Me and Ed Begley (jr.)

So here’s the thing…even though I’m from the eighties, I have no memory of seeing anything that Ed Begely Jr. was in. I don’t quite remember what I watched on the tube during my decade of teenage angst/euphoria (oh those teenage hormones.) But I do know that I wasn’t watching St. Elsewhere. Hence  I have no idea what kind of actor Mr. B. is.  In fact I never really even thought about him until everybody started reporting what a “green” freak he was. I think he was green when it was only him and Kermit. Alas, I digress.

Somewhere in the nineties I found myself watching some Hollywood Story on Ed. I think I was sick and comatose and rooted to my couch and unable to garner the strength to reach for the remote. So I watched. And here’s what I thought. What’s this guy’s damage? Why live in a tiny house all rigged out in that -oh-so-catchy solar look and drive a dork-mobile propelled by bananas when you have a butt load of money? What’s the point? As you can gather my impression wasn’t all that favorable. After all, I was twenty-something living in L.A. on the very verge of fabulosity (I just knew it) and I could just not relate to this super hero of sustainability.

Fast forward a good decade and a half. I, a new, albeit belated mother, am sitting on the couch watching the San Gabriel Mountains burn behind my house. My father-in-law just died and my newborn daughter is nursing blissfully unaware of possible danger. I can’t say for certain whether it was the postpartum depression or not but my life knocked completely off its axis. I  realized how precious life was, particularly for me, this life that I had just helped create. I realized how my life, like Jimmy’s dad, would just end one day. In breath, out breath, gone. I became panicky feeling like I needed to leave my daughter with skills that made her capable to survive whatever this wacky world threw at her. What the hell was I doing in Los Angeles then? Don’t get me wrong, I loved my eighteen years there. I lived, I learned, I adjusted. But I wasn’t thriving. The question became, if I’m not thriving how can I raise my child to do so?

I flashbacked on Ed. This guy found something that drove him, that he believed in with all his heart. His car and house were boring (by Hollywood standards). But he didn’t care because he was being true to his beliefs. He wasn’t like so many other Hollywoodies that jumped on the bandwagon of greendom because it was cool. He wasn’t driving his SUV to a charity benefit to give a speech about how we’re ruining the environment with our (not his) evil ways. There were no private jets filling the ethos with jet fuel so he didn’t have to travel with the common man. This guy was the real deal. And while I do not put myself in his league and let’s face it, I don’t really consider myself so much green as a simple survivalist, I have decided that I could hang with Ed over a grass-fed burger and iced dandelion tea. While we may not see eye to eye on everything, I can be assured that we would at least be two people who knew who they were, living lives they believed in, not worrying one wit what anyone else thought of them.

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