The road was clear of traffic, open, leading to the inner heart of the south bay. All around were eucalyptus, palm trees, the hazy sky of midsummer and the wondrous blue of the western sky.
And through it all, cutting like a stare of hatred across a room, was the shimmering asphalt on which my car rode. That, and the cement walls, new with vines as part of the city’s beautification project. “The beautification of cities”. Never has an oxymoron so conjured my bile.
I swept past the beautiful palms too fast to notice them. Also escaping my notice was the pleasant breeze felt by the leaves of the eucalyptus as they closed their eyes and swayed naked in the wind. Nor did I see the timid rabbit, watching me from the palm’s base. The peace, the quiet – the whole essence of this field of nature – was divided irrevocably in two by the black proof of man’s scientific genius.
Not only was nature divided from nature, but man from nature as well. As if a straight line (forgive the metaphor) had bounded man’s soul, and forced him into the role of a spectator over what he had once known.
So clear, black, and definite, this “Straight Path” mean for oil-burning machines. But is the soul’s straight path so antithetical to the terrain surrounding it?
Now as I look to my left, I see those creeper vines along the cement wall again – but now they appear as animals, green geckos, scurrying over the side to return to their native home. Man’s industry has created a world within a world, and our attempts to import what we destroyed in creating it, only produces a mass exodus of those elements to their original habitat. Even the H-bombs appear as an infinitely subtle attempt on the part of those materials used for their construction, to return to the dust from whence they came.
Green lizards, leaping from the river of black that nips at their toes, scampering with tremendous effort to reach the edge of that shore and beyond... But where am I... Who am I... these are only creeper vines planted for the gracing of a highway! Perhaps my vision has unveiled to me a secret yearning in the heart of things: to return to their primeval nature.