I entered the sixth stage of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ five stages of grief about a year ago. I spend much of my time in this stage, identified by me as gallows humor.
In the spirit of personal growth, I’m moving on. From this point, I intend to spend much of my time in the seventh stage of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ five stages of grief: Fuck it.
The seventh stage has nothing to do with inaction. Rather, it has to do with letting go of expectations that actions will produce desired results. At its apex, it’s letting go of desire. It’s my version of the Zen expression, “let go or be dragged.”
As a result of my new-found enlightenment, I’m posting less. And I’m no longer providing a weekly climate-change update for EXtinction Radio. I’m not going away but I’ve become remiss in updating my long, oft-updated climate change summary and update. I continue to make additions now and then, when I’m sufficiently inspired.
I have plenty of material, and it continues to accumulate. But the picture is clear, as I explained in an essay a couple months ago.
As I’ve indicated, I’ll be working less and grieving more as industrial civilization grinds the planet into lifeless dust. At the same time, the support of former colleagues and friends continues to slip away. In addition, my personal journey along the path of radicalism becomes increasingly expensive in every way. Despite the prolonged period during which I’ve carried the message, despite my own attempts to let go of personal, emotional baggage, I remain shattered. Sadly, I’ve left family and friends in a similar state, despite my fumbled intentions to the contrary.
This brief essay is too maudlin. Too macabre. Far too self-indulgent. And yet, it’s too little and also too late.
Too often, while asking others to be gentle, I’ve been too harsh. Too often, I’ve responded with anger, bitterness, or inappropriate humor in delivering the surreal evidence that nobody wants to hear. Too often, my personal flaws have interfered with my ability to deliver important messages to unwelcome ears.
I suspect my detractors will celebrate as my presence continues to fade from the easily distracted public eye. Accustomed to criticism, I’ll make a gallant effort to hover above the fray. I doubt I’ll be successful.
I am the pebble I’ve thrown into a still pool. Relative to my primary message, the messenger no longer matters: The ripples will persist after the pebble sinks to the bottom. With a bit of luck, I’ve hit bottom.
Among my regrets are the discomfort and pain I’ve caused those few people who have supported me and my work. First and most important on this list is my wife and best friend of more than three decades. I’m not easy to love, and nobody likes my message. Still, too little love remains alongside the shards I leave behind. I apologize, while recognizing the apology is insufficient in light of the damage I’ve done.