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Opening

It’s just come to me that I’ve experienced the very same feeling in four different places.  Coming out the top of Pima Canyon trail north of Tucson to suddenly see a valley of hundreds of square miles open below my feet, unfilled by human habitation.  Driving south along the winding Penobscot River for miles from Bangor, Maine, into and out of dells and glens, when over the umpteenth hill comes the entirety of Penobscot Bay into view, dotted with islands.  Swimming along a reef in Hawaii and focusing on the colorful fish by my side, casually looking forward for more and finding myself at the reef’s edge looking at a sea so deep blue that I can’t process its existence.  Lying on my back in a meadow on a sunny day, trying to look through all the blue above me and finding that the effort hurts my eyes.

The world opens up in some places, and I am reminded how small I am.

6 comments to Opening

  • Dave

    I once found myself lost in a Louisiana bayou, walking my bicycle on a white sand levy road on a moonless night. Billions of twinkling stars in a black sky and as many twinkling fireflies were reflected in the still black water that was on both sides of the levy, so it seemed that I was on a road through space, strolling the Milky Way, twinkling things all around above and below me. Frightening, exhilarating. Whoa, time to snap out of this, but thanks for reminding me.

  • Bill

    How small we are when we gaze quietly on the Universe around us, and how large we are when we positively affect the course of history through right effort; both of these sensations are as vital as air, water, or food for the nurture of our souls.

  • Tom

    What happens when one finally figures out that everything they’ve been doing, at root, has been involved in the destruction of the environment that supports us? All the good we were trying to do has lead to pollution, population overshoot, resource depletion, economic misery and (by working and paying taxes) the main support for a militaristic hegemony unmatched in history at causing death, destruction and the creating of enemies.

    Now that we’re on the brink of extinction, its time to admit we were no better than cancer. Earth will be better off without humanity, with its deadly trait of “intelligence” and “problem solving.”

    • Dave

      Tom, will you quit negating your own existence? Without us, the world would have no one wax poetic about its beauty. Life is short, dude. Check out that You-Tube video with George Carlin “Earth is Fine.” How can anyone disagree with him on this?

  • Tom

    Dave, wake up and smell the hydrogen sulfide. It’s not fine enough to support life any more: we’ve polluted the water, the soil’s depleted (check out how the nutritional value of vegetables has decreased over the years), ya got radiation everywhere, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to grow enough food (soon ANY food) due to climate change (that we caused living the way we do – via industrial civilization).

    I’m feeling badly for the mess we’ve left what few generations (if any) follow us. You have children, Dave? “Just party til you can’t” isn’t going to help them any.
    Your wish to ignore it doesn’t make it any less real or dire.

    We have an unresponsive “democratic” (in name only) government that isn’t going to change in time enough to be of use when the collapse really bites down hard, and, as we’ve seen with Obama, no matter who you vote for, they’re owned by corporate world/Wall St. We’re being spied on by the very government we support with taxes from the few jobs that they’ve left us. The money is turning to shit any way, and when there’s no food or water it doesn’t matter how much money you have. The police and homeland security are already out of control, so what do you think is going to happen when things start going down hill in a hurry?

    We’ve polluted the Gulf of Mexico so badly that the thermohaline flow (Gulf
    Stream) is now screwed up beyond repair, besides the fact that it’s a giant dead zone now. The Pacific is being saturated with radiation from Fukushima (as well as dumped barrels of other power-plant and bomb-factory nuclear waste since the 1950’s), more every day since they can’t just “shut it off.”

    It would be one thing if every day we were working to improve things, but that’s not what is going on, in case you missed the memo. All (y)our labor and everything else on the planet has been “commodified” in order to transfer it all to paper wealth and send to the “winners.” Civilization is omnicidal.

    Sorry to have ‘harshed yer buzz’ with my comment.

    • Dave

      Tom, perhaps most of humanity will perish in the world you anticipate. Make up your mind that you and yours will thrive. Don’t know if this’l help, but this guy says it better than me:

      “What each of us must do is cleave to what we find most beautiful in the human heritage and pass it on so that one day, one day when this endarkenment exhausts itself, those precious things we’ve passed on will still be alive, stained perhaps but functional, still present in some form, and it will be possible for the people of that day to make use of them to construct a life that is a life — the life of freedom and variety and order and light and dark, in their proper proportions (whatever they may be). The life that we’d choose now if we could.” — Michael Ventura, The Age of Endarkenment @ The Great Zero Gate

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