I wrote about giant houses in big fields in my journal last night. This is what I wrote:
"I don't know how else to describe what I see other than an intense disappointment. Anger, perhaps. More and more I see what used to be lush forests, cow pastures and green grass turn into a plot of land for some gigantic brick and stone eye sore. Around these elaborate caves are a handful of hand-picked trees; all the trees that occupied the land before the cave came are all gone. Then, as if it weren't bad enough, the occupants of these caves pour asphalt over the grass to create a path to their cave for their elaborate vehicles to drive down. The grass around the cave was home to many rodents, which, in turn, attracted many birds of prey and canis latrans (coyote), which usually meant deer would be there, too. All that is replaced by manicured lawns and fertilizer. Rodents are exterminated, the wild life goes away altogether.
How depressing, our condition. Escape while you can."
I realise that I sound like I am a part of some over-intellectual bourgeoisie sitting in my study writing about the woes of the world. And I guess to some extent, I am.
I can't help but comment on the state of things; though at least what separates me from the likes of Marx is twofold:
1) I hate communism
2) I am self-aware
But if you really had a problem with my soapboxing, you wouldn't be here, I am sure.
Seeing gargantuan houses dot the rolling hills of south-central Ontario is not all bad, though. It means people are making a living for themselves and they're doing quite well. I have no objection to making a good living.
I do, however, have an objection to ceaseless consumerism: a disease more repugnant and crippling to our society than, say, obesity.
Bigger for the sake of bigger.
New for the sake of new.
One of the things I appreciated most about living in Europe for six months back in 2015 was that money and objects came second to people and nature. Such was the case with the people we stayed with, anyways.
Communities were tangible, they weren't a group on Facebook or followers on Instagram. Don't get me wrong, those things exist there, too. Perhaps it's just those 'old world' habits dying hard, but people needed community, particularly in Italy.
In respect to land, it wasn't excavated so a house could be erected where trees once stood for hundreds of years. No, instead a house was built within the nature of which it was about to become apart of. Urban sprawl was non-existent, notwithstanding the United Kingdom.
I can't help but think we've got this standard of living thing all wrong.
I can't help but be entirely convinced in my own head that smaller houses, bigger communities and more nature would lead to more fulfilling lives than taking your plot of land, building to its edges and isolating yourself from the people and world around you.
Maybe I'm wrong.
Or maybe, I'm just different.
I'll end with this:
I saw an outdoor fireplace in a catalogue the other day. On the smoke stack was a television. So, you know, you could watch the Outdoor Life Network whilst in your backyard. The irony.
I think that image, which is now burned into my memory, is the perfect summary of where we're at in the world and that's exactly where I'll leave this blog be.