Two Days with the UN

It’s been a pretty incredible couple of days watching the speeches at the UN. I think I watched every speech, may have missed one or two, I walked in not knowing much about the world, just the places I traveled to. I’ve been to the UK, Ireland, Cuba, Italy, Germany, Croatia, The Netherlands. Never knew much about the history of politics, so I tried to use this time to give me a jump start. I studied geography on Google Earth, visiting almost every part of the globe, doing research on wikipedia about every place that it covered. Deep dived into African culture and history, really looked at Latin America, the Carribean, revisited and looked for the first time like I’d never been anywhere before.

It was amazing. I planned to go to all of the sessions, listen to every world leader. I’ll never forget what I saw. The places I didn’t have time to look at I made bookmarks to look at later. I really wanted to take the world in. I studied really hard, really fast. It was a whirlwind. Finally caught up with everything after listening for what must be almost 24 hours by now.

It was all amazing. Every culture shined. Everyone had a personal style, spoke so well for their countries. I really fell in love with the world. It’s all so vast, I’ll never see it all, it’s so deep, so rich, so beautiful, all of it so full of both resolve and hope, strength, interconnectedness, and desiring so much for their own peoples, and a better life for everyone. I don’t think there were more than a few moments that I’ll forget. I’ll be thinking about it for days. And sometimes the speeches were even funny, inspiring and clever, brief breaks from the seriouness at hand. they even made me laugh, made me smile, and brought me so much joy as I listened. There’s so much to be concerned about right now. I hope they all bring what’s best for all of us, I’m just learning. I even heard from youth groups. I watched it all.

I mean, seriously, though. I make comics, yes they’re serious, and I try to make them fun. Four Eyes got picked up. It’ll be published soon. Sometimes I forget that side of me, but in the midst of all the seriousness, a journal got back to me, out of the blue, about a comic I made about a couple, in a celebration of color, and I’m now thinking about the next issue. It was a really suprising moment, the journal just kicked me and said, hey, remember this, OK. It’s OK to have a little fun sometimes. There’s love in that, that’s why I made it, and today it was almost like a time machine, reminding me about what matters, my little family, our cat, and a daydream. I can’t wait to make more.

And for the first time I looked at the leaders, and a few of them were my age. I couldn’t believe it. I could actually see myself hanging out with them somewhere. Our generation is becoming leaders. I’m starting to see our world. And I hope I have some place in it. I hope we all remember this UN conference, the moment that it almost seems like we’re bridging a generational moment. We know the world of our elders, we know the work of the coming generation. I can’t wait to watch them shine. And guys, if you can read this, I’ll be the activist making comics and music, and fun inspiring designs in my little corner of the world. I’ll do everything I can.

Tomorrow though, I’m going on a climate strike with Fridays for the Future, I’ll miss the days events. I’ll still watch the early morning session, but I’ll miss it. This was the opportunity of a lifetime, and still is. I can’t believe what I”ve learned. I need some time to let this sink in.

My world was very small when I entered. The first time I started Google Earth I Iooked at my city. It seemed very small, so alone, in a vast sea I didn’t understand. But tonight I looked back at it and it gave me hope. I know this world now, I’ve met so many people. Google allowed me to zoom in and out and realize that every city I visited was part of a very small, very vast, impossibly deep, infinitely possible, whole, beautiful, undeniable earth. It’s so fragile, so beautiful. I could say it forever, beautiful, beautiful earth, I hope we deserve you, I hope we give you all we can, you give us so much, every moment. I hope we can prove to you that you mattered to us, that we belong to you, that we’re not separate from you, and we’ll never forget. Beautiful earth, can we keep the promise we give to you every time we take a breath, every moment that there is?

Then Mitch forgot to feed the cat, so he fixed things quickly, and right now, tonight, maybe that’s all that mattered, this little life, who just needed a little to get by. If we ever get another kitten, maybe I’ll name her Earth, and then I’ll always be reminded, that her life is in my hands. I’ll have to feed her every morning, provide here a place to have fun, remember to love her and care for her, take her to the vet, and when she’s sleeping peacefully just know, like I do now, that that’s enough. There’s a beauty in every moment. No matter how small. And this beautiful Earth, I hope we care for it, because some day we may know, that that little cat was us.

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