Listen Up Friends, We Have a Voice

by E. D. Morin

Yesterday, I lay in bed for much of the day with a frozen neck and shoulders. It was as if my body knew what was about to happen down south, what had in essence already happened. As if something had its hands on me and was clamping down hard, immobilizing me. Trumpland.

Is it any wonder that on this day I was also handed my voice?

In a small room in the basement of the Memorial Park Library, David Irvine launched his new book Caring is Everything. David spoke about the need for a true dialogue and about the power of caring. He was charged up with a desire to do something to counter all the anger and greed and inattention in the world, this blatant inattention to what is happening in front of our eyes. Climate change. Inequality. Violence. It was no accident that David’s book launch fell on the same evening that American election results were rolling out. He brought a bright ray of hope to the day’s circus show.

I’m generally not one for being in the spotlight, but last night both David and his publisher Ashis Gupta of Bayeux Arts spoke highly of the work I did editing this new book. I was a bit embarrassed by this. But as I tossed and turned all last night, as so many people must have, it came to me that I have a voice.

So today, weirdly, I feel hopeful. Paradoxically, this American election win has unleashed a sense of urgency in me, an incredible impulse to speak out now. Rome is burning. The window to change our footprint, to reduce carbon emissions, to save our species is closing. It doesn’t take a scientist to see that we are coming to the end of our planet’s capacity to give what we take from it. The ice caps are melting at a shocking rate, bringing devastating storms and rising sea levels. Our indigenous peoples in Canada have been telling us this for so long. We haven’t been listening. Instead, we’ve been poisoning their water. We’ve been taking away their livelihoods.

Start by watching Before the Flood. Read David’s new book. Read Wenjack by Joseph Boyden, and while you’re at it watch Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire’s The Secret Path. Then go to the Leap Manifesto and sign on.

I have a voice. You have a voice.

Speak up.