April 22, 2010

The Power to Make the World

Have you ever looked at the landscape around you and tried to separate the manmade from the natural? Have you ever taken a trip to the wilderness and wondered if you were the only person ever to see this particular beautiful view?

The hand ~ and eyes ~ of man is everywhere in our world. I would guess that all vistas have been seen by a multitude of people, and that you are never “the first” to see something. Some people may find this depressing. Wait, I wanted it to be just me, they think. I wanted me to be special. But it should also be comforting, I think, that humans are humans the world over, and they seek new vistas and are ever questing and questioning. You are not alone.

Humans have a real drive to create, to push boundaries, to effect their world. They are ants making an anthill. One ant can’t do much ~ move a few small rocks ~ but an army of ants can make a mini mountain.

The human race has affected the world a lot. Even in places that seem wild, often the Park Service or Native Americans or someone has affected the landscape, even if it seems natural to the untrained eye. They may have cleared the brush to prevent forest fires or rocks that seem to be in a natural formation may be the remains of a fire ring. And in cities, of course, everything is affected.

What really strikes me is that everything ~ and I mean everything ~ created by man started in someone’s imagination. Each rock that’s moved to build a stone fence, each shovelful of dirt that’s lifted for irrigation, the ore that’s mined to create the chips that are in your computer ~ some aspect of that started in someone’s mind and then another person’s mind expanded on it and then another until we have this amazing technological innovation or these beautiful cities.

Think about it. Each little ant moves its little rock, and each little human dreams his or her little dreams and applies his or her resources toward this small end. All together, they change the face of the earth. And it all began as electrical impulses, dreams, plans, in people’s minds. Talk about the power of imagination.

What I’m Reading Today: I began Louise Erdrich’s The Plague of Doves. Lovely. I love her skill and her darkness. (Someone once told me that I write like Louise, and I can’t tell you how thrilled that makes me. I hope someday to approach her level of craft.)

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