It’s been quite a week and as a reward I read a book I picked up a while ago,by the poet Kathleen Jamie – another in the revived genre of nature writing, I suppose, along with books like and Not surprisingly for a poet, this book evokes amazingly sharply the places and times she visits – mainly the Scottish Highlands and islands, but Edinburgh too, and the way they feel in specific lights and weathers. I really enjoyed the book.
[amazon_image id=”0954221745″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Findings[/amazon_image]
One passage set me thinking about value. On a remote island she wanders the beach looking at the washed up debris: “The islands are a 21st century midden of aerosols and plastic bottles, and I was thinking of what we’d valued enough to keep.” The party had collected a quartz pebble worn by the sea into an orb, a bleached whalebone. The things nobody valued, the plastic rubbish, thrown away and never gathered by beachcombers are, alas, indestructible.
There is a book whose title I’ve forgotten about a lost cargo of yellow plastic ducks carried half way around the world by ocean currents when their container fell overboard. There’s plenty of plastic in my life but I’m becoming increasingly disturbed by it. And why is it so cheap? Never mind a carbon tax, how about a plastic tax?