Hello, folks. I hope you all had a nice holiday weekend, which is why I am coming to you again on a Tuesday, rather than a Monday.
In the past week or so, I have been thinking a lot about the double (or triple...quadruple?) faceted relationship we all maintain with nature. I do my best to be a responsible steward of the world around me, but also fully recognize that there are certain aspects of my everyday life that stand in opposition to my general philosophy of conservation. I am typing these words on a keyboard of plastics and circuitry surely doomed to eventually fill a trash heap. The photos you see on this blog entry, and on every entry prior to and following this particular entry, are captured by an iPhone built not to last, to fall apart and beg for the rest of your cash before you get too comfortable. Even the very act of indulging myself through what I write is a practice in impermanence–what I say today will hold a fraction of its weight tomorrow.
We are placed here, wherever that here may be, to do some damage, and we spend our time and energy doing whatever we can to limit that damage, unless we are one of the people who does not particularly care to try to limit that damage. We hope to construct enough counterbalances–at least, I know I am in a constant act of attempting to build counterbalances–to clam a net positive. I believe that we are all net positives. That we, as a species, are trying to do our best to preserve what was here before us, to cradle what will come after us. But it is hard to maintain that belief sometimes. This past week, I spent more time at Hartman than I had in any single week so far, and the trees, the lakes, the river all rested upon each other, puzzle pieces to a picture-perfect composition. But when exploring the natural world, we all bring outside, unnatural problems into that natural world, even if only by projection. Is it selfish of us to ask nature to vanquish such problems? What do we owe nature in return? Are we only ever shoving our ears full of clay, praying for a harmony that may never present itself? I don't know. And so I wrote a poem about it:
I am small as the goslings/ across the lake,/ relatively speaking/ I have a body/that is capable of hurt/// I want the goslings to remain small forever/ but to never know what that smallness means/// A shrub floats on the water/ and the hairs on my arms/ wave in the breeze/ I have held the river in my arms/ Dressed it in sunflowers/// Dog barks in the distance/ and the goslings scatter/ They know what their smallness means/ They want to live/// Somewhere there are bodies causing hurt/ They are small but do not know their smallness/ Or, they know their smallness, and use hurt to pretend it is not there/ They have never held the river in their arms/ Or, they have/ but they have pretended they could control it.