petroleum assisted massacre

by john

today was a mixed day.

in the morning, me and isha raked the dead grass off a field. it had lain fallow for too long and the weeds had overgrown it. yesterday, phil had cut it all down. we were to make large piles of dead organic matter which would be saved for later use.

the thunder rumbled in the distance. not too bad of a morning. humid as a sweaty armpit that hasn’t been washed, which caused beads of sweat to roll down my forehead into my eyes. it started raining, and we continued.

the rake and the pitchfork were our friends today. it was a bit of a forced relationship really. i found them too heavy for my liking, but we eventually got along. i would switch the rake to different sides of my body so that i could use my muscles evenly. i found that holding stick end of the rake with my left hand at the base and my right hand providing fine control near the rake end of the instrument to be the best combination.

the pitchfork i used was a hybrid. it was not as big as a “pitchfork” – it was the length of a shovel with the head of a pitchfork. phil could lift an entire pile at once, which weighs around the weight of two fully loaded grocery bags. i had to settle with a slightly smaller load.

after the work was done, we went to lunch. olive, the cool dude who runs the orchard here brought us to a nearby taoist monastery. they serve free vegetarian lunch every day. this in itself was new to me. it was excellent food. unfortunately i had to sit in the trunk section of a 15 year old clunker with no seatbelt on and a lunatic at the wheel. however i haven’t died yet so i suppose it wasn’t too bad.

after lunch i was asked to mow a section of the farm. i don’t like mowing for several reasons. first of all it’s loud as fuck. the second is that it’s heavy. the third is that it kills things.

the mower is a frightening device. this is not an exaggeration. it is a two stroke motor with a long shaft. at the end is a large two sided metal blade that spins at many revolutions per second. think “propeller on a stick”. should i wish, i could inflict grievous bodily harm to a person of my choice.

i tug on the cord that starts the engine. it coughs and then it starts. its whine drowns out the sound of nature.

i told a fellow volunteer…”i don’t like mowing. i killed many things today.”

i have destroyed the homes of many insects. i have personally shattered the shells and splattered the innards into the air of several beautifully formed snails. i have created noise and air pollution as well as destroying the environment. i watched the wings of an eviscerated butterfly float onto the ground. i am a monster.

so much of this is happening on a even larger scale so that we can have a few nice pieces of furniture or go to a nice steak restaurant and have a dinner. sure, the existence of oil and its associated products have helped us create miracles of modern science. but then at what cost?