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Worrisome Times

15 October 2008

The blogosphere has been particularly depressing as of late. Sharon over at Casaubon’s Book has a sobering description of depression-era food woes, and fears that it might repeat itself.

There has also been much talk about how the recent financial and energy crisis is going to affect food supplies, as well as an emphasis on importance stockpiling and food preservation.

I am worried too. Not for my immediate food security – my family thankfully is well-off and are not in high-risk jobs. But I worry for people already on the margin, the type who will have to decide between heat and food this winter, as well as for people whose jobs depend on “the kindness of strangers” – those in the non-profit and non-tenued academic sector of which I fear people will be less willing to give money too. I worry that I will not be able to find a job once I get out of college, or not be able to buy land to support me, or that the world will be in such bad shape that I can’t do anything about it, at least for my own security.

I am impatient and frustrated. I am hyperaware of the bubble of security that Swarthmore provides me. While I love my school and my work, I feel useless, unable to help people, or even help myself. I am learning to design cotumes about about medieval economy and game theory, but not about food preservation or urban agriculture or sustainable practises. I try to learn a bit on my own, I try to be mindful of my own actions. But I am still sick, as well. I acknowledge that it is impressive that I have recovered so quickly in the past year. But I still am tired. I need to sleep a lot, I have very little stamina. I have just enough energy to go to class, do homework, and see a bit of friends. If I’m lucky I also manage to clean the apartment. But more? I try, but I fail. I am doing well for my condition, but never enough I feel. I want to be able to devote my time to learning to take care of myself and take care of others.

I feel like a dog chained in the yard when a storm is brewing. My hackles are up, and I to warn the others and to get to safety, but I can do nowhere. I am impatient. So I fear and I worry.

I try not think about this most of the time. Most of the time I can be cheerful and optimistic about my ability. But my rose-colored glasses are held up with tape and bad metaphors.

These are not idle times. There is much work to do.

Love,
Herbert.

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