A friend of mine died of cancer not too long ago. A couple of years I guess. It was really rough. Saw him like three days before he passed. He used to be such a strong guy. Solid, hardworking, outgoing, creative... and there he was in that bed, skinnier than me for a change. Weak, making strange faces, talking like he was more drunk than I'd ever seen him. That's saying a lot 'cause he could drink, man. Yet I was still there. Hardly able to look at him. Being with him. Talking as much as I could without bursting into tears in front of him. Even though it was a difficult meeting, I'm glad I had that last chance to be with him and I believe my friend was glad about it also.
The natural world is dying/being killed. We are in the midst of an unprecedented (anthropogenic) mass extinction. Humans are most certainly not immune, which would not bother me so much if I did not have children. I have been getting back into the wild more as autumn thickens. Getting my boys out into the wild more. Had a problem with that for a while. Didn't want to look at the stained creek, the woods which will eventually succumb to rampant desertification as civilization does its best to kill everything that matters to non-extremophiles... I am getting better at being with the dying. I appreciate it and I like to think that it appreciates me as well.
None of this extinction business is easy. My guess is that as things run their course, the only organisms left will be the ones that thrive in conditions impossible for 99.9% of life on Earth. Extremophiles. Those things that live on crazy chemicals and love crazy temperatures. Maybe they will get a chance to develop into something with intelligence like ours. But does that even matter? What good are intelligence, free will, self-awareness and all that if we can't avoid creating things like Fukushima, methane clathrate release and blah, blah, blah?
Maybe I've said all I can say for now. I will continue to be with the dying...