Nat/Techno Chrysalis


Kim Rush


            Sun, sharp blue sky, whisper tendrils of white clouds, sole hot sand, gentle waves slap at shore, humans sit glazed in sun block cream, sun glasses on, and cell phones to ear.  Motorboats roar back and forth, wave runners bluster noise and slap, slap, slap the opposing waves; all going nowhere.  A young girl sits and cries into her cell phone that she wants to come home to the air-conditioning—and that she’s suffering from mosquito bites.  


     The waves continue to slap the shore.  The majesty of the great lake lives on; alive, cupped in its four to nine hundred foot deep crevice, eternal in its wet nature, but unaware of the human infestation at its edges.


            The humans come and go from cars, motorcycles, and moterhomes; electronically alive assembly-line products made for the comfort of the people, or the profit for a few.  The youngest children, yet unaware of the mechanical, magical contraptions, run from them and go straight into the water in pure joy of the wet wonder.  Mothers run to slather sun block on them.  Soft ones smooth on suntan lotion—careful, no sand on me, while old dad tries to get the sun glare off of his laptop so he can see the screen with its absolute importance from the wireless internet.  Ipods have silenced the beach music of yore. 


     A slender woman—properly structured as to social norms, stands at the water’s edge holding, with both hands, a leash attached to a large, straining to follow its nature, pitbull dog.  Its back legs are dug into the sand like coiled springs while it pulls, barks, growls, and slavers to chase the gulls and the small children running on the beach.  She laughs, and proudly announces to the beach people that: “Aw, he don’t do nothing, but sit with me and watch TV.”  The dog digs in and pulls her a few feet toward a running toddler.  The dog owner digs in her heels, stops the dog, and laughs at her animal’s killing nature drive.  “He’s just a big baby,” she says.  A mother gathers up the toddler and walks quickly away.  Suddenly, two cars join in a duet of beeping, yelling that someone has dared to touch their gleaming metal skin.  Two men stand in unison and point and push their electronic commands to the cars.  All but the very young seem technologically connected, but unconnected from the realness of nature?


            “I ain’t never been in a lake in my life.  And I ain’t never gonna be,” I once heard a middle-age prairie dweller proudly proclaim.  Much farther away from this modern statement and away from the technological beach show, I sit on a human empty shore with miles of Lake Michigan shoreline stretching far far away to each side.  There is no human created noise.  It is a quietness that is alien to modern man’s normally stimuli bombarded brain.  It is hard to accept.  Only the soft whoosh of waves, an occasional gull cry, the wind in tree leaf dance, and my breathing--for one can actually hear their own breathing in nature’s quiet. These soft sounds work in a natural rhythm of life, joining with my being.  The immense beauty of water, earth, and sky fill me, take over me, become me and I become more than just me.  The petty traumas of human modern social existence: bills, car troubles, work for others’ riches, television flat reality, propagandists yelling that they know all, the doorbell, the phone ringing, the neighbor atop neighbor atop neighbor, all now, in my connection to nature’s omniscience, are understood as an un-natural man-made falseness of life.  The clean, cold water draws me to it.  I go, seemingly drawn by something more than me, something more than man, something brimming with billions of years of existence, experiential knowing.


            Rolling ridges of sand meet my feet as I tread through the refreshing water.  A gull swoops down to look at me.  The waves slap at my knees, pushing me back, then the plunge into coolness and submersion from human reality; I am in; I am gone; I am there.  I surface, gasp the air, and then kneel in submission to the constant wind and wrap the cold water around me to keep warm.  In the bob and roll of the water I wonder what this lake was to the native people before capitalism came to sell nature to the mass of consumers who don’t know what nature is to the human spirit, for the farther away anything gets from its core source, the weaker it becomes. 


            What would it have been like to come across the former virgin Michigan forested land and to step onto this beach?  The vastness would have engulfed the person and it is now easy for me to understand the concept of everything in nature having a spirit, for all to a native person then was alive.


            The waves slap me forward—back to the beach.  I fight my way back out into the lake’s spirit and imagine the teeming wildlife formerly at the lake.  Ducks, geese, gulls, eagles, herons, perch, salmon, smelt in amazing swarms to the beach, butterflies and bugs shining in the air, bears, moose, deer, and so, so much more must have been an astonishing food offering for the native person.  How would this compare to the hot dog stand at the other beach?


            For the beach people, one does not have to be the “fittest” to survive when there’s a hot dog stand.  The progressive process of evolution has been stopped.  No longer does the “survival of the fittest” apply, for our technology has stopped this seemingly progressive improvement and fine tuning of the human species.  Ironically, the attributes given to us by nature have bastardized into the damping of the human species.  And the beach people have become a group-person; all the same, only consumers buying, buying, buying, following, following, following what they are surreptitiously or straight forwardly told to do.  The natural “if this then that” reaction to the environment has been shattered into millions of psychological shards, leading to an accepted confusion.


            In this confusion it is easy to see how we are so easily led?  We walk in a unison of fear, for we do not know the omniscient truth of nature.  Nature has become a product, but the product is a false nature and thus a farther step away from the tangible realness of life in nature. 


            Our children are “educated” by television stations “teaching” them how to think.  Unlike the tangible book or nature in hand, or real human voice in ear, the television show offers a reality of speaking, moving, constructed schematic structures of falseness.  A book in a child’s hand is just that; it is in his/her hand and the pictures and words are concrete to the touch and to the mind.  A frog in a child’s hands is a touch of life.   But when a boy character on the television screen speaks and presents a constructed progression with flat colored animals who speak and move, to a child’s mind that has not yet recognized true physical reality, then the child’s mind is being shaped in a false schematic reality.  How then can this false schematic shaping of a brain lead to a true connection or understanding of the real, tangible reality of human existence?


            So we have: “I ain’t never been in a lake in my life.  And I ain’t never gonna be,” “Aw, he don’t do nothing, but sit with me and watch TV.”  Or, we have in a true nature event, a young high school student who went through a direct hit of nature, a tornado, on his high school, say, “Everything got real quiet, like when you mute the TV.”


            With mass velocity we can not step back to nature, for we are now the six billion; now the masses of a species infested on, not in, nature.  We seemingly can not step forward, for the sharpening, shaping of the human animal in “the survival of the fittest” is gone.  Our intellectual ability has been lowered by being in technology and the masses.  This stagnation of humanity’s growth must be addressed, for we either grow or die as the truism posits.  Or, we become the masses manipulated by the few for those few and we, the sheep masses, become nothing but a herd to a vacant life slaughter and the omniscient eye of nature blinks out on us. 


      What will metamorph from this Nature/Technology chrysalis in which we now find ourselves encased?  Since we seemingly have become the consumer herd, to work only to buy, to only eat, to only drink, thus to only produce human fecal matter, is our rebirthing from this chrysalis then only for us to become capitalistic shit machines, flushing our mass product to nature?