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Death by Pixels

I am living out my days in what once was a forested community but now a growing suburbia of machines and city noise.

Death by Pixels

It is and was an early model for “sustainable development” in its day but oddly all it brings is the sound of construction sites and city sirens and a lot of truck traffic. As if only the construction of sustainability is what is being sustained. For it has been at least a decade now of growing noise.

I do not know if it will end. Perhaps when all the green is gone.

It is quiet only at daybreak and at dusk sometimes. That is usually when the deer would come. Last night the geese were restless on the river and you could hear them fussing, honking, chuttling in the water. The water of a river has its own rhythm unlike the sea. I mention the sea because I find it strange now that I spend so much time remembering it where I was partly grown.

Perhaps it is because no matter the noise of civilization, the sea had its own command demanding all your senses. At the rocky shore only the caustic cry of a seagull can dwarf the sound of rocks pitted against rocks rolling in the receding waves. Sometimes it sounds like the ragged breath of a dying thing but sometimes it is a place to put your fears and pain—to feel the water drawing away these sad things until they are far away. To that far horizon tenderly yielding to the sky. And when the sadness finds the sky there, it disperses to memory and you can breathe again. The world and all its nonsense at your back. It is a place to linger.

It is a soul’s reluctance that finds the cutting wind that forces you to turn back and face it again—the world. Because it must be done. You are not a stone in the ocean, a seagull in the sky. You are not a sea creature foraging. You are not a point of light where far seas meet the sky. Not yet anyway. You are here. You are human.

And whether being the human you are is what you chose or not, at the end it is only what it is. It is likely the choice was never yours. We came into being for reasons it might take a lifetime to understand and even then we may not understand but the knowing there is reason is what matters. We are not fish in the sea. We are not an accident.

We may not choose but by virtue of our birth we are chosen. To be human. It is the ONE commonality we all know to be true.

And that means we fight like hell to be human. Has the time come yet now to stand in testament to that?

One would think so.

Or do we just hand it all away? Forget our birthright as humans? What good were we anyway if we should come to this desperation to flee our very existence into some prescribed cold inhuman machine void? But perhaps we don’t know that? It is after all the place we play, work, chat, indulge, learn. It has everything doesn’t it? All the human heart desires. Endless promises and novelty and convenience and community. A click away.

But that is not the world we were given. That is the world we made. It is only pixels in the shadow’s of Plato’s cave. We can play with them if we wish, but they are still shadows. And what once was a tool has become the master of our very lives.

What is it then to be human? Sometimes we only know not what we are or what we want but what we don’t want. A lifetime of defining what we don’t want makes us what we are for some. And what is it, then as humans, that we do not want? Stand then in opposition to that. In every way. And that involves knowing there is a choice. In even the smallest of things.

In the end it is the choice itself we fight for.

We do not fight for the big things so much as find the little things that we challenge until the tributaries meet the river that meets the sea. And the sea is a force to be reckoned with. It will always win. If we as individual humans understand that, we will win.

Unless of course we’re idiots which we most probably are.


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