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Burners Looking Into Windows at Night

Updated: Oct 18, 2019

When we try to answer business questions and all we get is poetry


"What is it? Why are you doing it? Who is it for? Why are people buying it?"

I’m a window watcher. A go-getter. An ain’t got time to garden, veggie lover. I flit through the trees and past the ocean, perhaps stopping to breathe, but mostly on my way to another job. A passion project, as they say, but at least I’m getting paid a bit.


I call myself a common-sensalist, not an environmentalist. I lack hope for the future of the planet, seeing all that needs doing to redirect it. And it is too much. Oh, too much. Stop breeding, stop traveling, stop driving. Shove our big houses full of people, stop eating farmed animals and everything that comes from them. Screw the health regulations and reuse the one-time use plastics, and sell me the new phone with the better camera, as my old ones stock up in my bedside table. Ship me a banana in Canada. I worked hard for it. I deserve it. You can’t take it away from me.


I’m a burner on a planet burning. My tail on fire focused on a life design that gives me freedom to move and buy what I want as the walls come down. I have milleniall breath but it could easily be Generation X, 9 to 5 dedication from a sky-high office. We’re burners.


But even a burner slows when it comes face to face with island time. Even a burner breathes and wonders how David Suzuki can be right, when the trees are so green, the ocean so roaring, the air so oxygenated, the people so slow. When the veggies are local from seeds so old. When the roofs are full of solar panels. When there is anger to find a plastic in the compost or a garbage in the recycling. When a light is on in a window on a dusty back road, shining through a sea of dense darkness. Where the wood stove is lit, the kettle is singing, and people are actually talking to one another. Perhaps a barking dog. And me, a burner, watching from the outside.


It’s a window into the salty wild where people live with a slowness, with an artfulness, with a “sustainability” (that dreaded greenwashing word). Intentional bohemian lives away from the human rush. So inspiring.


So I watch us burn, through cabin windows or photos on magazine pages, as I burn up. I ain’t got time to grow vegetables or make art or bike anywhere or maybe even have kids - who knows - but these islanders do. Oh, the romance of a kayak potluck and a grown herb-turned tincture. The romance of me, flipping through window-like pages the moment I wake, because that's the only time in the day to take a moment. Or on the skytrain perhaps. Or a ferry. Commuting. That’s the only time to watch island time and to not feel half bad being such a creeper overlooking these lifestyles on the rocks.

These spots on the planet that will be the last to burn.


~Alina Cerminara, Publisher

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