the last thing I wrote was about the discomfort of showing the soft underbelly. I am now feeling that discomfort.
I've been bouncing the microbe mindfuck story, title, tagline, off of lots of brilliant, amazing people for several months.
there are pieces that clearly work and pieces that don't work. to me, the story is about soil health and climate change. those are the two topics that got me into it and fired up about it.
but I'm quite weird. pretty nerdy as well. what I've found is that both "soil" and "climate change" as topics, can shut people down. like, glaze over. but yet I keep running around saying that's what my book is about. and that is what it's about.
but it's not the why.*
why the hell am I writing about such a thing. no less, why in the hell would I devote my work to such a thing. why am I sitting outside in the dark writing about writing about it?
I mean, to me...it's really about saving the world. not in a bs kumbaya make myself feel better about myself kind of way. but like actually doing the thing. I've been training for more then 10 years to actually know something about this and how to do the thing.
but how in the world to get people interested in soil. or to believe and understand that something can be done about climate change.
the first answer is microbes.
people actually, kind of weirdly, resonate with microbes. it's a thing that makes sense - it's not as amorphous as soil or climate change. and, well it is very much about microbes.
the thread that's forming is that people understand that pesticides are poison. nobody really wants to eat them. it's gross, why would we? nobody wants to be sick and fucked up, and nobody really wants the world to die. I mean, that's total shit, who wants that?
the third piece, which is also kind of weird to me still - maybe just surprising, is the carbon cycle.
because we get that there's a big ass problem with carbon and what the hell is going on with it. it's just that it seems very complicated. and it kind of is, but it's also not.
one thing I've found about this story is that it's both very simple and very profound. it's both straightforward and complicated at the same time. but that's what makes a good story, yes?
pesticides are killing the bottom of the food chain and fucking up the carbon cycle.
it's makes sense. poisoning the bottom of the food chain, which is of course the life chain..poisons everything. it fucks up the whole damn thing. of course it does.
I guess the devil in the details is around HOW it does this. and that's the part that I have nailed. sort of - it's still hard to explain all the details....and even so, the ground covered is so vast that I'm still learning about the ins and outs of basic biology and ecology as a neophyte.
but maybe this is where I get stuck...I keep getting back into the details, and I keep veering away from the
why. why. why why why?
we keep fucking up the whole system. I would like us to stop fucking up the whole system. there are ways to unfuck the whole system and I can tell you how. let's unfuck the whole system!
but the only way to do that is to understand how the system is getting fucked in the first place.
and right now we have that story wrong.
we think it's about fossil fuels. but we are wrong. burning fossil fuels is one small part of a much larger story.
we're mistaking a part for the whole - we're looking at the wrong metric. the solution is obvious when we back up and look at the whole thing.
and finally, one thing that resonates profoundly with me, that people have a harder time with, is that this is a story of hope. climate change glazes people over because everyone believes it's an intractable problem. as in...there's no viable solution and it's pretty hopeless.
but there's hope. for real hope.
this is a story about how to reverse climate change by repopulating microbes in the soil. and it's a story about how to reverse major health issues by repopulating microbes in our guts.
it's about healing the carbon cycle by healing the food cycle.
*(hat/tip marcella fredericks)
*an intellectual property note: if you are interested in this story, great!! tell it wide and far!! but please, if you use my words, quote me. if you use my ideas, cite me. if you're not sure, contact me. love.