Tuesday, February 03, 2009

What to do about lack of nature?

One of the themes that comes up consistently in my writing is the idea that the cities we live in, and the artificialities we surround ourselves with, are some how at odds with our nature. It's a very nuanced opinion, so a single sentence couldn't really encapsulate it. That's the problem. The theme comes up, but there are all these complications regarding whys, and regarding how our current state may not always be at odds with us.

That's the thing. I don't have a lot of solutions to offer, only critiques. I don't want to just provide a negative analysis of this aspect of modernity. Offering solutions is part of a good critique, and I just don't have any.

This idea(along with it's twin, madness) has dominated my writing since I moved away from the forests I grew up in. The forests were magnificent. I hated the people. The confining nature of the social structure was all the more evident for the openness of the world around me.

I spent so much effort trying to get out, trying to separate myself from the nearsightedness so clearly displayed, that I missed the full effect of a forest on my psyche.

The freedom of being able to leave my front door and be in a world where I could completely avoid human interaction was amazing. If I were to leave my door today I would find pavement, and the sound of engines. Everywhere are the sounds of machines, whirring on, slowly insinuating that there is some mechanical god keeping us all in check.

I want to fix that. The only solution to this disparity between what we are and what our cites are is what I've been thinking of as plant terrorism. I use the word terrorism because it has emotive force. what I'd like to do doesn't resemble terrorism in any way. I am not planing on spreading fear. It is the spreading of plant life that I'd like to work on.

on all of the concrete structures that line the campus I want to plant climbers which will grow up the walls, covering the cold, too-smooth manmade stone. Find someplace with the right conditions and plant an Ivy. one of the great things about this is the fact that once you have ivy on a wall, taking it off takes pieces of the wall with it. The permanence of what we create isn't really permanence at all. Each thing we make can be destroyed in rather short measure, adding plants reminds us of that.

I understand the problems with upkeep, and damage to property, but I feel like removing some of the anxiety, and damage our overly planned cities cause is well worth a bit of vandalism. We've spent so long trying to subvert nature, it's time to , if only slightly, help it along.

The things that surround us are concrete and glass, and we are slaves to these materials. The wood we see is processed, and stained, and varnished. The trees we see are city approved, and managed by arborists, and experts. In a city, or even a town of any decent size, the wills of nature are secondary to the wills of man.

So maybe we can avert this crisis of mind that living in our manmade shelters seems to be causing. Plant something. Make the world less grey, and perhaps things will get a little better.

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