Least We Forget (I Cried)


BP Oil Spill 2010
by Jeanne Marie
My life was not lived on the ocean, but my lifelong dream was to end out my last years here. Two years ago, by the grace of God and a few miracles, my husband was able to move us to Florida, before we were even old enough to retire. My fantasy/dream became a reality.
The ocean is the only place my heart has ever called home, the only place I have ever longed to live. When I was still a baby, my mom and dad would drive to Plum Island in MA before the sun came up so they could dig clams. I would be bundled in blankets and more than half asleep. But I remember my dad digging a shallow hole in the sand, for my mom and me, because we would be warm below the wind.
As she cradled me, my dad would dig bushels of clams and Mom and I would sleep.
My lullaby was the seagull’s song, the scent of the wet sand and the lull of the ocean’s waves. I have lost my mom and dad, but I never thought I could lose an ocean.
My soul connects with the salt water and the sand, the shells, the huge, gentle manatees that I met ten years ago on a visit to Florida. Every single life form gifted to us from the blue salt water is precious.
I cry every day as I watch the news, cry in pure frustration and anger at what BP HASN’T done to contain the oil spill, at the mistakes they have made, the chemical dispersants that made it worse.
I cry for every family already living in the black mire, generational lifestyles-gone, homes saturated by dangerous fumes, jobs destroyed, the long line of beach dependent cities that will go down before this is over.
I cry for the innocent, smothered, oil drenched pelicans.
I cry for every single sea creature that is strangled, tortured or killed by the oil. I cry for Louisiana and for all the coastal areas that had not even recovered from Katrina yet.
When I have any tears left, I cry for our shattered dream, growing old together hand in hand by the ocean. So little, in the big picture, so big in our life. My ocean, the one constant I could count on throughout my life, my ocean, always there for me, destroyed by corporate greed. I walked the beach this past Sunday and I cried as I picked up dead crabs, even a dead baby shark. Who could have ever dreamed that the ocean was for sale to the highest bidder?
Restitution Wanted. To BP Corporate Employees. All that we want from you is what you took from our ocean and our lives. Every damn thing you possess. Every night’s sleep, your health, every dime, every dollar, your homes, your yachts, your fancy cars, your livelihood, your stock portfolio, your Swiss bank accounts, the futures of your children, the designer clothes in your closet, everything single thing that you own should be stripped from you and put to use for the cleanup. Still, it will never be enough. Perhaps we should see if you can breathe in the tar-balled, oily water.
BP, your actions and lack of, are just one more shocking example of Corporate Terrorism. What you have done is a crime. All in the name of oil and money. What do your parents think of you now?

17 thoughts on “Least We Forget (I Cried)”

  1. Dear Ms Joanne
    I was moved by your piece…your passion is admirable. And I was glad to get a woman’s viewpoint and didn’t mention all the technicalities.

    It is the animal, human community spiritual ancestral wounds that run so deep for us.

    The Gulf has always been our Mother, our Lover, our vengeful cruel mistress, our Provider for many hundreds of years.
    That one 9well several( greedy corporation could bring our everything in a split second preceded by gross negligence has unnerved us, made us question it all. Katrina put us on the very edge of chaos andruin, BP ihas rgeir hand on our backs.

    I started a fb group called BP Gulf Coast Legacy of Lies and I shared this….stop in…it’s only 2 days old but I have faith my people will snap too and finally get really really pissed.
    Maggie aka Nana’s Garden


  2. Glad you liked a few quips. Thank you. And thanks for sharing your feelings about the results of corporate greed. We’ve gone from making money our goal to making money our god.


  3. I grew up 5 houses from Ocean Beach in San Francisco but moved last summer to the High Desert in SoCal. Every day in SF, at any given time, you could see 5 container ships bringing their wares from China. The fumes from the unregulated bunker fuel coated our house, our yard, our cars and probably us. I figure you either hate or you cry. For me, crying is the better choice. Needless to say, I am dehydrated most of the time.


  4. I live in Massachusetts, two hours inland from the coast. Plum Island is one of my favorite places, along with Crane Beach.
    I share your love of the ocean as well as your frustration and anger at what has been done to it.


    1. Thank you. It is so sad. Maybe you could post a picture of Plum Island? I see the BP ads now, bragging about all they have done to clean-up, but that is one mistake that can’t be cleaned-up.


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