I used to be inspired by nature, more than anything. But these days? Well, things have changed.
It used to be a comforting thought that nature was an endless series of cycles, replenishing themselves. But that isn’t technically true anymore – thanks to us.
Finding solace in something so out of balance doesn’t really work for me any longer. I don’t need to read statistics to see what has changed. I just need to look out of the window. We had one H*** of a drought here in Denmark last summer, and this year we’ve had one in April(!!!) already.
Am I supposed to overlook that, and just barge on with how beautiful the budding leaves look? Well, I just can’t… Not that I don’t see it, but it has become tinged with a sadness that wasn’t there before.
On the other hand, writing opinionated pieces about climate change doesn’t come natural to me either. And I also don’t see the point. Why? Well, it feels increasingly as if the entire world is in a state of civil war. The politicians don’t have the knowledge, nerve or skills to do anything much – and the population takes it out on each other instead, in sheer desperation.
You once stepped foot on a plane? Booh! You ate a steak yesterday? Booh! You used aircon in a hotel? Booh! You own a car? Booh!
Oh, come on. How is anything constructive ever going to come from that?
Placing blame doesn’t help. It just breeds resentment. Holding companies and politicians accountable, on the other hand, might do something. In the meantime they are all too pleased to see us fight amongst ourselves. Divide and conquer…
And besides, we’re just humans. With all that it entails, like buying the cheapest food options available at the end of the month – whether organic or not, driving to work for convenience, and giving in to kids who want to go far way on vacation because all their classmates do the same and they feel left out… Most are caught in the trap of society’s expectations and unlikely to change much, however burdened by guilt.
And I ask myself: just where does poetry even fit into this picture? Would it help to politicize it – or should one just go on pretending the world is as it used to be – for the sake of the art? ?
I would like to believe that the portrayal of nature in poems, arts and films would give people an increased appreciation for it, and urge to protect it. But I don’t really believe that it’s the case. Watching a nature show like Netflix’ “Our Planet” is more likely to induce an urge to step on a plane and go see the places featured, than to hurriedly turn off the screen and start growing one’s own vegetables (which I do already, in any case).
Nature used to be a great source of inspiration to mankind. An antidote to stress. A place to sort out one’s thoughts in peace and quiet. And beautiful, not to mention.
We may have to face the fact that we have robbed ourselves of that. And how much poorer our lives become as a result.
I can re-read my back catalogue of poems, and reminisce. But I can’t bring back the sentiments that led me to write those pieces. It is in the past. Back when it actually rained regularly in my Temperate Climate Zone home, and not as a torrent causing floods after months of drought.
Back when it felt like praising nature was the most natural things in the world. While exploiting it.