“I dream my painting and I paint my dream.”
― Vincent Willem van Gogh
The world is awash with advice. In fact, we’re drowning in it.
“Don’t do that.”
But are things getting better?
It depends on where and what you look at.
My gaze is fixated across the barren lands of the Anthropocene. It may not float everyone’s boat but, even allowing for this never-ending pandemic, for me, it’s the most important game in town.
And of course, we know the solution(s):
lower our expectations;
build better stuff; and
stop ducking the issue.
Ah, now you’re talking.
I’m not sure.
Actually, that’s not correct. I’m very sure that we’re not doing enough, not nearly enough — on any level — to avert the catastrophe that’s hurtling towards us at breakneck speed. Truth is, we’re either in denial or frozen to the spot.
What though would happen if we framed a better or at least a different question; namely, what does a dead world like qua the human race? Does it mean we’re all dead? Or does it mean that we adapt but life carries on?
Even if this isn’t the right question, I wonder what it would take for us, company boards (i.e. directors/shareholders) and the political class to stop dithering?
In my case, short as I am on the meme of hope, the most pressing issue is to continue to invite a question that questions my stereotypical narrative as to what it means to give credence to and acknowledge the better angels of my/our nature whilst respecting Gaia and all living things? It doesn’t automatically follow that my spending patterns will change or the use of energy (which is still too heavily dependent on fossil fuels) or driving a car but I don’t see how we can continue to walk in the shadow of this man-made catastrophe and still be a better human being. Of course, I might have this all wrong. I can be more humane whilst still trashing the planet but somehow I don’t think so.
What about you?
What would it look like to, as Rilke would say, “live the question [now]”?
Have a wonderful Sunday.