Have you ever noticed how strange your own hometown seems when you’ve just come back after spending days away on a hike in the wilderness?
Certainly, in my opinion, I need to be away for at least a week or more for that feeling to arise; otherwise going away for just a weekend or so doesn’t cut it.
Getting back to what we call civilization…sidewalks, square concrete blocks we call homes, lights, signs, weird haircuts, cars, clothes like strait jackets and cosmetics. Is this all that civilization can give us?
Comparing Nature’s wild places, forests, beaches and beasts makes us all feel so small, even if we come from cities that are full of tall, ultra modern skyscrapers. Could it be the reason why mankind is so keen to destroy, to chop down, to tame those great treasures Mother Nature has given us, because they make us feel so small? I don’t know.
Little do we realise, that if it wasn’t for the escape these wild places, these primordial wildernesses, untainted by man, the serenity of that eagle, or the freedom of the sea, we would long ago have disappeared from this planet…either that or become permanent residents in the madhouses of the world.
Like me, you may have walked amongst huge Sitka spruces, or redwoods or hemlock trees and marvelled at their ages, those massive organisms that seem to have the same essence that’s present in every human being and animal, but that we have long ago abandoned for air conditioning, electric windows or an iPhone.
I often find that once I’ve accumulated enough funds in my pocket to take care of my bills and other expenses, and am left with enough to plan another walk, another escape, that’s all the excuse I need.
I’d rather escape with those few dollars in my pocket, and go sit amongst the forests that are close to me, the rainforests or coasts of the Pacific Northwest, and sit or walk and lick my wounds that civilization gives us as a result of living within it’s confines.
I realised long ago that there is something wrong with the way we live, working like madmen to earn enough to keep the bills at bay, then drinking, partying, chasing after women like demonic possessed people, in order to try and wash away the stress caused by living.
Every morning we arise to the insult of our clocks, swallow a few mouthfuls of breakfast, and speed off to whomever we have signed up to sell our souls, in order that we may stave off the inevitable bills.
Wouldn’t it be so much better, if we could arise when our bodies were good and rested, wash leisurely, sit down to a serene peaceful breakfast, then either read quietly, or go take a silent walk among a beach or park, and only then, sit down and type a few sides of paper that will pay just enough to keep us going.
I laugh sometimes at the simple truth an old Chinese man told me. He said, “we are all locked into the 99 cycle…..a man who has 99 cents wants $99, a man who has $99 wants $999, a man who has $999 wants $9999….”! So true.
Do we have to rush to work, and then rush back home, shell-shocked, worn, tired and beaten, as if driven mad like some whipped beast from hell, shackled to an onslaught of drudgery and repetition, a yoke which all mankind has come to accept as entirely necessary.
Or why do we need to rush to our fridges when we get home, only to guzzle down as many beers as necessary that will anesthetize our souls, anesthetize the stress and anger within us, like the constant whining chant of tormented or harangued poltergeists.
Why do we arise each morning, go through the same rituals again and again, rush outside our cages we call homes, the spit at the sky and head back to the treadmills.
Wouldn’t it be better to to be able to instead listen to jazz or Beethoven, and live life at our own pace, not at the pace we are expected to live.
Yes, I do realise that these words are probably coming from an idealistic part of my head, some unknown Nirvana untouched and untamed by civilization, but I believe there is some truth in it.
I think we need to look very closely how we are living. We need to take as much as Nature has given us in those wilderness areas that are still left, for, before long, those who call themselves civilised, modernized, educated….but who seem to be mostly caged up, un-free mobs of henchmen, will inevitably come to confront us freedom lovers one day, and walk us back to our cages where they are happy to keep us always.
That’s my rant for today!