I deeply miss open areas of nonhuman life: breathing, moving, growing, multiplying, reproducing, dying, decomposing, communally operating, and ecologically diverse. This absence makes me more in awe of these places now.
These were the only spaces I knew as a child. Now I am surrounded by architecture and pavement; the smell of exhaust and garbage are mixed in the autumn breeze.
There are things about the city that I love: it stimulates me as a young creative person with its anthropological history and diversity. But the city is purely a product of human creation. It is measured, calculated, controlled, and strategically designed.
It's easy for me to become negative in civilization with its obsessive consumption and selfishness. I try to find comfort in the ways the uncontrollable and mysterious forces of nature (which i love) infiltrate these urban environments. Tree roots moving and cracking concrete sidewalks from underneath, sun bouncing between glassy buildings, and spiders spinning webs around abandoned bicycles.
It reminds me of human's interwoven existence with the natural world. It allows me to view the city as yet another natural landscape. It is a landscape that was built by extreme exploitation of Mother Nature's resources, but nonetheless it is the human's bizarre and twisted version of a natural landscape.
I find the city simultaneously fascinating and disturbing. I now more than ever crave lakes, rivers, trees, mountains, plants, insects, and the solitude found within these environments. Even while in these places I can still see the effects of humans with pollution, the weather, and within the management of parks/forests/nature reserves.
Instead of being crippled with anger I try to simply observe this moment of interaction between body and land, and I do what I can to work against the destruction of the Earth through education and action.
I spent time this weekend in one of these awesome (in the true sense of the word) landscapes I knew intimately as a child; bellow is a short poem I wrote while there.
My brother fished minnows out of the lake.
He grabbed one in between his dirty fingers, its gills flapped open and closed
"You're gonna die motherf******," he said.
I watched him pierce the hook through the minnow's
glassy black eye and
cast out a line