2020 is a Shitstorm

The last couple of weeks went to hell in an old frayed tote bag from a long forgotten telethon for PBS. Last week, especially, was completely unproductive. There has been a lot of focus on the fires in the West, and the stories are terrible and horrifying. I just wonder if it were a slower news week, maybe the fact that there was a small hurricane in Utah might have received SOME attention. But no. Utah is the U.S.’s weird cousin state that everyone pretends not to know at school (or anywhere in public outside of Thanksgiving, for that matter… but even then you have to sneak into the dining room and rearrange the seating to ensure you are at least three seats away because he always smells just a bit of cat food. Why do you smell like cat food? You know it isn’t laundry detergent, for the love of God!).

It happened, though! I didn’t have power for four days. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t dick around. I couldn’t even make pottery because the wheels at my studio are electric! I’m just a piker, in that department, however. I have a friend who was out of power for seven days! More than 170,000 homes lost power due to the 100 mile per hour winds that knocked down trees all over Salt Lake and surrounding towns and suburbs.

As a public service, I’m going to share some photos of the tree carnage, because everyone needs to see this. Point being, climate change is real and not a problem for the future. It’s here, people! The wettest towns in Oregon are on fire, it now snows in the Mountain West in September, and landlocked Utah gets temperate hurricanes.

Personally, I still sleep well at night because I never had children. Don’t get me wrong; I worry about my step son’s future day and night. But I didn’t decide to drag him into this world and so his ultimate suffering doesn’t feel like my fault.

This is a tree that landed on my neighbor’s house and fence.
I took this photo yesterday, a week and a half into clean up. All the city parks look like the tree version of Gettysburg.
Apparently there was an orange tree in the heart of the city that must have driven past thousands of times since I moved here in 1995, but didn’t notice it until it was on its side and lifting the sidewalk 15 feet in the air. On the bright side, skate boarders love it. (Note that the sign says it was 125 years old!)
This was another tree in our hood, which sustained relatively low damage, all things considered. For perspective, Matt is just over six feet tall. Murphy is a long dog with bed posts for legs. That doesn’t have to do with anything, I just find it amusing.
One more from the park. You can’t see the trunk but you get the idea. This was a big and very old tree.

I don’t have an agenda here, but here is my call to action. Believe the climate is changing and we are on our way to becoming the next dinosaurs. If you can make a change, make it. Do whatever you can. This is not a problem for the future of humanity to deal with. It’s here; it’s us. Time to get to work.

About Rachel Lewis

I am a writer, ceramic artist, knitter, and stepmom. As a playwright, I had six short plays produced in showcases and festivals in Manhattan, Salt Lake City, and Austin. My full-length play, Locking Doors, was presented by Wordsmith Theatre Company in The New Lab Theatre (University of Utah) in 2005. I co-wrote a teleplay titled “Thank God I’m Atheist” which won the 2015 “No God But Funny” contest founded by the Center for Inquiry. My short nonfiction essay, “It’s Coming Down,” was published by the online literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs. My essay "The Red Rock Chronicles" was published in Contemporary West magazine. I currently work in pharmaceuticals professionally and write recreationally, but dream of making the transition to write professionally and do pharmaceuticals recreationally. I am a Utah native and live in Salt Lake City with my family and our Goldendoodle. I am working on a collection of humorous non-fiction essays and a second full-length play. Follow me at: rachelclewis.com @rachel_lewis_ut (Twitter) @rachel_lewis_ut (Instagram)

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