15.7.10

an excerpt from the book I'll never write.




The sun had set and a golden haze hung in the air, as if each airborne particle of dust and pollen was illuminated with the summer sun while the ground I walked on was bathed in shadow. The sky was still a persistent blue, streaked with a large swath of watercolour pink and the air was thick with the scents from various white flowers growing throughout the field in which I was walking. The wind spread its wings and gained speed, leaving the young poplars to dance in its wake, their leaves creating a faint rush of musical sound. I lost myself in it momentarily, almost able to drown out the sounds of nameless faces driving countless cars on the distant freeway. I breathed deep the perfumed breeze, so deliciously different from the smog and exhaust of the inner city, and relaxed. How could one exist day to day beneath the thick layer of grime, when such beautiful pockets of wilderness existed? They don't want to, but they need to. Need...right. Their perceptions of wanting and needing were quite contrary. They need to breathe the unclogged air once and a while. But they want to make money so they submit their body to a thin layer of pollution each and every day.
I laughed inwardly. Here I go again, making my social and political commentaries to no one but the birds and bees. It was a silly thing to do, but I found comfort in it. I figured, if I could see the bigger picture of our stay on earth, that it would make me above it all. That I could not be counted as a statistic in the hapless crowd of billions.
Billions. A number so big I could never relate to it. An adjective to explain away our breadth, as if the fact that we'd copulated ourselves into twelve digits made us any more illustrious. I could never fathom it, so I disregarded it. I cared not about the goings on, the minor details that got other people so entwined, so fixated. It tired me, to be honest. I preferred the slower pace of nature. How a tree could stay rooted for centuries and never cause a war, never murder another being from jealousy or spite or pure hatred. There was no drama and no tough life altering decisions, which university to attend to, where to get a job and whom to marry. Life comes to the trees invariably. They age with no concern and no control; they are peaceful.
In that moment, I craved their peace so emphatically that I stopped my endless walk to nowhere and sat down and closed my eyes. I focused on perfect nothingness, felt the sweet breeze back again, and let it push through me. In that moment, I felt one with nature.
In that moment and that moment only. A siren's cry sliced through the stillness and I was pulled back to my reality and with a sigh I stood up. I will never be one with nature. Not when I wear shoes that protect me from the grass, clothes to protect me from the wind, glasses to help me see as if I wasn't flawed. Every innovation humans have made in order to bring them closer to ease has brought us further from where we started.
In that moment, I felt staggeringly alienated. Not only from my peers, my family and friends, but from everything else. I belonged not in nature, I belonged not in civilization. Though my mind escaped the traps men had set to reel in the new docile candidates to take on the jobs of the older generations, it was hard to escape the habits. The human mind is so impressionable, and I could not live without these frustratingly important amenities. Spoiled, is what I was, whether I liked it or not. All wishings and hopings were futile. I was not different. I was not one with nature nor would I ever be, until I'm naked and dirty and free dancing on a wild hilltop miles away from any human civilization, freed from mortal quarrels and grief-causers, blissfuly light and alive.
But until that day comes, I'm just another nameless face walking the streets on summer nights, simply enjoying the weather.