Okay. As a wild thing myself, I’m an unreserved, unabashed lover of the natural world. Always have been. Since my earliest memories (and even before that according to my mother) I’ve gone to the trees, the rocks, and the waters…the storms and the stars…whenever I was confused or unraveling. I’m not sure why exactly. It’s just where I felt better.
My relationship with the human world, however, has been more complicated. Initially, I was pretty enthusiastic about us. But then hard things happened and I went through a middle phase, struggling with some disillusionment and bitterness before finally, during the hospice years, finding my way back to a vision of people that’s good.
Again…I have so much to be grateful for, to the dying who let me be with them.
Then this morning, I watched a trailer for BBC One Human Planet (I know, it’s been out forever and you’ve probably seen it already but still, wow. I mean really, wow…) and visually it seemed to pull together the love I now hold for both worlds in one beautiful, jaw-dropping, mosaic of cinematography.
Which is a powerful…not to mention valuable…thing to do. I don’t think I’m the only one that views the human and natural worlds as distinct. First, the industrial age and next, the technological/information one have been terrific for shielding us from the cosmic brunt of natural forces, but in the process they’ve separated us from them, too.
Modern homes are now designed to cut us off as much as possible from fluctuations in just about everything–temperature, wind, light, smells, noise, wildlife, microbes, radiation, crime, neighbors–while our cars strive to prevent us from feeling like we’re even touching the ground. Somewhere along the line we all agreed on what was the safest, most comfortable environment, and then we built it into everywhere we were likely to spend time; homes, office buildings, vehicles, planes, ships, hotels, malls, banks, airports, restaurants so that, if we wanted to, we could now live sans contact with most of the natural world, most of the time. And some people do. Did you know that roughly 80% of people in the U.S. have never seen the Milky Way?
We’ve come so far and so much of its good. But even so, sometimes I feel like I’m living in a pillow. It’s wonderful and amazing and safe, for sure, but it also feels like I can’t get quite enough air.
This trailer captures glimpses of some of the non-pillow people all over the world–wild people still living in wild places. The ones who haven’t been separated into our modern, second world yet. They’re still creating a lot of their miracles without technology…and I forgot how inspiring and amazing those kinds of miracles are, too. With as hard as their lives must be in some ways, I’ll bet at least they have plenty of air to breathe, every day. I wish there was some way to weave these two worlds together again. It’s hard always feeling like I have to make a choice.
The video is 3:20 minutes long but you’d never know it. And please…you have to watch it full screen. (In the name of all that’s good and right, you have to.) For those who don’t know what that means, look down in the bottom right hand corner of the video box below and click the four arrows pointing in different directions. The video box will expand to fill your entire computer screen. Then just buckle your seat belt, click play, and you’re good to go. Oh…and if you want to see the actual series, I found the DVDs on Netflix. I imagine they might be available other places as well.
copyright Dia Osborn 2011