Memory is in the now

Denise Pereira
Aug 30, 2019 · 2 min read
Icelandic girl holds a sign calling for action on climate change (picture: AFP)

How does one write about impermanence?

One grows up with the naïve idea that glaciers could last a lifetime,
Like the love portrayed in the hit songs from the 80's.
But now a plate located in Icelandic soil reminds us
how Okjökull exists no more.

What was once a glacier, stands now cold as a memorial.
Impermanence melted into permanence.

Ok melted.

And environmentalists say it is not ok.
It was digested by a hurricane named capitalism, it seems.
A hurricane of mass consumption and CO2 release.

It was announced there will be no season two for this ice mass.
Or should we call it an “Ice mess” instead?

Strange concept
for a generation who grew up with the certainty
of remakes and sequels,
believing that everything on this Earth
can be replaceable or rewritten in a blink of an eye.

One glacier just melted?
Another will be generated and it might be just on time
for that Instagram picture.
The one which will validate your status as an influencer.

So how can one write of permanence?
How can one turn the tide?

Scientists claim this is only the prequel
of the substantial melting yet to digest them all.

Once the pictures from Okjökull get drowned
by the ravenous depositions of feed updates,
our memory of it might slowly ablate.
Nothing melts as fast as memories these days.

Ok, maybe glaciers do. Or forests.

It is hard to keep track of natural disasters.
They always seem to multiply,
or even compete for attention in our feeds.

How can one prioritize where to take action?
Inaction comes from overstimulation,
from the feeling that all is unreachable and irreversible.

What if memory is not the key?
What if cultivating presence is the path to refreeze and reforest?
Earth is here and needs us to show up now.
To be rooted and grateful.
To build with our full bodies and attentive minds.

The present is solid.
Be in it.

Start by fully feeling this poem.
Close all the tabs. Stop all the chat boxes.
Don’t finish that online purchase.
Feel every word and every warning.
Dwell on its shape and meaning.
Don’t melt into online consumption and addiction.
The ice caps need you. We need you.

Start now.

Resistance Poetry

Verse as Commentary

Denise Pereira

Written by

Poetry performer, who believes that words have the magical power to transform, heal and connect.

Resistance Poetry

Verse as Commentary

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