Tuesday, February 11, 2014

It's Not Easy Being Green

by Marjorie Brody
The solar panel specialist looked across the table and leveled his gaze with mine. “It’ll be years before you see a return on your investment. Make sure it's something you really want to do."

Well, of course, I want to ease the electric grid and use solar power. I've always wanted to do my part to help the environment, protect natural resources, ensure a cleaner, healthier environment for future generations. But installing solar panels will be a huge financial commitment. Even more than the attempt to decrease my carbon footprint by buying a hybrid car - a car that uses premium gas and gets only 25 miles to the gallon, btw. (You're right. It's definitely not a Prius.) Surely I'm green enough, I tell myself. I tick off my efforts.

I recycle.

I conserve water.

I car pool, for crying out loud.

To borrow wisdom from Kermit the Frog:
It costs money. It's time consuming. It's often not popular.

But then, many situations in life are not easy. You do them because they are the right thing to do. Because they support values you hold dear. Situations like, allowing a beloved child to take consequences for his action without interfering, leaving a salaried position to follow the career of your heart, or uprooting to a new city to be closer to elderly parents.

In fact, just writing a novel comes with it's own set of investments, it's own cost. Time, relationships, and health.

Writing consumes time the way parched soil consumes water. It took me over two years to write Twisted. Two years.

Writing steals you away from family and friends. Playing with non-existent characters on a page can be wonderful fun, but at the expense of saying, "Sorry, I can't have lunch with you today," to a dear friend?

Writing tempts your physical wellbeing. With the major commandment for authors to BIC-it (Butt In Chair), where's the exercise and fresh air? When your nose is glued to the computer, or on that pad of paper, or over Dragon Dictates, you're not sniffing flowers in your garden, smelling the on-coming rain while you're riding your bicycle, or savoring your partner's cologne as you swirl on the dance floor.

And please note, I'm not complaining about doing these things. They are choices I willingly make.

But why take on such a challenge? Why not do something with less personal cost? Something easier?

I wrote Twisted because my protagonist had a story she needed to tell, and I wanted to give her a voice. I needed to give her a voice.

My short stories and plays? I write them because I cannot not write them. It’s who I am. If I want to define myself as an author, I need to act like one, relishing the rewards, but being willing to pay the price. Whatever the cost.

Yes, whatever the cost.

Just as Kermit cannot not be green.

Just as he realizes that despite the struggle, "It's beautiful, and it's what I want to be."
So solar panels? Bring them on.

To watch Kermit sing "It's Not Easy Being Green" http://tinyurl.com/2527u4c

What hard decisions do you make in order to be true to your beliefs? What gives you the strength to make them?

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Marjorie Brody is an award-winning author and Pushcart Prize Nominee. Her short stories appear in literary magazines and the Short Story America Anthology, Vols. I, II and III. Her debut psychological suspense novel, TWISTED, delves into the secrets that emerge following a sexual assault at a high school dance and features a remarkable teen who risks everything to expose the truth. TWISTED is available in digital and print. Marjorie invites you to visit her at www.marjoriespages.com.               

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