The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

The End of the World is Coming and I’m Still not Buying New Plastic

2012 movie posterOf course, I don’t really believe that the world is going to end this Friday.   That would be too easy.  The damage we are doing to life on planet Earth is a slower process and one that has the potential to cause much more prolonged suffering.  And as I sit here typing sentences and then deleting them, typing and deleting, trying to figure out how to express what I’m feeling, I’m unsure if a post like this is even appropriate.  But here goes.

I’m depressed.

A lot of really terrible things have been happening lately.  Every other day brings news of robberies and muggings and even shootings — both random and targeted — in my Oakland, CA neighborhood so that I’m often too afraid to leave the house.  And with the horrific news on Friday of the mass killings of little children in Connecticut, a terrible thought crosses my mind:  What’s the point?

What is the point of continuing to advocate for environmental change when humans just seem Hell bent on destruction?  What’s the point of the small personal actions I and so many others like you are taking every day when corporations pump out more and more toxic chemicals and try to convince us that they are safe?  What’s the point of dutifully bringing my own container with me for restaurant leftovers when there are people starving or enslaving other humans across the globe?  I don’t normally use obscenities on this blog, but to quote The Onion‘s brilliant piece from Friday, I just feel like saying, “Fuck everything.  Just fuck it all to hell.”

But what then?  What if we all gave up?  That thought is almost as inconceivable to me as the world ending on Friday.  Two days ago, I gave a talk on plastic-free living for the California State Waterboards in Sacramento.  It was fun.  The group was enthusiastic and asked a lot of questions.  I felt energized.  Hopeful.  One of the participants raised her hand and asked how I stay so positive when the plastic pollution problem seems so big and overwhelming.  How do I keep going?  I mentioned that there is a whole chapter in my book on what to do when you feel overwhelmed, and that drinking your cleaning fluid is not the answer.  I think I suggested something like playing with kids and pets to get some perspective.  (I call my kitties Prozac.)   But really, the answer is that working towards a positive solution simply makes me feel better.

I had a conversation with my friend Elizabeth the other day about altruism.  Neither of us really believe it exists.  Because to me, when I recognize my connection to this planet and all life on it, no matter how awful those life forms might seem to behave at times, doing something for them is the same as doing something for myself.  When we are truly kind to other humans, we are kind to ourselves.  When we pick up trash in the neighborhood, we are taking care of ourselves.  Reaching out to express myself to you right now is more than just reporting… I’m reaching into myself as well to connect to something deeper than words can actually express.

I’m grateful for the Internet which has enabled us all to reach out to each other during difficult times and to share information and make our collective voices heard.  I’m grateful to you for reading this post right now and in some way understanding what I’m so inadequately trying to express.  I’m grateful for Facebook (infuriating as it can be) for allowing so many people to commiserate this week because when we share our hurts and grief together, we lose the sense of alienation and separation that causes such violent acts to happen in the first place.

I hope to continue working towards healing the planet (whether I’m still collecting plastic or have moved on to a different issue) until the end of my life (whether it comes on Friday or in 40 years or in the next 10 minutes.)  Because it’s what I can do.  Because I don’t have a choice.  Because while I might sometimes get so overwhelmed that all I want to do is zone out in front of the TV watching episode after episode of True Blood and eating fudge sauce straight from the jar, eventually I will have to look up and say, “Fuck it.  Life is too short and precious to waste like this.  What can I do to make a difference?”

43 comments
vikess
vikess

I read this post late.....and, of course, we all know the world has not ended by now. The reading of this article came at the right time for me....I am glad to know that people who are really making a difference feel overwhelmed and hopeless at times.  It helps to know that others have the same feelings.....thank you for that.

Rosa M
Rosa M

I wonder often about what point there is to an individual change, just like you said at the beginning of this post.But I have made so many changes the last few years becuase you took the time to do the research, and set the example, and speak up. Things I thought about doing but wouldn't have done if it were harder to get the information or think up a solution. Because you made it so much easier to find those things, it was easier for me to make changes - and I know I'm not alone in that.So wallow and go watch True Blood for a while if you want, but don't give up. What you're doing has a bigger impact than you realize.

Ann
Ann

Well Beth, we are all still here!  Aren't you glad we didn't all have a "to hell with it" plstic waste party!  Christmas has come and gone, enjoyed, and to my delighted amazement (in our house at least) with only one small potato crisps packetful of waste to go to landfill!  All else is recycleable or just what the children will want for "art" at preschool.  Gifts were either vouchers, or wrapped in Christmas teatowels or red or green cotton bags wrapped in cotton ribbon.  And I sewed my own Christmas table napkins, so no paper serviettes!  Nice not to have any guilt left over after the event!!  I hope you too had a happy Christmas.

chicknlil
chicknlil

Beth,

What you do is vitally important.  Each Time I go to the store or shop online I take into account how the item is wraped and it's long term impact on the environment.  Your posts keep me diligent and inspired to do better and what you do and how you give is making a difference.  I keep my plastic consumption in mind when I buy for my off farm job and when I buy  for the farm.  Rest assured that folks that have no idea who you are, are getting your message through me, and I'm not the only one singing the gosple of less plastic, so your circle of influence is huge!  I've learned so much reading your blog and I truely thank you for your passion and concern for our Earth.

Valerie Teruel
Valerie Teruel

Beth, you are only human, but you are the best kind of human out there, and we are all aspiring to follow in your footsteps (picking up any plastic you may have missed) :-)

Donna S
Donna S

Beth;

It is late friday night... so I think we are safe to say the world isn't going anywhere tonight. 

 

I was lucky enough to be in the audience last week in Sacramento.  I have been following your Plastic Free blog for a while now, and find your efforts inspiring.  I am the one who founded a creative reuse center (recreate.org).  Truth is, about a year ago, I was ready to throw in the towel.  I felt like my efforts to help make our community and world a better place to live were falling on deaf ears.  I was out of energy.  I was done.  As I got closer to my decision to shutter the nonprofit, something interesting happened.  One day I got an email thanking me for what we are doing, and telling me about their waste- free pancake breakfast fundraiser (everyone brought their own plates, utensils),  new opportunities to expand our reach popped up.... literally dropped from the sky it seemed. The universe recharged my batteries, and my resolve grew that I was doing the right thing, and my role is to encourage people to stop trashing the planet.

 

I hope our emails do that for you.  I hope you realize just how inspiring you are, and how your efforts truly trickle down.  Since I saw you last week, I presented our waste reduction school program to 352 students.  I felt more impassioned... I wasn't just presenting my information, I was recruiting the next generation of environmental stewards. 

 

I finally asked my kids school to start researching an alternative to stryofoam trays.  I ordered my glass dharma straws... because while $30 seems a little expensive for a few straws, I'm not investing in straws. I am investing in our environment, so really it is a small price to pay.  

 

Thank you for what you do!

 

Katie
Katie

I definitley feel this way you described. The point is your awesome blog has touched so many people and helped inspire people (myself) to make big changes. I have a diva cup! I was so excited to get it. Who gets excited about a menstral cup? you know you're a weirdo environmentalist when... lol. and the list goes on- and i find so much inspiration here.

THANK YOU~

ps. its friday, still here.

Katie

Heather Haynes Ybaben
Heather Haynes Ybaben

Wonderful post. I feel the same way--thank you for articulating this issue so well!

Brng.it
Brng.it

Thank you for all you do. Maybe sometimes you despair but your efforts are making so many more people aware of the need to rethink plastics. We've gotta do something, it feels much better than watching in silence! I think it's interesting that so many things seem to have come to a head right now. Things are happening that must be addressed, from violence in society to climate change and biodiversity loss. Take heart that apocalypse means revelation. Let's hope we are all experiencing revelations about how we can and must make course corrections for a better future.

BethTerry
BethTerry moderator

Thank you all for these encouraging, supportive comments.  For some reason, Livefyre is not sending me my email notifications, so I thought that only one person had left a comment.  Then, I come to the blog today and wow.  So much support and positive energy.  Just what I needed.  Not to mention all of you who have sent me private emails.  It means a lot that we are all in this together.

Clif
Clif

One big thing is solace - finding others that are attuned and can share the load. That alone provides some substantial comfort.

 

Another thing is the information glut of modern times. Nobody, but nobody can say "gee, I had no idea there was a problem." and you can thank yourself for being a part of that.

 

I am an atheist through and through, but don't deny the power of the Bible to affect our thoughts, so consider in Genesis - "The LORD said, "If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake...Then he said, 'May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?' He answered, 'For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.' The takeaway with reference to your post - if there is just one person in the world who acts in a way to save it, if only it is you, continue to believe in what you do.

 

Finally, though I may have mentioned this before, I cannot recommend highly enough to any American, but particularly you, Beth, because of your anguish expressed in this post, to watch the marvelous Peter Brook production, "The Mahabharata" made decades ago and available as a rental in public libraries and for sale. I have a copy on DVD. If you cannot find it, I will send you mine to view.

 

In eight hours an international cast , not one of whose names will be familiar, brings to life the Hindu epic of one family, the Pandavas, in a cosmic struggle for the survival of dharma (order in the world) vs. chaos and might represented by another family, the Kauruvas. This is no black and white good vs. bad story, but one that in a beautiful and emotionally powerful way with the simplest of scenes and costumes, tells us that we cannot know reality, only an impression of it. What is good and bad? Why keep on living with such horror in the world? Can a person of peace wage war? Can anyone be consistent and never hypocritical? Can one who lives for truth, lie and, if so, be justified in doing so? Most profound of all - can one person, if they had the power, act to destroy the world, knowing full well what they do?

 

I guarantee you will not see things in the same way if you are attentive to what is said. Let it play through without pause the first time and allow yourself to be bewildered, as I was the first time. Then watch again intently and be drawn in. I have watched all 8 hours several times and will do so again. If anyone thinks their worldview stands on solid ground, I challenge them to take this work of art, drama, and the nature of existence into consideration.

 

Each of us is only one consciousness struggling to make sense of our being. Those who accept a quick and easy explanation to guide them, have no idea of the depth and grandeur that they ignore for the sake of security and the (only superficial) banishment of doubt.

Katie Ostrich
Katie Ostrich

Your comment about altruism not truly existing is totally in line with leading behavioral evolution theories, which postulate that altruism is, in fact, selfish. That in the animal kingdom, altruism boosts survival. Not always for the altruistic individual, but at least for their genes.

kallie
kallie

I've only recently found your blog, but I love it. My sister says I'm a pestimist because I talk about so many of the problems that we face, but I feel I'm an optimist. I am aware that the problems can seem overwhelming, but I believe I need to take action to do what I can to improve things and be an example for others so they can see that they too can make changes to improve the situation. I consider myself a selfish environmentalist  because I don't do what I do for the greater good, I do it for myself and my family. I started making changes because we were all overweight so we started eating more real food, then my sister got breast cancer and we were told it was environmental so I started working on removing chemicals from our routines, then it spiraled from there and I started seeing the "Big Picture" how different my life was from my parents and my grandparents and it wasn't better. I can see the real changes taking place, I have volunteered for my city for nearly 5 years at an environmental learning center and I've seen my city embrace many sustainable practices, not because of "climate change" but because it makes financial sense. Our environmental utilities (garbage) has changed it's focus from recycling to waste reduction and we do a lot of outreach and teaching about reduced plastics use, we also dispell the myth that it all gets recycled. We all get a little frustrated with the fight and those who refuse to see the reality of the impact of their choices, but I know our numbers are growing and I know that the tide is changing we are gaining momentum. I believe it will get worse before it gets better, but I believe it will get better.

 

Feed The Green Canteen
Feed The Green Canteen

Same here, I am thinking of closing my business. I will always volunteer for the good. Every I try to speak about plastic people roll their eyes. I am so tired of it all.

CelestesTreasures
CelestesTreasures

Very well said for someone who 'typed and deleted' a lot for this post.  It does all seem overwhelming and at times I wonder why I am bothering when it is so overwhelming and out of control; but, thanks to your blog, I know that my actions have negative consequences for more then just me. Once I was made aware that the choices I made harmed others I felt I had an obligation to continue to try to make better choices, regardless of what others are doing around me.   Your blog has helped me and encouraged me to keep making better choices and changes in my life.  I hope you keep up the good work.

Irina
Irina

Dear Beth, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us today. As I struggle to write my master's thesis on consumption reduction and try to fit the whole MASS of issues into a tidy 100 pages, I often split downwards into: what's the point? And will it make a difference anyway?

(and for the record, your blog has influenced by research and encouraged me to tie my academic interests with my personal interests)

 

What I can say that I've been learning about consumption, and activism and all these topics brought out on your blog, is that they help us create our identities. Most people living in the Western world try to do this by following trends and accumulating as many possessions as possible, after all this is what is expected of you in the modern society. But people like you are always there, in e-form, to remind us/me that there are other ways of being, and other ways of expressing one's self, and also other ways of finding happiness - since it plays a big role here.

 

So what I'm trying to say is that you can find happiness in these little things that you do, and spreading it with all of us here. Of course it's important to see the big picture as well but spend some time reflecting also on what your role in all of it is, instead of taking on the whole challenge for yourself. After all, you've managed to bring together a whole community of followers who read your posts, share their views and eagerly await to hear more!

 

And I hope that from time to time our support can also help you instead of us coming here, reading the posts and offering you nothing in return. I am very grateful for your blog and your efforts :)

EcoCatLady
EcoCatLady

Thank you so much for this post Beth. For some reason it is immensely comforting to learn that even a stalwart like you can feel depressed and overwhelmed by the intractable nature of what we're up against. I've always been a bit of a "glass half full" kind of girl, and I fear it's all too easy for me to slide into the depths of despair and cynicism. (I read the book "Six Degrees" by Mark Lynas several years ago and it sent me into a tailspin that took years to get out of.)

 

And even though eco-perfectionism is not something that will ever be in my future, you've inspired me to make changes that I had never even contemplated before reading your blog. 

 

In the end I think we have to be kind to ourselves and realize that none of us can ever "do enough" to change these problems on our own. But we can keep the faith, and keep encouraging others to change, and who knows which person will end up being the "hundredth monkey."

magdakoper
magdakoper

I love, love, love your blog Beth. Since you have made me the winner of your 'plastic free' goodies basket I have been cutting down and now my husband is also a 'plastic minimalist'. You, your thoughts, actions, have made a difference is my, our, life. You are doing a great job; so Hang in there. Love you! Big Hug.

celebrategreen
celebrategreen

Beth you have written what is at the heart of the human condition. Life is not easy for anyone, even those of us fortunate beyond the imagination of those who are not. It is not easy to do what you have done, to stand up against corporate, governmental and human wrong, and yet you have done it and I know, will continue to do it because this is who you are. Thank heavens for people like you willing to stand up for what they believe, to lead the rest of us on this journey in spite of your own challenges. Your depression will lift and it will return, but you will continue and we all are grateful.

Joyfully Green
Joyfully Green

Well, first of all, thank you, Beth, for continuing to do what you do, because it IS important, even when the daily grind is grinding you down to a stump, or horrible news like the tragedy in CT can make you feel like curling up in the fetal position and just giving up. As you know well enough, blogging isn't like writing a book where you have a finished product and then you can rest a bit before the next project--somehow, you have to keep churning out the work. I found it really hard to want to write anything (or do anything, or eat anything...), let alone stick to the topic of my blog (environmentalism), so finally, I just gave in and wrote about the pain of it all and my efforts to work through it. It was cathartic.

 

But I wouldn't say I'm entirely past it...nor do I think I want to be. I don't want to get complacent and forget about how mad and sad I am about the situation in our country--I want it to fuel me for positive change.

 

This is a long way of saying that I could fully relate to your post--the Facebook stuff, the doing something positive stuff...the whole shebang.

 

In case you're interested, the link is below to my post about working through the sadness, and finding solace here and there:

 

http://www.joyfullygreen.com/2012/12/searching-for-solace-in-the-wake-of-sandy-hook.html

Capital Naturel
Capital Naturel

Reading this felt really good... I was just telling my man we should buy a tiny house with a big backyard in the middle of nowhere and leave society forever as this world is just nuts... What's the point in promoting veganism, organics, compassion, eco-conscience and intuitive living when it all seems so trivial looking at how cruel Man can be? But trivial, it is not... I find a lot of comfort in knowing people like you make a difference... Honestly... People sharing their ideas, just like you, got me thinking and deeply changed my perspective, viewpoints and core being through the years... I found in myself more compassion, patience, vitality and love for ALL... If people with a vision didn't exist, how could the World question its own ideas!? YOU know the Lifestyle influences the Planet, which in turn influences the Beings. All that IS is so deeply connected... You must know you and your valuable ideas and thoughts are needed! Thanks a lot for sharing... :)

DanielleRichardet
DanielleRichardet

Aww... Beth.... :(

 

Confession: I was in this complete funk on Wednesday before we talked.  Literally in tears over things I cannot change or control (long story)... but then *poof* our 2 hour conversation wiped it all away. :)  Thank you :)  Of course nothing is fixed... BUT... what I realized (once again) is that I can choose to focus on the positive or the negative.  (granted this was before the tragedy on Friday)  But nonetheless, focusing on the good in turn makes me feel good.   Sure some people are hell bent on being miserable and bringing others down with them... but fuck them.  There is a lot more good in this world and that's where I'll spend my energy.  :D

 

Have you read the SuperForest Humanifesto?  It's in video form here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwzjSo5pj5Y

 

Here's the text:

 

What is going to save the human race?

Please. Thank you.

Three words that will totally change this planet. More than solar power. More than recycling. More than wind energy.

Why?

Because if we all started treating the people and things that we interact with every day with respect and compassion, the effects would ripple through every aspect of our lives, transforming society.

Our parents taught us the manners “rule-sets” that we use every day, and as a result, we feel that we have (through years of introspection) begun walking the path towards enlightenment. Our manners dictate the way we treat the external world, the Environment. We feel that it is primarily our manners that dictate our success as humans.

Folks talk about wanting to save the “Environment”, and that conjures up images of bubbling brooks and unspoiled forests. But “the Environment” isn’t just greenery and pretty scenery. It’s our slums, our airports, our houses, our supermarkets. The Environment is everything that disappears when you close your eyes.

If you want to improve it, you must begin with what you see and encounter every single day of your life.

Before we can set about elevating our present society from a carbon-based one to a solar-electric one, knowing full well that solar-electric decentralized power means a higher quality of life for all, we must first pause and ask ourselves: Why? What is worth saving?

Human Consciousness.

Our gift and curse as humans is our incredible consciousness. We are aware, and that is the greatest and worst thing we’ve got going for us. Because we can clearly see how well we could be living, how politely we could be treating one another, how incredible life could be; we feel it is our duty to delight and inform our fellow humans in the hopes of creating a better world.

 

There is no reason every human on Earth could not have access to:

Clean Water

Nutruitious Un-modified Food

Shelter

Education

Open Source Communication

Freedom from Oppression and Fascism

 

But, as is painfully obvious, most humans don’t have those things. Most humans don’t have two of the six!

They could, but they don’t.

Why?

Bad Manners.

Nearly every religion this planet has yet produced has as one of its tenets the idea that to be happy, you must treat others as you yourself would hope to be treated. A failure in this respect is simply bad form.

When a company decides to dump its waste into a river that others downstream use for drinking water, that is bad manners.

When a society chooses to isolate its citizenry in prisons and not offer any chance at rehabilitation, that is bad manners.

When a person decides to walk into a school and open fire on their classmates, that is extremely bad manners.

That is why we MUST START NOW.

All new generations must be schooled in the art of good manners if we are to survive, let alone flourish, as a species.

Try your hardest to treat others as you hope they would treat you, and actively look for ways to help the people around you. Do this from a pure place within you and watch the effects ripple outward!

Why?

Because so few are doing it.

Good manners make you stand out like a struck match in a dark room.

Three Essentials:

Make eye contact with anyone you interact with. Smiling is optional but highly encouraged. Use the words “Please” and “Thank You” as often as you can. Seek out ways to improve the lives of others. This can be as small as carrying someones bag up a flight of stairs, or holding a door open.

Do these three things and your life will change immeasurably. And you will begin to change the lives of those who come into contact with you in a measurable and positive way.

 

JuliaSkinner
JuliaSkinner

Thanks for sharing this, I feel like this often. Why am I making so much effort and 'doing without' when people around me are oblivious and going through plastic by the tonne. I read a quote the other day that says it all, in my own words - the 'right' thing to do is always the hardest thing to do. 

 

It does help the rest of us to keep at it when we know the ones we look up too struggle too :)

Natalie S. Mouw
Natalie S. Mouw

Thanks for writing that. I often ask myself what's the point, especially when people look at me like I am nuts, even those closest to me. It may only be a little piece of the world, but every little bit adds up over a lifetime!

Nytsia
Nytsia

I'm sorry that it can get so hard. Have a rest and recharge your batteries. We all get down and need to rest. You will always try to do the right thing because that's how you are. Once you know something in your bones you cannot unknow it.

 

And there is a point and we have to keep going at doing the right thing. It makes a difference. Because of your blog I am aware of all the plastic rubbish my husband throws on the ground at my farm. He thought it biodegraded. I know better now, thanks to reading your blog, and I stop him and I clean up and am cleaning up and I work at not getting any more plastic. I go to the supermarket with my reusable container and get my chicken and fish put directly into the container (no waste no plastic). I got written permission from the manager and the staff know me as result and are ok with it. The staff even appreciate that I don't take plastic bags.

 

There are times when we all need a good cry...

 

liberatedspaces
liberatedspaces

The very act of sharing your thoughts when you are emotionally depleted and throwing your hands in the air is a very brave and honest thing to do, Beth. Your words mirror what so many of us are thinking. Play with your "Prozac" and play your favorite music, and keep the chocolate sauce : )

Blehr
Blehr

If it helps any I now use glass containers in my home instead of plastic and I no longer buy plastic water bottles. I never thought about my own glass to go containers until I read this today but I want to start doing that too. You do make a difference one person at a time :-)

Ann
Ann

Beth, you ask "What's the point.....?"  and then you answer it yourself!  The point is ... there are far more decent, caring folk in the world than there are screwed up sickos - oh, if only the sickos

could be persuaded either to get help early or just quietly suicide without hurting others!!!

But ... the majority of people do care for others, very many care about our planet, and those of us who care enough, even if we alone can't alter the world, we can help the planet and affect how those around look at what they are doing to it, and ... like that snowball rolling downhill, hopefully things can grow....

And ... depression is just depressing .... it never improved anything.  At least a smile will inspire other smiles....   

Ann.

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Diana Leigh Waldron absolutely! I don't know why I wrote "humans" in that one sentence. It wasn't meant to limit compassion to other human beings. I wrote the post fast this morning. When I have time, I'll edit it. I meant to say "other beings".

Lindsay
Lindsay

Thanks Beth, it's really been a hard couple weeks. I think many of us are feeling the same way you do. I think it is challenging for us to keep doing the good work to protect our environment and health, but is an uphill battle. If we get burnt out, what about those we're trying to inspire? I just read a great post on Lori's Groovy Green Livin about what dogs can teach us, and whether it's her dogs, or your cats, there are ways we need to take care of ourselves to be in this fight for the long haul. I for one and going to yoga to try to restore.... onward and upward. It's only normal and healthy to feel down from time to time. We all do. 

Diana Leigh Waldron
Diana Leigh Waldron

A lovely post. One thought to add on "When we are truly kind to other humans, we are kind to ourselves." We needn't, and indeed shouldn't, limit our circle of compassion to our own species any more than we'd limit it to our own race or sex, especially not now when factory farming and medical research leave our nonhuman brothers and sisters in the grips of unimaginable suffering.

Diana Leigh Waldron
Diana Leigh Waldron

When change is too slow and my contribution seems unimportant, I like to think of this story: http://www.worldtrans.org/pos/monkey.html. We don't get to know if change will take a million people or a billion or what, but we can't reach that number without every number along the way, of which you and I are two.

Laura Kocher
Laura Kocher

God bless you for being a lovely steward of the planet

Postmodern Rachel
Postmodern Rachel

Thanks for this honest post. I can relate. I'm sure so many can. I have been very depressed about the planet, and everything else you mention.

 

I find this quote helpful, too. 

 

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief.

Do justly now

Love mercy now

Walk humbly now

You are not obligated to complete the work

But neither are you free to abandon it.

~ The Talmud

BethTerry
BethTerry moderator

 @Clif HI Clif.  Did you watch all 8 hours at once or break it up?  What is the best way to watch it?  The Mahabharata has actually been on my "to do" list for years.  :-)

BethTerry
BethTerry moderator

 @Postmodern Rachel Wow.  That quote says exactly what I was trying to say so much more succinctly and beautifully.  Thank you.

Clif
Clif

 @BethTerry  @Clif I think most people would find it overwhelming in one go unless they have at least some knowledge of the story. When it aired originally it was in 1 hour doses with the director, Peter Brook, commenting on the action with some basic explanation of terms. The production is so spartan compared to what we're used to that it takes getting used to, but once you do, you realize that the acting casts a spell on you and makes the production. Since the cast is international, the English is spoken with many accents (French, Japanese, Indian, British, etc.) but dialog is everything. In some cases masks are used (for the elephant head of Ganesha, for example). The whole thing is so fantasy-like that bewilderment will almost certainly be the first impression. The central idea to keep in mind is that the whole story is a history of the world being told to a young boy who asks, "who am I, where do I come from?" as do we all!