What quote am I vibing? "The world is an absurd place full of contradictions and existential confusion; only those who have a goal are ultimately able to find meaning." Patrik Svensson, from The Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination with the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World
Pounds of Trash Removed from the Wild since Last Post: 122
Pounds of Trash Removed from the Wild in 2021: 720
All-Time Pounds of Trash Removed from the Wild: 2201
Learning about eels, or rather, learning what we do not know about eels, in Patrik Svensson's book The Book of Eels - was very eye-opening for me. It was so surprising to me to find out that there is still an animal whose reproductive process we do not understand, and cannot figure out how to study. The author notes that the sea is full of vast mysteries - he, like many before him, including the revolutionary Rachel Carson, believes that true knowledge starts with studying the ocean.
I grew up in a landlocked state, with little draw to water or the sea - I would visit the ocean every year or so, with family or friends - spending a little time in the ocean, but never feeling as connected to it as I do now. Even now, I am not called to dive deep, or explore much more than I can see from the shoreline. I find the ocean an intimidating, vast, and mystical place - not for me to understand, but certainly for me to protect. When I witnessed a mother sea turtle climbing onto the land to continue the reproductive process that started over a hundred million years before we were walking the Earth, it tapped into some ancient feeling - some existential conundrum that I haven't been able to resolve.
And so, I continue to do what I can to protect her, and her Ocean. Falling short of my goals, certainly, speaking of goals! If I can manage another 530 pounds this year, that would be quite an accomplishment. My goal failed to account for a longer recovery after surgery than I anticipated. But, goals aren't always meant to be achieved - what would be the point? I will continue to use that goal to search for meaning.