Snug in my craft, taking each spacetime curve to a smooth jazz arrangement of “Just My Imagination,” it became clear. Things were slowing. We were winding down.
It’d been a good ride. Not in every age and not for everybody, but for enough of humanity, we’d experienced amazing things. In the process we’d blindly terraformed our planet into something more suited to tubeworms and gastropods than to big-brained bipeds, which rightly upset most sapiens. Me as well, until this morning when I journeyed north.
The thing is. The thing is. The thing is.
Such a difficult phrase to finish. So personal. Ever bordering on the messy. The thing is, even though our time is winding down and will spin us ever faster as we circle the drain, the planet is still a remarkable place. Snug in my craft, taking each spacetime curve of the highway, listening to mellow music, under the cool shadow of towering trees and snowy peaks, peace and beauty remains.
Not everywhere, of course. Up ahead are the scars from last summer’s fires. Charred hillsides, thorny with burnt trunks, and stumps like giant incense sticks going to ash. Cracked cement slabs and scorched iron skeletons, mammoth grave markers of homes and businesses left for dead. Yes. We were going down. Down down.
The thing is.
It’s not the first time. Our planetary record is clear: extinction is the norm. So, we shouldn’t be surprised, even though we’re grand at fooling ourselves and piss poor at saying “no.” We sapiens tend to monumentalize our capaciousness and sadly underestimate our zeal for overkill. That’s why I’m snug in my four-wheeled form-fitting climate-controlled craft, conscious of traveling spacetime on a smooth curving highway, listening to ones and zeros make lively music. It’s also why the land ahead is parched and blackened.
It’s well beyond our control now. Megadisasters—fires, floods, droughts, storms—making our heads spin like tops until we wobble. Until we wind all the way down.
The thing is.
Snug in my craft, cruising through spacetime, enjoying tunes, there may be a way to get right with ourselves. The planet doesn’t care. The universe either. It won’t require anything big of us. Quite the contrary. We need to make ourselves small. Hunker down. Practice humility and stay ass-clear of arrogance.
Being humble is not our default position, but when humanity is going down the drain, we might make ourselves meek enough to come out the other side and inherit a new earth.