Sunday, 7 February 2010

The Respository of the Undiscovered

It wouldn’t be at all unique to describe or say that life on earth for a vast majority of its human inhabitants is not too unlike living in a giant fish bowl. Have you ever fed goldfish in a clear water river with white bread crumbs, and experienced the satisfaction of them trustfully excepting the free meal. I remember feeding fish in the river that runs through St. Ives in Cambridgeshire as a young boy in the early 1960s.The River Great Ouse and is world famous for the Chapel on the Bridge which we had a great view of from our house, but it's the fish feeding that fascinating, absorbing and becharming spectacle has remained with me throughout the years, of course there’s a majestic calmness as the fish take and disappear with each bread crumb. And before I forget interestingly St. Ives other claims to fame is for nearly 1,000 years the wide centre of St. Ives, now known as Market Hill, has hosted some of the largest public markets in England. Many years ago these markets included livestock and for a time was one of the biggest of its kind. Today the Street Markets still fill the town centre on Mondays and Fridays. On every Bank Holiday Monday however the market swells to fill almost the entire town with traders coming from all over the country to sell their wares to the thousands of people who attend under the watchful eye of Oliver Cromwell, one time resident of the town, whose statue stands in the centre of the Market Place.

I was thinking about this today when I sat amongst my friends in a soup kitchen run by some wonderful Franciscan Friars of the Renewal who are based in Canning Town where I live, which is one of the poorest of areas in Britain. Well I say poorest what I mean by that is that poverty amongst my neighbours and in my neighbourhood is dire and I have written much about poverty, child poverty and the hopelessness of unemployment in East London on this blog before now, but I must say that it is all around and not just confined to where I live.

The goldfish in the human fish bowl don’t always have or are even able to obtain what they need, and like the fish in the river they become very much dependent on crumbs which they have to earn as salary or wages just like a performing seal in a circus. Wherever we live in the fish bowl and upon whatever excessively abundant rife of landmass, the story of existence is very much the same for the vast majority, life if we care to admit it, is one big shit struggle constantly waged each and everyday by the many throughout the world in that fish bowl, shark attacks, the entangling octopus hunt and pray upon the shoals of little fish hiding in the shipwrecks resting and rusting, rotting away on the seabed along with the sealed containers of toxic waste and washed-out, nay dumped sewerage and waste matter of a civilised society. “Marine pollution is a generic term for the harmful entry into the ocean of chemicals or particles. The biggest culprits are people who use the rivers for disposing of their waste. The rivers then empty into the Ocean, and with it the many chemicals used as fertilizers in agriculture. The excess of oxygen depleting chemicals in the water leads to hypoxia and the creation of a dead zone.

Marine debris, also known as marine litter, is a term used to describe human-created waste that has found itself floating in a lake, sea, ocean or waterway. Oceanic debris tends to accumulate at the centre of gyres and coastlines, frequently washing aground where it is known as beach litter”.(1)

Whilst I’m on the subject of pollution and chemical dumping lets spear a thought about the waste we still tip down the drain everyday and without thinking. In London it has been the trend for some time now to have the car cleaned by the many personal hand vaulting services that are all over the place; mostly makeshift operations who use a cocktail of chemicals to reach that pleasing sort after result. However let’s be honest, do we ever stop to think that the waste is washed off via rainwater drains into the system, it’s similar if you like to when household waste was dealt with differently, simply slung it into the back yard or the street, as you can imagine the stench must have quickly become unbearable. Well let’s not get too involved in this issue of man made pollution; it’s just a passing consideration.
There’s no end to the comparisons of marine life that we could use to explain and highlight a great deal with what’s wrong with our society; and relating to the characteristics of capitalism in the world. I think of the deepest ocean with descending levels of depths, at the very bottom there is marine life as yet undiscovered by man, hidden in the darkness, a treasure trove of unknown fish and other marine species is blanketing the 30,000 seamounts of the world, researchers say, sometimes comprising up to 40 percent of the life forms found on these remote, undersea mountains that remain some of the least explored areas on Earth. The enormous wealth of undiscovered sea life, biodiversity, geological features and other oddities that exist on the flanks of these towering subsea peaks - areas that have been called the "lost worlds" of the oceans. Researchers have learned, there exists an amazing number and variety of fish, corals, deep-water mussels, red squid, sea spiders, sponges and other species, many of which have evolved to thrive at great depths, enormous pressures, or in very narrow temperature ranges, fed by unusual food chain dynamics. These isolated fountains of evolution are literally giving birth to many of the marine world's newest species, evolution or what? The only conclusion must be whilst they remain undiscovered they are safe from the capitalist beasts that stalk the land.

Image and photographs:

(A) Occean life

 (B) The River Great Ouse and the Chapel on the Bridge

(C)  friar of the Renewal outside the soupkitchen  in Canning Town

(1) Information via Wikipedia

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1 comment:

Chris H said...

Bit of an old post but have discovered that your Canning Town Franciscans come to Farnborough Abbey for their retreat days!

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