Daily I’ve been searching the News Journal for any good news because the current situation is depressing. We are all distressed over the oil in our Gulf. This preventable disaster has cost human life, caused pain and suffering to innocent wildlife, ruined natural habitats and resources, devastated our economy and taken a heavy emotional toll. Its effects will reach far beyond the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. How we deal with it will define us as a community and society. We must not blame beyond its useful purpose, whine, accuse unjustly or lash out. We will be submersed in this issue for years to come, but we must carry on. Life around us has not stopped. On that note I was pleased to read two recent articles I feel deserve comment.In these weeks of sorrow and times of bad news and ill will, the June 7th article about the recent actions of the Gupta brothers brings encouragement and hope. Nathan and Nick raised money to purchase laptop computers for 20 Take Stock in Children Santa Rosa grads entering college. How wonderful that these young men are willing to use their wherewithal to help others. When we hear of so many who are self-centered, I find it refreshing these accomplished young men can reflect a shining example of what’s good about our community. I hope others of all ages are paying attention.
An article in the June 4th business section about time banks and bartering also caught my attention. The premise is for individual members to trade services we can offer for services we need, from domestic chores to professional services. In an economy with high unemployment, this concept sounds as good as money in the bank. An online search revealed a myriad of helpful websites, so I took the time to check them out. I would like to promote this idea and participate in a time bank, but I am not sure I have the energy to spearhead such an ambitious project. I would love to hear ideas from others and am willing to support and participate. Please check out www.timebanks.org and feel free to email me.
Somehow the oil spill seems like the end of the world – the needless death, the destruction of so much beauty. Tony Hayward will never get his life back as he knew it. Most of us along the Gulf Coast will not either. Who knows what will happen and how far-reaching the effects will be? It seems incomprehensible. However, one thing this event has done for me is remind me that there are people on this earth fighting worse situations: wars, famine, disease, unthinkable oppression. The magnitude of the oil spill makes me think about things in my life that are not worth being upset about, but it also reminds me, as tragedies often do, of what I have to be thankful for. This personal response may be the only way I can deal with it.
Though prospects look bleak right now, we must go on, celebrate the good news and continue to look for concrete ways to overcome all adversity.
Andrea Walker enjoys writing, teaching part-time at Pensacola State College, walking, swimming and every aspect of nature, especially the beach. She shares her writing in the form of book reviews and viewpoints. She and her husband love spending time with their three children and two grandsons Miles and Nathaniel. "I love to think about angels and hummingbirds," she says.
The SpillIn 2010, when the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill exploded and threatened the way of life that Gulf Coast residents know and love, West Florida Literary Federation offered an outlet for expression. During the six months when the uncapped well gushed, and for one year following the successful capping of the well, writers, poets and photographers from across the country sent us their words, thoughts and feelings, thereby providing a literary record of the Deep Water Horizon environmental disaster. Here are the best of the submissions.
Photo EssayA Tale of Two Beaches: The BP Oil Spill, Before and After
ProseNirvana No More
We Need New Legs
Watching the Beach Workers
The Daydreams of a Believer
The Last Swim
PoetryHUCKSTER (OIL SPIEL)
He Got His Life Back
THE REAL QUESTION
EXPLOSION OF THE BP MACONDO OIL WELL
B R I T I S H P E T R O L E U M
All Is Not Well & Other Unpleasant Realities (Courtesy of BP)
The Blackness Carnivals
Mississippi Coast Lament
Reaper Screaming in The Gulf
DON’T TOUCH OUR PROFITS
ONLY A MEMORY
DAY FORTY-FIVE OF THE DEEPWATER DISASTER
THE ENERGY POLICY ACT