Circular water trop resting on a rock with a sunset behind it, but in the drop, there is a reversed image of sky and the ground

Unwind: Hindsight is 2020 (The Earth Monologue)

Heidi Kraay

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, a research scientist races to uncover how stress impacts the human body (womxn’s bodies in particular), how that connects with the earth’s stress response throughout history, and how all of our anxiety is colliding while personal, national, and global crises overpower humanity’s consciousness. The scientist and her research participants connect across technology, dreamscape, starscape, and future. She asks, in light of all this new reality, how we can stay strong, stay calm, and heal in the face of disaster.
In this monologue that comes after the play's halfway point, the Earth as a character speaks to all humans, including the audience and the other characters in the play.

June, July, August 2020; today and yesterday and tomorrow. THE EARTH speaks as a chorus of five womxn. Each individual voice heard in its distinct range. Sometimes the singular voices speak alone or above the group. The Earth speaks with a slow, enduring quality. She has all the time in the world. She is the world. She has all the time in the solar system. 

                                                                                   THE EARTH

This is a warning.

Earlier this spring in our northern hemisphere, in a moment you call Saturday, 
March twenty-first, your Pope Francis called everyone to a moment of recollection, 
for the healing of the world, 
the whole planet united in prayer. 
I hear this was seen on the internet platform Facebook by billions of viewers. 

What you ask for, Pope, is a healing of your people, not of me. Not of us.
We need more than that.

It is time to let go. If you cannot, I will. We will.

We have done it before. What you call mass extinctions.
Our miscarriages.  

More than ninety-nine percent of our organisms who ever lived are gone forever.
I loved them all, as I love you.
But humans. You think yourselves so special. Important.
Let me tell you.
I am tired.
Very tired. And hot. 
Talk about menopause—I don’t need this. 
Worse is knowing it’s your own children making you sick. 
I am tired of coughing and aching and the fires and the smoke and the melt.
You eviscerate my precious babies. You give me asthma.
After so long sweltering, my reactions are impossible to manage.
I used to try.

After losing the graptolites, my first sea babies,
I tried resisting the inevitable.
When The Great Dying ended nearly all my life and me with it,
I knew it was not up to me.
The more I try getting in fate’s way, the stars’ way, the more I end up like Mars.
I would soon lose the trilobites, conodonts, ammonites and of course the dinosaurs.

And you, I put such hope in you, like a fool,
like waiting up all night for a man to send kind word.
Witnessing your violence, 
feeling your rage directed on me,
hoping for something different this time, this century, this eon.

I lost our neanderthals as my magnet spun,
ice ages, drought, flood, plague.
But mostly you handled your own dying.
Ages of war, genocide.
Yet still here you thrive, you multiply, you weigh me down.

You kill billions year after year, 
another species ravaged, gone every minute,
while you infect me like cancer.

Stupid is a mother’s love when her children are raging sociopaths,
certain this world was made for you. I was not.
Even so, even though I no longer try to stop the devastation,
I do my best to warn you, as I share my life with you.
I want you to see how bad it can get.
Use your impressive imagination.

This plague is the beginning. 
I do not wish to destroy you but I will, to save the rest.
Or rather, you will, digging your own graves.
You are only a speck. All seven billion of you. 
Ants outweigh you. Sharks outlast you. Clams outlive you.
Listen. Smell that.
Since the virus, my air is clearing. You know it. You report it. Embrace the clean air.
When this trouble passes for you, millions of human lives later,
that will not be time to return to normal.
There is no more normal. 
Slow down. Be with me. Let that be your normal.
Or as your researchers predict—
you will look back on this virus with nostalgia 
as the good old days.
And when you’re gone
everyone will forget about you.
My new babies will build homes on your graves.
Want to see what can happen?
Hold tight—the stars will show you.
Listen to me. Finally listen. Or disappear.
The dragon is coming.

Playwright Heidi Kraay examines links between brain and body, seeking empathy with fractured characters. Her work has been presented regionally, in NYC and internationally. Heidi holds an MFA from California Institute of Integral Studies and teaches through BSU'S Theatre, Film and Creative Writing department. Member: Dramatists Guild of America.

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