In Oil Country

One day, not all that long ago, I had been thinking about Adam and Eve and the Garden. I’d been thinking about creation from the start and what God might have strung together, initially, in orchestrating creation’s living song. In my mind and heart, I suppose the picture resembled something like the other world in Avatar without all the neon, a little more toned down. And as I contemplated what our world was meant to look like and how every creature–human, plant, animal, and otherwise–was meant to live harmoniously, the picture of what should be became more real than the picture of what currently is.

With all those thoughts whirling around inside me, I got into my car to go “run” errands (not yet aware as to what part I was playing in creation’s demise by just turning on my engine for a trip I could postpone). Getting onto the interstate, looking at God’s beautiful earth, I became more and more acutely aware of huge metal sculptures dotting the landscape. Each hunk of future scrap metal was working to take from our earth’s depths a substance that, when released and put into the hands of man, dirties the air, pollutes the water, disrupts complex micro systems, and has lead to widespread corruption and greed.

If our beautiful earth had a voice, what would she say about all this? If mother earth was an emotional being, how would she feel about what we’re doing to her? How would I feel if someone hooked up some large instrument to me and began to suck me dry and destroy my life-giving potential?

The words rape and pillage came to mind.

We take and take and take. What are we giving back?

God put us on this earth to take care of it. And when we watch over it, helping it to be more fruitful and life-giving, the earth blesses us with bounty. But it’s a blessing system. We first have to bless our earth with care and compassion, honor and respect. And when we enter into the equation with this soulset (like mindset but more) the earth will bless us with it’s life-giving bounty.

When it comes to oil, coal, gravel and the like, what are we blessing the earth with first? What are we giving? We aren’t. We’re simply taking. That doesn’t seem right. And our beautiful earth is left with massive gaping holes, unproductive lands, and sometimes uninhabitable areas where wildlife used to thrive.

And many of those who work in the raping and pillaging business have become detached from the needs of our earth and do not understand the economy of blessings. They understand the economy of capitalism and profit, it’s what keeps the oil flowing, but capitalism is based on greed. And greed and blessing can’t co-habitate; they are rivals.

There is a war going on. In the middle of war, soldiers don’t see “enemies” as people with stories and lives and feelings and dreams. They are enemies, and enemies must be eliminated. Soldiers must detach if they are to survive. They can’t think too deeply about what they’re doing or they’ll collapse and never recover.

I wonder if the same isn’t true for those that are torturing our planet for profit? If a person really cares about stewardship of the earth, community wellness, and environmental health, they probably won’t be in the oil industry, probably. And if they are, well, detachment is necessary.

It might be ugly, but rapists do horrible things. We get why a rapist might leave the victim maimed and dismembered and brutally destroyed. Rape is an ugly business that comes from an ugly, vile heart. It’s the rapists that leave their victims put-together, coiffed, and done-up that confound us. How could someone with such disregard for the true value and worth of another, take such great care with certain other details?

My Facebook status the other day reflected it this way: Want to know why our road ways seem to have so much more litter and garbage? My theory: when a person rapes and pillages the earth for a living, they can’t see it as beautiful and worth taking care of–litter is natural. We are in the heart of oil country now; we should expect it.

When I look at all the litter around here these days, knowing that it wasn’t always like this, I’m not surprised. I expect it. The oil industry is a dirty endeavor, it comes with the territory. It’s the people that take great care of such other environmental things and don’t even think twice about the oil industry that confound me.

Mother Earth has a voice–mine. I’m not offering solutions, but I do support alternative energies. I’m not a perfect purist, but I’m working toward a more pure creation song. There’s got to be a more harmonious way of living. There’s got to be.


One Response to “In Oil Country”
  1. Judy says:

    As I drive my 1996 huge diesel pick up daily! ug. well your correct and you admit to using as well. I had a girl in high school rag on me about my leather coat, how it was horrible to kill an animal to wear, I looked down at her leather sandals and mentioned to her what they were made of. Her eyes got huge and she never spoke to me again. Blessings come from everywhere! ha ah

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