If nature is our mother, we have severe mommy issues.

Virgin Mary, El Greco

We are living in the age of the anti-aesthetic. The ugly has become beautiful. For instance:

  • Memes are the paintings of our time.
  • “Noise” is a genre of music.
  • Stick and poke tattoos are adornments to the body.
  • People use social media with religious fervor to post pictures of dead rats smattered along the sidewalk (all in the name of beauty).
  • Abrahamic religions are seen as sources of evil and greed rather than light and positivity.
  • Pornography is everywhere, making people believe good sex is about how many positions can be accomplished in 15 minutes.
  • Trauma-bonding is a common way to make friends.
  • Manipulation is a good thing to know how to do.
  • Sarcasm is the apex of intelligent humor.
  • Urban living is good; rural living is bad.
  • The media is violent, ugly, omnipotent and full of psy-op-ic messages encouraging distrust and fear.
  • Building a career is better than building a family. (#GirlBoss)

The popular sentiment is we exist in opposition to nature. We know, logically, we are animals, which means we are inextricable from nature. Nature envelopes us, like a mother does her unborn baby. But the emotion of our time conflicts with this objective truth. We feel inherently destructive to nature. We would sooner buy it, genetically modify it and take it like a drug than admit we are part of it.

Are we capable of true destruction? Nature can destroy with tornadoes and tsunamis. People trying to mirror nature is a little girl wearing mommy’s lipstick and heels. True destruction is divinely penetrated. We can plan to do so all we like, but our attempts at obliteration yield temporary results. New life comes with time.

We Are Making a New World, Paul Nash

What makes people unique is our capacity to plan. We are constantly making plans with ourselves and others. Look at our cities, our bombs. Skylines and fire explode out of a network of plans made by a network of people. We enjoy the grit of our cities and bombs. (Grittiness is endearing!) We build worlds of agreements to make sure we enjoy ethically.

Nature is beautiful, remorseless injustice. We feel the diametric opposite. We believe we are ugly and ought to be ashamed of ourselves. Systems are planned and implemented to enforce an idea of justice so we can feel a little bit redeemed.

We are living in a barren age. It is an age obsessed with trauma and ugliness, so much so we believe we are at war with nature. If we are at war with nature, we are at war with ourselves. And the funniest part about that is we have convinced ourselves that individualism is all we have.

We need to remember that we are all we have.

Still Life with Two Sunflowers, Vincent Van Gogh



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