Sunday, May 22, 2011

Marjory Stoneman Douglas

"There are no other Everglades in the world. They are, they have always been, one of the unique regions of the earth; remote, never wholly known. Nothing anywhere else is like them."

If we consider Henry Flagler, the railroad tycoon and real estate developer, as the father of Florida, Marjory Stoneman Douglas must surely be her mother. Where Flagler sought to subdue Florida and civilize her, Douglas protected and nurtured her. She fought Big Sugar and the Big Cypress Jetport. Her book, The Everglades: River of Grass, changed the perception of many Floridians about the Everglades from being a useless swamp to that of the literal and metaphorical heart of the state.

She was seen by many, mostly those intent on using Florida for their own financial gain, as a troublemaker... an old woman with nothing better to do than throw a monkey wrench into their plans. As the population of south Florida grew, the Army Corps of Engineers sought to drain flood prone areas. Douglas was often the lone voice of dissent, speaking up on behalf of the Everglades, whose voice was the croak of bullfrogs, the bellow of gators and the scolding of the red winged blackbirds. Developers, the Army Corps and politicians don't speak their languages, so she translated.

Mrs. Douglas died in 1998 at the age of 108. Without her, the Everglades would most likely be many more thousand square miles of ticky-tacky homes and strip malls. One could not ask for a better mother.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Opening Doors, Reprise

Over the past year I've come to this blog several times with the intention of writing. Each time i would find the dust thicker and more cobwebs in the corners. I would read back a bit, remembering posts that I'd deleted, and close without writing anything.

At first I stopped writing because I couldn't think of anything to say that wasn't depressing as hell. I'd gone through a divorce and then a breakup with the Rebound Girl. I lost close friends. Then, when things started improving, I didn't want to write. I was afraid that if I wrote about my life, that would just fuck things up. I didn't want anyone to see me in that shape again. It became the elephant in the room. The Rebound's face still resided in the "Followers" box and it bothered me to the point that I emailed her and asked if she would remove it.

It just didn't seem like home any more. Or maybe that was just an excuse. I didn't want the blog to be an open window on my life again.

I started an anonymous blog, but couldn't find the motivation to write there either. It languished with a few posts and I orphaned it.

So I've come back. I'm not sure what this will turn out to be or the direction it may take. I may not even continue here, but I've promised myself to do more writing. I recently completed a short piece for Meat for Tea that will be published in the next issue. I'm hoping to take a creative writing course at Flying Object in Hadley, MA this summer.

It's good to be back... and don't lurk. I need some feedback to tell me what's working and what isn't.