What rolls downhill, and rhymes with . . . ?

Every picture tells a story . . . .a picture’s worth a thousand words . . . . (Relax!  This is not about to become a graphic for the title of this piece.)DSCN0637

When I shared with you the picture of the missing man, it was because it symbolized, for me, empty spaces occupied by gossamer hopes and spider webs of distant struggle—the echo of voices rarely heard above the rush of water, as it is pushed by screaming turbines up and over mountaintops and pounding out through rocky precipices hundreds of kilometers away.

For me, it was the perfect metaphor for the stories I have been told by and about those who are excluded from effective participation in political processes that have direct and  dire impacts on their access to “sufficient, safe, accessible and affordable water”— recently called out by the international community as a basic human right. Duh! [Sure, we can “survive” without money, clothes or internet—well, maybe NOT without internet– -but, without water? . . . anybody?)




While legislators, with undoubtedly noble intentions, pass laws to expedite the implementation of water projects designed to prop up failing economies and persist in issuing edicts that demand that those further down the food chain comply with unachievable standards, subsistence farmers till the soils as criminals, and resource-starved municipalities quietly pass their byproducts merrily merrily down the stream.


Though I have become almost immune to the waft of human waste, mixed with more than a hint of Smells-Subtly-Like-Springtime laundry detergent, I can’t imagine that it is healthy or sustainable for the community through which it passes. It makes me wonder at what point this effluent will back up to the top of the hill, toward the lofty towers of the politically affluent. Perhaps, with this eau de reality unfurling in their nostrils, they will be compelled to adopt more ingenious, practical and sustainable solutions to address these persistent human rights issues. I can’t help but think it true that we all really DO live downstream!





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