This blog has been getting a little dusty, guess I should post something. What follows is an excerpt from an environmentally focused book I’ve been trying to write, as well as a couple of pictures I’ve taken.
I was on an early morning flight to Cincinnati in a small propeller plane. It was a gloriously sunny day and a smooth ride, but we were unable to land due to low fog and eventually returned to Detroit. Before giving up and heading back, however, we circled Cincinnati to see if the fog would clear, so I reclined in my seat and closed my eyes, occasionally looking out at the clear sky above or the blanket of fog below, hugging the earth like a mold.
The sun covered us with a warm blanket of rays as we flew smoothly through calm air, and I zoned out to the hum of the engine. Everyone around me was sleeping, or at least resting quietly, as if the ride was a kind of guided meditation, and I found myself wondering about my brother’s early demise, and if I, too, would find an early grave, given how bad I had been feeling.
My brother had driven a dusty truck for a living, hating this work with a passion because it forced him to leave the comfortable confines of his enchanted forest. I felt the same way on planes, wishing my feet were on solid ground.
As we circled Cincinnati, however, I wanted to stay up there forever, hovering comfortably with nothing to do except bask in the warmth of the sun, lounging above the earth while waiting for things to change below before I returned, like a nuclear annihilation to come and go, or an ice age or some other natural disaster to wipe out all of our industrial progress, or some glitch in the cosmos that caused humans to evolve into a symbiotic balance with nature – having finally recognized the globe as a living deity – which they communicated with in some kind of molecular vibration, so when I landed through a time warp it would be the year 3000 and the remaining sparse population, dominated by beautiful women desperate for more men, would be living peacefully in a tropical paradise, wearing white diaphanous linens from organically grown cotton, and frequently and willingly making love amongst the wildflowers in open meadows. Having no currency, they had no desire for status or societal hierarchies, eliminating wealth, and thus, poverty. They’d finally realized that unchecked capitalism was an unbalanced and unsustainable system that always led to a correction, not because it was an unnatural approach, on the contrary, because it was natural – a system any animal would put into place if it could – mindless Darwinian growth in all its forms until it suffered the consequences when nature had had enough.
That was all I wished for when I landed, that our societal philosophy had evolved enough to understand our own tendencies, keeping nature in mind in all that we did and altering our activities accordingly. To not do so was like consuming an unbalanced diet and waiting for the heart attack, or living like any other unsuspecting species that surged ahead until nature forcibly returned them to balance.
Sure, such destruction took a while. People could live for years on processed foods before disease crept in, and generations could come and go for thousands of years, living wildly as if nature’s laws didn’t exist, since individuals wouldn’t necessarily be aware of what was happening, paying attention mostly to their immediate surroundings and the events of their day (like denying global warming because it was locally cold), sometimes living unfulfilled lives and dying young or horribly from disease as a result, believing the species would continue to go on unchecked…up until it was.
I was almost saddened to break free of that holding pattern and return to an apparently unchanged earth. But something had changed. A message was waiting on my machine to call my office. My company, it turned out, had grown too large – out of balance with its abilities – and the market was forcing a correction, leading to many of us getting laid off.