Immediately after school I am speaking at a memorial service for a remarkable woman Dr. Elena Scambio who created the program that allowed me to slide from medicine to public education. I have a letter of recommendation promised to a student yesterday.

Tonight I am trying to make models of meiosis out of newspaper bags (the Star-Ledger is yellow, the New York Times blue) while building 5 accelerometers out of empty soda bottles and saved corks. I am drinking the last needed bottle now.

None of this matters to most folks reading this, and it's not the point anyway.

35 years ago, when I was in high school, we didn't have the internet. We didn't have personal computers.We didn't have texting. We didn't have individual phones. We didn't have 452 channels on the television. We didn't have digital cameras. We didn't have a clue.

So what am I doing when I should be prepping and praying for tomorrow? I'm playing on the computer, listening to American Idiot loud enough to make my ears bleed, thinking about people I never saw in natural light.

I've caught the disease. And it's not healthy.

Yesterday I held a live wild oyster in my hand, about 4 or 5 years old. It had broken off the jetty, and was sitting on the rippled sand flat. Over the next few tides, it will sink further into the sand, and when the water warms up in spring, it will starve.

It is doomed, and does not know it.

We still don't have a clue. The danger is thinking that we do.
Dr. Scambio's picture is from Bloomfield College; the oyster bed is from the South Carolina Dep't of Natural Resources.


Anonymous said...

This time of year, when it's to cold to go outside, I too end up on the computer or in front of the television for more time than is healthy. On Sunday afternoon when it reached 61 degrees I turned off the tv and the ipod and opened the windows. The sound of real life flooded the house and the breeze blew the funk right out the back window. As some friends and I went out back to the vacant lot behind my house to do a little guerilla gardening I could swear that I could smell the faintest scent of spring soil. Man it was something. I was sore the whole next day, but it felt more like my body was waking up from hibernation.
-CJ Reynolds

Kate Tabor said...

Last night I should have been hard at work reading stories that my journalism class wrote, leaving them comments about content and form - but instead, I thought about and communicated with people who I "know" but have never met. I stop by here every day. I've been bitten as well.

A spring tease arrived today - 60°F so goodbye snow, hello piles of thawing dog excrement and mud. But I'm good with it all. We are planning to expand the garden. The full moon and the thaw bring me hope - and as my niece's brother-in-law received his second set of new lungs (at age 28) yesterday, today seems like a good day to celebrate.

doyle said...

Dear CJ,


The bigger question (for me only) is spending anytime at all on this drug.

OTOH, I am a HUGE fan of guerrilla gardening, and am plotting my pumpkin plots for the summer--I don't care if I never get a single pumpkin as long as someone does. Strip western civilization from the human equation, and we're pretty ok.

Dear Kate,

Prayers for all--

As for the excrement, I noticed that, too--months of poop preserved for the thaw. Such is life.

But my mind is now on lungs I never saw in someone I never met. So much is hidden here; we all need spring.

lucychili said...

Aerobic fractals
oaks within our acorn breathe
in binary light

doyle said...

Dear lucychili,

"oaks within our acorn breathe" is all I need. The sandwich of aerobic fractals and binary light catches the (very mixed) feelings of wiling away hours in front of a monitor.

Well done.