Slugs have a bad rap…uh, sorta deservedly. Have you ever gotten up in the middle of the night, sleepily wandering to the kitchen to look at the waning moon or pour yourself a glass of water, when aacck!~ you step on that slimy creature near the back door… then it’s an hour of reading to calm down after spending 15 minutes trying to get the slime off your foot. Yuck.
But let’s move to metaphorically speaking. I’m going to avoid my usual rap about how slugs are creatures like all the rest of us, trying to survive & reproduce (did you know they’re hermaphrodites?), etc etc. Slugs have a special role in our stories. The Economy. The Recovery. Humid weather. Moods. Because sometimes we just feel like them. Sluggish. Moving ssslloooowllyy. Aimlessly, it seems.
Like today. Aarghh, I even put chores on my calendar for this afternoon so I’d do them. For better or worse, I’m so calendar-driven that I actually managed to spray a little water on the slug-chewed plants (after 5 pm of course), & clean chicken poop stains off the deck (my absolute least favorite chore), but really, I was dragging, slugging along, wishing I could just lay down & take another nap (aka ‘recumbent meditation’). I guess some days it just works better to move slowly (- & yes, I have the luxury of doing that, even though it doesn’t sync with my usual self image).
It seems to me that one (very big) arena where we should be wishing for the slowness of sluggish is climate change. Like many of you, I’m on a few news lists & happened to read a blog on the Forbes website the other day challenging the climate change ‘alarmists’. Looking into this a little more, it seems that serious deniers of climate change are alive & well within the ranks of this major business magazine. Well, technically they’re not deniers of climate change per se, but rather deniers of the now undeniable evidence of rapid climate change. Rapid = not sluggish. Rapid = not much time to adjust.
There’s no denying it – there are those who like rapid. Rapid Growth. Rapid Turnaround. Rapid Permitting. The thrill of running rapids. Most scientists agree that there were and are conditions that can cause the pace of evolution to be rapid, but please note: generally-speaking, they’re not talking about easy adaptation to the radical pace of change – over just a few decades – that we’re experiencing with earth’s climate.
The very serious problem we’re facing is what, if anything, we will do about it. Human primates that we are, it’s difficult for most of us to believe that our own action (as one of 7 billion) makes any difference one way or another…& it’s hard to argue that it does. & while I generally believe in incremental (sluggish) change, I really wonder how humans will be able to affect the accelerating nature of rapid climate change without some kind of radical shift in our perception of the problem. At this point, I think that shift will itself be climate-driven, ie., climate-crisis driven, & although it probably won’t change what happens with the climate, it could change how we respond to it.
So I wonder now, more often, about how to be better prepared for the seemingly inevitable climate crises-to-come. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking can easily lead to ‘future scary mind’ overruling stay-in-the-moment mind; when that happens, the primate-slug bond can be powerful.
Thank heaven I can fall back on recumbent meditation when sluggishness overwhelms.
p.s. I swear this post has nothing at all to do with a banana slug being the beloved mascot of my college alma mater.