Malice and Mockery Went for a Walk

Wouldn’t we (Humanity, that is) be surprised to learn Nature is a sentient being and that she has finally decided to rid herself of a constant thorn in her side? How might we react if incontrovertible proof showed the monstrous hurricanes and the outbreaks of devastating tornadoes within the last five or ten years occurred not by accident but emerged from Nature’s blind rage? What if earthquakes and tsunamis, once caused by simple and natural geological adjustments had become conspiratorially militant strikes against humankind?

Well, if these things were spelled out to us in ways that made their validity and reality impossible to reject, we would reject them nonetheless. Because we are superior. To everything. We own all of the Milky Way galaxy and the universe beyond. Our reign will never end because we are the supreme masters of all creation. Yes, this is how we would react because this, apparently, is what we believe. We would never think that Nature, always under our control, would intentionally unleash a series of savage attacks on humankind in a deliberate effort to rid the world of us. We could not comprehend the idea that we might simply be parasites whose annoying properties had become to much for Nature to bear. And the idea of a sentient, thinking Nature capable of having motives for her madness? Rubbish!

Dinosaurs once believed in their superiority, too. I remember a conversation I had with a triceratops (I’ll call him Bruce). He asserted without a hint of irony that Nature had better watch herself or Bruce and his clan would bring her to her knees. Bruce and his family and friends perished in a volcanic firestorm just before a massive meteor reduced to a sullen, dank swamp the territory they previously ruled.

Nature is not just the leaves and vines and forest creatures and fish in the sea. No, she is air and water and atmospheric dust. And she constitutes the clouds and the sun and every star in the sky and beyond. Nature controls anger and compassion and laughter and tears. Nature is far more complex than the brain of that most arrogant creature, the one who mistakenly believes Nature is simply a tool he can manipulate to do his bidding. And, finally, she has had enough. While she could simply snuff out the offensive bastards who attempted to subjugate her, she has chosen to torment and torture the imperious son of a bitch for a few decades—enough time to ensure that the progeny of the progeny of the progeny of the progeny of the ones who unleashed nuclear fear on the world pay for their ancestors’ misdeeds. Nature has decided to slowly and deliberately dissolve every shred of human DNA.

But, wait. When I say “deliberate,” I do not mean the word in the way we normally understand it. I mean that Nature has determined that the parasitic experiment that is humankind has caused unpleasant tears in the fabric of eternity. Therefore, Nature has determined, it must be excised so that the natural order of Everything can be returned to some semblance of normal. The process will take time, to ensure that the message gets through to every tiny slice of human DNA before it is returned to Universal Fuel. UF is everything between everything else. It is what is “there” when there’s nothing there.

I think I’ve mistakenly suggested Nature has anger in the same way humans do. No, Nature’s anger is simply a normal process of digesting and disposing of unwelcome intruders on her domain of everlasting acceptance. And I may have been mistaken in suggesting Nature torments and tortures in ways like humans engage in those activities. Nature’s torment is simply a way of accelerating engagement. And torture, while unpleasant to the tortured, is a natural prodding; a reminder of what is real and controllable versus what is unreal and chaotic.

Bruce finally understood the futility of control. Control is an illusion. Bruce and his successor creatures had and have no control. They react to stimuli over which they have no influence; a little like worms responding to heat by curling into little balls.


In other news, my arthritis can be almost unbearably painful, but that extreme form of Natural torture last only a short time. Thereafter, the pain is tolerable but assertively present almost without interruption. The joints in my fingers feel like red-hot needles are piercing my flesh and bones; as if I know how that would feel…but I can imagine it.


Enough of that. I have to save avocados from spoilage and I have to cook a pork tenderloin from before the accompanying kale, etc. goes bad. Admittedly odd breakfast, but frankly that’s the sort of thing that makes me happy. I’m off to get happy.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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