Even as I spoke I knew I could no longer communicate to them in any meaningful way. It had become obvious that the English language was no longer sufficient for conveying what I had come to understand; it had severed its connection to the natural world, and instead of a sensuous convergence with the living earth (the source of its birth), all that was left were their ego-centric sounds from a limited perspective, the microscopic viewpoints incapable of seeing beyond their immediate experiences, lacking the necessary vision for a full understanding of my boundless world. I needed to create a novel language, or fall back to an ancient one with pictographic symbols to express the full cinematic scope of my thoughts – every neuron aligned with movement and biological design, all other concepts being superfluous, which I knew they wouldn’t be able to comprehend. (end excerpt)
The death of Santa Clause changed me. Up until then I’d believed in magical thinking. Afterwards there was nothing but the cold reality of a disenchanted world, inhabited and controlled by untrustworthy humanoids – lumpy, smelly, creatures in love with their own language. The adults lied – they’d fooled me into believing – and the children wanted to become one of them. For awhile I clung to cartoons for my fantasy fix – mostly Bugs and Friends, and after school shows like Batman and the Green Hornet – but they offered only temporary highs that faded quickly after the shows ended. So I entered that long fantasy period of actually getting high, only to realize that highs always led to lows on the balance scale. I could have found religion, of course, but couldn’t take the chance of being crushed again. What was worse, the death of Santa or the death of God? At least Santa brought material goods, and if I couldn’t have him, then maybe the categorical world of analytical thinking, of science, would provide something to hold on to. At least science offered the possibility of cutting through the false mysteries and acquiring the truth, so I couldn’t be fooled by nonsense again, and it was responsible for the spoiled, and relatively convenient, modern life of luxury that was, in itself, a bit of a fantasy, which I’m not about to give up. I like my luxuries and prefer them to living in a cave.
As I listened to a recent debate on the pros and cons of fracking, however, I once again recognized the loss of our spiritual connection to the planet, or anything else greater than ourselves, and wondered if there was a healthy balance to be found between secularism and spirituality – not that some wonderful old man is lovingly watching over us and needs to be recognized and worshipped – but that the earth should be revered as a spiritual presence, because it, somehow, got lost in the fracking discussion of policies and politics and technological accomplishments, all of which fall under the watchful eye of what matters most: the financial god we must bow down to and follow, blinding us from our ingrained true love, listening to our own language, which in turn inhibits us from being able to hear much of anything else.
Maybe I’m too sensitive. Maybe, at heart, I’m still that naïve nine year-old boy who wants to believe in magic, and so I cringe at the sadistic abuse of our living planet, at even the felling of a tree, as if the earth is the forgotten mother who supported us for years and whom we now seldom call unless there’s some pressing need. With fracking, millions of gallons of water and toxic solvent mixtures get pumped into the earth’s body because it has something we need, a usable gas, which is necessary to keep our fantasy lives going. Even the name – fracking – sounds unbalanced and sick. Is it any wonder that the earth, having its rocks fractured under high pressure, sometimes reacts to this treatment by quaking with fever?
Can we understand her language?
But it’s all okay if the science makes it possible, if the numbers add up, if all the processes can be properly engineered, if we only listen to ourselves and ignore, or remain deaf to, the origins of our own language – born from the planet to communicate basic survival (the whereabouts of food, water, shelter, predation, and other earth-based concerns, as natural as any other animal-created sound), from a time when living on this planet must have seemed like living on a giant whale, an enormous living creature that dominated every aspect of life, from its fruits to its harshness, for what it gave and what it took away. It must have seemed like a loving but vengeful god. No wonder rituals and sacrifices and religions were formed, which furthered the evolution of our language, and slowly moved it away from the realities of nature and directed it outwards toward the heavens, lofting us in the process, away from earthly sufferings to the faith of eternal bliss.
At least Santa was of the earth. He could be seen; he had reindeer and lived up north, and his gifts were real, manifesting under a tree.
Santa was nature-based, aspiring to all that was good (even using the renewable energy of reindeer). Now all we have is ourselves, so we act like gods and do whatever the hell we want.