Cycles Repeat And Life Goes On

Five in the morning and I’m alive…The cold air contrasts with my hot coffee… A contrast that flows through my veins with every sip… Birth… Contrast… Death… Only in death does warmth ever truly leave us… Think of that next time you feel cold…

Bright city lights turn the sky orange… A color that conjures warning… Coincidence?.. I think not… Outdoor urban lighting is a symbol of civilization—Warmth… Comfort… Safety… Orange also happens to be a symbol of warning—Caution… Hazard… Danger… An odd relation—probably not?.. Who or what are we warning?.. And why are we warning them?.. And that oh so important question—will they get our warning?..

This early in the morning… My neighborhood is almost always silent… Not today… Today I am swaying to a symphony of the senses… A distant train sounds three times… A requirement when approaching a town… A way to let you know it’s almost here… Like a doorbell… A doorbell that apparently no one in Wilkinsburg has… As I am reminded by the constantly blaring car horns… Blasting jingles through the morning air with a sense of urgency… A sense of being so late the only way to rationalize the problem in your head is to blame it on the person you are picking up… Every morning… At 6:22AM… Shave and a haircut… Two bits… Three times… The ghetto doorbell…

Across the street the garbage cans are alive… Placed on the curb four hours after the garbage men left our sleepy street Friday morning… I said the raccoons would eat good this week… It’s obvious to me now I forgot about the cats and rats… A surprising team feasting on the laziness of  careless humans… People so careless they don’t care that their neighbors care… It’s my problem… If I didn’t want the street to look nice it wouldn’t be a problem… My fault… My bad… My problem…

A bi-product of people living in tight quarters is waste… A bi-product of waste is scavenger animals… In our case animals that would not normally be friend—cats, rats and raccoons… The plethora of food causes these animals to no longer need to hunt each other… This creates a very destructive and unlikely combination of animals… Eliminate the food source… Raccoons leave in search of food… Re-establish the natural order… Raccoons usually kill cats… Cats kill rats… And humans can usually live with killing rats… Permaculture is not vegetarianism…

Cycles repeat… And life goes on… The garbage cans will be emptied on Thursday… And again… They will sit on the curb… Waiting to be filled again… So the local fauna can feast… And make a big mess… The cycle repeats… Waiting for a disruption… In today’s case… The disruption was me…

permaculture is not vegetarianism – chriscondello

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4 thoughts on “Cycles Repeat And Life Goes On

  1. I find your blog very inspiring! Keep it up, I’ll follow 🙂 xoxo
    -Mari from


  2. Awesome pic by the way! love the colours


  3. In Cape Town we have the bergie brigade who scavenge in the bins – the street people who have given up on work. They used to live in the mountains – berg in Afrikaans – hence the name bergie. In some areas below the mountains – its baboons. We used to have a lot of rats but quite a few birds of prey arrived and the rats population seems to have dwindled. I live on the neat side of town though. Our squatter camps are a different story with rats galore roaming the streets. Its like a different world, the ghettos are alive with the pulse of life. Always loud music, animals are slaughtered on the side of the road and the carcases hung up for sale or you can buy ready cooked as they have huge grids that sizzle and pop the whole day. The roads are bumper to bumper with mini vans full of commuters and they hoot continuously for passengers. Chickens run around managing to avoid car wheels, the craft markets – not much craft anymore mainly cheap chinese imports are so tightly packed its hard to know where one ends and the next begins. There are suprisingly few people growing food, preferring the quick fix of bread or 2 min noodles. But its coming, many organisations are now working at grass roots level showing people how to grow food again. Would love to swop tours of our towns.


  4. Another great one, Chris. Totally love the “ghetto door bell” image. And the sentence–“permaculture is not vegetarianism”–is SOOOOOOOO good. If I were you I would write an essay about that–one that combines reflection with some of the fascinating information you share–and send it somewhere. I don’t know enough to know where–maybe
    Mother Jones.


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