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How Did We Get Here?

It doesn’t look like much, just a regular pile of beach flotsam that one would ordinarily walk right past. But when you spend all day at the beach looking down at such debris, you see the small aqua square of plastic, the cigarette butt and the top of the icy-pole stick. We could have chosen a photo containing far more waste but thought we’d use this one to give you an indication of the minutiae of so many of our minutes.

Although we still picked up the larger trash items today, we mainly concentrated on the small. Slowing down and focusing gave us time to contemplate and wonder and ask, How did we get here? How did we arrive at a place in our society that nearly every broken wave upon a beach contains some fragment, however small, of oil-based waste?

These questions make us think about this book, that we adults were both read as kids. We bought it for Zeph a few days ago in an op shop, for him to find on our shelves when he becomes more curious.

The questions we asked ourselves today both started and ended with these foodstuffs, gifted to us by Gerry, the Director of the Lock-Up and the co-keeper of the soil and chickens from whence these goods did come. We are missing our garden and our hens so these gifts are much appreciated.

To help us answer the question of how our culture got so tangled up in this anthropocentric mess we looked to the walls of the Lock-Up’s exercise yard for some answers.

Each marking tells a story of circumstance and place, that is rich with history and individual misfortune, but doesn’t quite answer our question as specifically or collectively as we’d hoped.

Our search continues.


  1. eddy carroll says:

    Beautiful post.
    Im have such inertia when
    I look at how much you have gleaned,
    and its endlessness.

    How did we get here?

    May want to look at Mark Dion
    If you don't know of him already.


  2. WriterBee says:

    Thanks for this beautiful and quite moving post. How did we get here, indeed? And how long can we stay the way we are? And where do we think we're going?

  3. Umatji says:

    Great post. I remember an old National Geo where a family were asked to take everything out of their house that was oil based – have you seen it? They sat on their front lawn amongst – well lets admit it – most of their belongings – an amazing shoot.

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