24 October 2014

October Vignettes, Day 24

How do you prepare your children for a world in decline, for a future that can't be as economically prosperous as this one: the energy and capital (literally and metonymically and metaphorically) is simply not there. I worry about the values that emerge as white (mixed) children of privilege in Harborne, what they are learning about property and capital from me and the world around them. Of course, if the right values emerge, their futures will take care of themselves. Yoko is an excellent teacher and giver of the best thing they have going for them, should the world fall apart: the Japanese mountains. You — the Japanese 'you' which encompasses the mixed-race expat American-Japanese English resident who conceives of themselves as Japanese —  could go high into the mountains of Tosa, where the water comes down into the valley, and make enough food there to support yourself and family. You have been doing it for centuries; you will be doing it centuries from now. You won't need guns and baked beans because the society is already interdependent and communal. You can cast off that American, Western independent identity and only confront it when you look in the mirror. You can sit up high, above it all, grow old and come down to ruins of the city every now and again, to see if the world has sorted itself yet.