on giving up

“The scale of the mess we’re in, environmentally, is enough to push anyone to the edge of their sanity,” adds Dougald Hine, co-founder of The Dark Mountain Project, a group of activists fully expecting ecological, and social, collapse across the planet…. [He sees] optimism as a way to avoid thinking about an inevitable crash of civilization.

“Some of us try to avoid it by denying that climate change is happening, others try to avoid it by convincing themselves that if they keep really busy campaigning, if they change enough lightbulbs, it will go away.”

So what’s Dark Mountain’s strategy? “To talk about the darkness we feel, rather than keep it to ourselves,” says Hine, whose group publishes essays and art, and organizes classes as well as “Uncivilization” festivals.

Like a good therapist, Dark Mountain gives its members a way to externalize their pain rather than keeping it inside, says Steve Thorp, a Britain-based therapist and Dark Mountain collaborator. Its “brand of un-hope is actually very hopeful,” he says. “It’s almost as if having somewhere they can look reality in the eye is a positive thing, psychologically.”

So those excerpts above, from this article on NBC online, flipped my wig a short while ago. My blood has finally stopped pounding, and all I’m left with is a tremendous weariness and sadness. Un-hope is hopeful, huh? Yeah, whatever.

Does it matter if my story isn’t included in life’s anthology? We’ll all die anyway, sooner or later, and humanity will either evolve or become extinct. Even those men quoted above, those men sharing their views on a public platform – they’ll die eventually too. It doesn’t really matter that my own experience isn’t anything like what they’re saying.

When I was involved with the Dark Mountain Project, I talked about the darkness I felt, rather than keeping it to myself. I was naive, thinking that was what it was all about: “time to stop pretending.” I was wrong. My voice, my perspective, my story, when I finally spoke it, was dismissed, silenced, ignored, shunned. My emotion was too real. My opinions cut too close. My experience was too incredibly inconvenient to the DMP – just really bad PR.

There are so many other things to think about. This is a dead end. Just another brick in the wall. Just more quotes, by men, about what they think, and why it matters. Dead end.

I give up.

Are you happy now? I give up. I give up on you. I give up on your work, on your writing and your efforts and your attempts to contribute to the world, I give up on your project that you wish to make your name by. I give up trying to reach you with my own views, expressed in my own voice. I give up.

The story is yours. It belongs to you. You win, and winner takes all, all of this fine civilised world created by men clinging fast to their version of the story, clinging fast to dead ends. The story is yours. Well done.

2 thoughts on “on giving up

    • Yes – it is sad. I’m still learning how to ride through these spasms of despair. Keep sharing my own perspective, using my own voice – refusing to silence myself. Understanding that we are all co-creating this greater narrative in which we take part, and we are responsible for our own contribution. Acknowledging and owning our anger and despair is the only way to move through it and beyond it. Ironically, this is more or less what Steve means by un-hope in the article cited above.

      thank you for commenting DGR Sonoran 🙂

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