cry of the mountain

Tonight I got a poignant reminder of why I do the work I do.  Kassia and I saw Cry of the Mountain, a one-woman documentary theater performance about mountaintop removal in Appalachia.  Adelind Horan interviewed 13 people in West Virginia, from a coal company CEO to regular folks whose lives have been damaged by coal mining and are fighting back.  She then condensed the interviews into verbatim monologues and embodied each person to tell the story with incredible nuance and complexity.  For a little taste, check out this teaser.

Watching the performance, I was reminded that the various “environmentally friendly” lifestyle decisions that each of us makes is ultimately of little practical value.  Mass numbers of people making different decisions is important, but we’re a long way from that.  In the mean time, why inconvenience ourselves?

The performance was a good reminder that we are all complicit in the many environmental and humanitarian catastrophes and atrocities committed in order to preserve “our way of life.”  There’s no way we can avoid being part of the problem. Every time we turn on the lights or write a blog post on our laptops we are participating in mountaintop removal, just as we are participating in the occupation of Iraq every time we get in a car.

We can’t help but contribute to the problem.  We can try to minimize our contribution.  But that’s not enough; it won’t change the system.  Some people choose to find ways to resist the system.  Some people try to create alternatives.  Some people work to educate others.  Ultimately I think all are important and necessary, and all require a certain attitude of service.  Each of us need to find the ways to do this that inspire us most and that we believe to be the most beneficial.

If  you can make it to the last performance of Cry of the Mountain next Thursday at Play On! Theatre, please do – it’s amazing.  There’s also a great documentary on the same subject called Coal Country, which will be screened at the Jefferson Theater on August 12th.

~ by skybluestar on July 24, 2010.

2 Responses to “cry of the mountain”

  1. Thanks for the kind words about Cry of the Mountain and the connection to what we do everyday and the energy it takes to do it. As you know one thing the show is doing — besides entertaining, and possibly educating — is donating 30 percent of the proceeds to help save the mountains. But it’s the coming together and having the conversations that are the best thing.

  2. Sky,

    Thanks for the post. I’ll make sure to attend the July 2011 Capital (shouldn’t that be Capitol?) Fringe Festival.

    Keep on blogging!


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