Story by John Vonderlin
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First Read John’s “The Good, The Bad, and the Just Plain Old Ugl
Sisyphus Has Some Allies
I returned today to Tunitas Beach to see if I could do something about the recent trashing of this very special place, that I had observed on my last visit. What I saw made me feel happy. The concrete structures that had served as the foundations for the Ocean Shore Railroad’s Tunitas Creek Trestle, had been visited by the “Graffitti Guerillas, a mysterious group of Coastside defenders. The huge concrete blocks that had recently been emblazoned with multi-colored, grotesque, discordant, graffitti and possible gang tags, had been repainted with a pleasant light brown earthtone.
Based on my observations of their previous efforts, I’m expecting they’ll return and blend it in even better with the background of the beautiful riparian corridor the blocks sit in.
Discovering their action was a pleasant surprise, as was what I found when I reached my goal, the huge pile of trash left by campers that Circe would not have needed her magic potions to transform. Somebody had plowed through the pile of debris and removed all the hundreds of aluminum cans. More altruistically, they or somebody else, had picked up all the trash the wind and animals had spread down the beach, brought it to the pile and covered it all up with pieces of tarp and plastic.
In just a few unpleasant minutes I was able to separate the California Redemption containers into a pile, hoping the profit motive would make them disappear, and pick all the plastic, styrofoam, paper, and cardboard from amongst the rotting food and disposable diapers, and jam them into a large burlap bag I had brought for the task. While I may have tarnished my Karma seriously by momentarily hoping the children who had soiled the diapers would grow up to murder their parents in their sleep, I really wasn’t serious, as a kneecapping would suffice.
The trash can, filled with hundreds of bottles, many broken, I just covered with a sodden blanket, and the pieces of plastic and tarps, hoping to discourage further usage until I can figure out what to do with its heavy and dangerous-to-carry contents.
As I climbed the steep hill with my sack of goodies, looking like a Bizarro Santa, I thought of my usage of the Sisyphus metaphor in my previous posting, describing how fruitless my efforts had felt during last week’s similar climb. When I had later checked on the subtleties of the myth with a websearch, along with the Greek myth, a Wikipedia article about Camus’ essay, “Myth of Sisyphus,” had popped up. “The essay concludes, “The struggle itself…is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” He had that right, especially when Sisyphus knows he has allies. Enjoy. John