what we're about

Attempts to illuminate our brief mortal existence

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


It's snowing here, on December 1 in central Indiana. A powdered sugar dusting lay on the ground when I took Landon to work before 8:00AM. Now, several hours later, it's still coming down. From the window the flakes look a little bigger, and the wind is blowing them around more.

I'm a little fascinated by weather, and by snow in particular. Walking outside during snowfall or dashing through cold rain always gives me a strange feeling of otherness. It's a feeling of being present in a system that is in no way dependent upon me for it's continued function. Living as I do in the city, I'm surrounded by the changes that we humans have made to the natural landscape in order to be able to survive and thrive on the surface of our planet. Weather is a reminder to me that some things we simply cannot keep out. No matter how many streets and houses and buildings we put up, it is going to snow on them, and rain on them, and the wind will blow around them. Weather gives me a feeling of otherness because it's not part of our system; it just is. This, in turn, reminds me of humanity's true position in relation to this planet, and of the fragility of everything that we have built up to counter our dependence upon it. In the end, we are part of a huge system that will go on no matter what we do. Even a nuclear wasteland will have weather, and even if we never figure out global climate change, and most of the earth becomes uninhabitable to humans, it will still be there. It'll just be different. It's been different before. It can do it again. We're the ones who can't handle it.

Is there anything that reminds you of the otherness of this planet that we occupy parts of? Do you find this thought encouraging, or depressing?

1 comment:

  1. The thing that reminds me that it is not just us on the planet is art. The fact that we can create a piece of art and it means so much more than what we mean it to. It can mean a thousand things to a hundred people and that blows my mind.
    That is something that proves to me it isn't just us here.