Sunday, June 10, 2007

Long time, no...

The other day, a friend confronted me with the question I've been dreading for a while now--why had it been 1 month since my last blog post? My answer was..."I don't know--I think it's the worms." Yes, folks, ever since the worm incident, I must confess I've lost--or rather, misplaced--my green mojo. First, a quick update about the compost bin.

A couple weeks ago, I moved into a temporary housing situation for the summer before I spend some extended time abroad. My new digs are not "worm-friendly", i.e., there is no outside area, and since the little guys had been escaping, methought locating the bin outdoors was a must. So, unsure about how many were still living, I was hoping I could give them to a more experienced composter who could integrate the ones I hadn't murdered into his/her well-balanced, thriving bin. Luckily, a friend's father knew someone who was looking for a worm bin and was ok taking it "as is". So my no-nonsense friend Heather came over one night, noticed the odd make-up of the bin ("Is there supposed to be that much newspaper in there?"), loaded it into her trunk and off the worms went. It was a bittersweet goodbye: I was relieved to have their fate out of my hands, but also guilt-ridden that I had been so irresponsible with life. Especially when that life arrived on my doorstop in a clump of dirt in a cardboard box.

I don't know why "the worm incident" has left me feeling like such a failure. Although I think I now understand what former Catholics feel when they hear "confession" or "hell" because the word "compost" suddenly causes me to question the very essence of my character. Perhaps the melodrama was heightened because several years ago I adopted a Siberian Husky, loved her mucho for a year, but ultimately realized I was in no position to have a 70-lb dog in a studio apt when I was 23 and never home. I found a good home for her yet have still been riddled with guilt ever since. I'm sure the worm incident compounded the lingering feelings of guilt about being a bad steward of life. And since then, I haven't been able to muster the enthusiasm to cheer others on in their own greening.

Maybe the problem is that I can't always be the cheerleader. A lot of the time I'm actually more like the kid who snuck out of the pep rally to go smoke and criticize "the system". Wait, I WAS that kid. And hey, I had good points to make--all that school spirit crap WAS really creepy, after all. So perhaps the point is, some days I like wearing my green, pleated skirt to chant "Go G-R-E-E-N!". Other days, I'm overwhelmed with how almost everything seems to be the opposite of the way it should be, how did we arrive at such a staggering mess, and who the hell ever thought it was a good idea to make kids go to pep rallies?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a great entry! The worms may not have survived, but your worm bin will have new life again. Susan is very excited to begin her own first composting adventure and I think that's what it's all about. Sharing, reusing and recycling.
-h

Shauna said...

even the best stewards have some hard days. I hope that this sabbatical renews your energy and your hope. its hard not to be cynical, hopeless or just plain burn out:) you will find your stride again. glad you are writing; you are a good writer:)
your friend...s

Mama said...

I'm new to your blog and I am in the process of greening. We have been in the process for about 25 years. I think it is constant and I know that I will never be completely there, but I do my best each day.
Just keep doing your best, whatever that is for each day and thank you for putting it out there.

Anonymous said...
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Sara said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement, ladies. You're right, Mama, it IS a journey...I forget that and get impatient that it isn't all changing NOW! Thanks for helping me remember the bigger picture!

nicholsphotos said...

I didn't see this update when I wrote the comment on you other entry about the worms. I just want to say that this entry so mirrors what I'm feeling tonight--like if I can't even keep worms in a worm bin healthy and happy, I am a failure and a faker in living out my values. I'm just feeling heartsick about it tonight and trying to find a more positive attitude, but it's reassuring to see that others go through the same stuff.

Shelly said...

I was a worm bin enthusiast for a couple of years. I found it hilarious that I was housing worms in my formal dining room. Anyway, they were safe and happy and I usually only looked in on them every 7-10 days or so. But then one day, I noticed that the bin was unusually dry, so rather than just misting, I actually poured some water in. And then I noticed the terrible smell about three days later. I raised the lid, raised the brown paper bag that was covering them up and every single worm was gray and dead. The air holes on the bottom had gotten clogged, and they all suffocated/drowned. Every last one. The guilt was staggering! I didn't think I had poured that much water in, but there they were, dead and gray. Anyway, it's been a bunch of months now, and I'm tempted to start a new worm farm(with new, bigger holes drilled in the bottom!). I have a big composter in the back yard, but the worm bin makes nicer compost, and I don't have to trudge outside to put my scraps in it!

Anyway, I just wanted to write and tell you that I've been there and I know your pain. It really sucks, huh.
-Shelly