Of Mutations, Myths & Monsters

In 2010, I lived through a period of intense anxiety and depression, and it made me feel like a mutation. Illness changed my way of thinking, feeling and relating to others in profound ways; in almost all aspects of life, I suddenly deviated from what most people consider to be normal, desirable and functional. I was conspicuous, unable to fit in, unable to fulfil expectations – those of others as well as my own. Depression was like an unwanted, malign mutation of my personality: it was ugly, frightening, difficult to accept and seemingly without purpose.

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Dark Mountain 13: Doing and Despair

[this story was originally published in Dark Mountain 13: Being Human in the Thick of the Present]

In the mid-nineties, the quality of New York City’s drinking water had below what the US Environmental Protection Agency considers potable. Building a sufficiently large water filtration plant would cost $6–8 billion; running it another $300 million a year. The alternative was to restore New York City’s watershed in the Catskill Mountains for some $1–1.5 billion by reducing land use and fertilizer and sewage input. Balance restored, the soil, root systems and micro-organisms would resume filtering and purifying New York’s water for free. Not surprisingly, the city council opted to restore and conserve the Catskill Mountain Watershed for what was a comparative bargain. Continue reading