Month: October 2016

Flying into LA Featured Image

Flying Into L.A.

Flying into LA today, I wanted to be happy to see California, and the southern mountains, and the big blue ocean. I wanted to smile thinking about good friends there, great times spent down amongst that sea of suburban homes and in nature just surrounding them.

But I couldn’t. Instead, I felt depressed. Depressed by the overbearing nature of man. Depressed looking out on the vast urban sprawl laid out over the land like the paradoxical red carpet. It’s all too square or rectangular. Too many right angles. Not enough curvature. A wholesale lack of spontaneous beauty.

Except on the coast itself, and in the mountains to the east. There, Nature holds on, strong. The mountains look down in laughter. Silly humans. The ocean laps at the shore, patiently painting its own picture. Caring less about the tractors daily manicuring its sandy canvas. For all the grandeur of the most architecturally unique building from the ground, as my flight rises over the city, it is all so easily dwarfed by the mountains and the clouds, the ocean, and the sky.

For many years, we have attempted to tame Nature. Every year a new layer of concrete or asphalt. Every hour more creatures captured and caged. Every minute more effort to control a force so uncontrollable.

But why tame a beast so beautiful in its wildness? Out of fear, no doubt. Fear bred from a lack of understanding. But what, truly, is there to be scared of? We think of life as linear. We examine “natural” trends along a finite timeline. Is time not infinite? Is Nature not cyclical? Are we not part of this cycle? Man does not walk through life on a timeline while the cycle of Nature spins around him, the unenlightened center of the universe. No, man’s existence is cyclical.

We talk about the “delicate balance of Nature.” But what if Nature is not so delicate as we believe? What if its hardiness exists to withstand the selfishness of man? What if it is capable of taking the punishment so that we might actually learn from our brutish behavior? I think it so. But I will not run around willy-nilly, exercising a lack of respect for Nature’s majesty and its mystery. Sure, Nature may be able to handle our ruthless selfishness. But, I venture, it will teach us much more if we approach it with profound respect and admiration.

We are now so removed. We must reconnect. No man is an island. No island cut off from the ocean. No tree separate from the entire forest. No forest devoid of its inhabitants. We must exercise more compassion towards our fellow Earth-dwellers. I spoke to Mother Nature today. She asked that we be nicer to one another.

There Once Was a Boy Featured Image

There Once Was a Boy…

There once was a boy who lost confidence in himself. He allowed others to dictate his course in life, and as a result, he rarely found himself completely happy or satisfied with his position. He constantly desired more, and always felt like he didn’t have enough time to get what he wanted. He struggled to prioritize that which he desired. He chipped away at his goals inconsistently. 

He made a little progress here, made small advancement there, but it was always a long while before he could accomplish anything substantial. And forever he was at risk of setbacks that wiped out even the slightest bit of progress he’d been able to make.

He wanted to break away. He imagined leaving it all behind and starting over in a fresh place with fresh faces. No attachments. No subconscious desires to keep those he loved happy. He wanted those he loved to look upon him favorably. But the actions he wanted to take didn’t always correspond favorably with that desire.

He felt out of sync with the universe. He went walking through life just as the proverbial bull would tear through a china shop. He couldn’t escape messes. He was using so much time to clean up those messes that he rarely had time to build anything useful or substantial. He felt irresponsible. He knew he must stop making messes if he wished to build. But he felt constricted, confined, and imprisoned in his own home. An inmate of his own mind.

If only he could escape those constraints, change those deep-seated beliefs, and realize his full potential. He knew he could do it. Capability was not the big question. Commitment, dedication, and perseverance. Those were the qualities he felt he lacked. “I’m better than this,” he said to himself often, “I should be able to exercise full control over my time.”

But then his ride showed up. And he was off to serve someone else’s purpose, to contribute to the realization of their vision, rather than his own.