Bold Edges Blur Civilization

IMG_2236The City.

What I’ve noticed most about living in the city is how hard everything is. There are so many sharp edges, and nature is bordered, contained, manipulated, within sharp boundaries. Even the frog bouncing from bushy cover to watery home meets an untimely death at the sharp teeth of a small snake.

DSCF0158The Country.

What I’ve noticed most about living in the country is how soft everything is. There are so many animals, and nature is unbidden, free, unbound, without boundaries. Even the frog bouncing from bushy cover to watery home meets an untimely death at the sharp teeth of a small snake.


I dedicate this post to that frog.

Watching the death of the frog, or the snake’s meal, got me thinking. How soft is the wild? Not soft at all when you look at natural selection, but very soft when you look at borders and containment. Where can we strike the balance? In the relatively small city of Hita, nature is under clear control; on the other side of the world in the very small city of Houghton, nature is under clear control. Nature is clearly represented but strictly contained. Humans seem to yearn for control of their surroundings and they want everything in order according to their plans. But what do you lose? What do you destroy? What do you miss? All are very personal questions that have no definitive answer. Nature nurture and context change all perceptions. But this does not mean that common ground cannot be found.

The country is directly impacted by globalization, which I think I’m beginning to acquire a clearer picture of. Globalization is dangerous and wonderful. It’s a horror story waiting to jump out and slap our wrists into complete obedience while at the same time telling us to think creatively outside the box. It’s enough to make your head topple off the precarious mound of understandings that define your world.

IMG_1168It is the city – that great invention of modern civilization and the driving force of globalization – that needs to be looked at with a discerning eye. I always think of the Star Wars universe, in particular the planet of Coruscant, which has become one enormous city. It is all, complete, and represents a subjugation of nature so profound that I am not sure if I should be in awe or complete disgust.

DSCF0051Nature is the turtle and man is the hare. Both will find a way but nature has more time and has learned how to create a balance with itself. It is in the realm of humanity where we find imbalance. And honestly, it is one of our greatest assets. Balanced means all energy and creativity is finished, according to mathematics, at least, balanced equations mean no more energy. Civilizations have perished because of complacency and stagnancy. But what happens when there is unrestricted growth?

We must discover how to survive indefinitely whether it is in the city or the country. Is it through subjugation? ie. humanity is outside the cycle, or is it through mutual understanding? ie. humanity is a part of the cycle.

The frog will always be hunted by the snake.


About Matthew J. Durocher

Matthew Durocher is a graduate of Michigan Tech University. He acquired his BA in English along with a minor in Music Composition and a certificate in Writing in Spring 2012. His style is one of passion and musicality. One foot is firmly rooted in tradition while the other slides dangerously close to the clouds.
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One Response to Bold Edges Blur Civilization

  1. Pingback: Reflecting on Concrete | Nihon i Go

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