The sky burned. The setting sun flared as it sank, roaring defiance to the world, fearful, desperate. The clouds lit in fiery displays of orange and red, painting the earth below a deep shade of crimson. The color of blood. Yet try as it might, it’s grasping tendrils lost their grip, and with a final brilliant flash, the sun slipped over the horizon, silently howling its fury.
The couple on the hill sighed, seeing the brilliant hues adorn the ocean restlessly shifting below them. They each pulled the other close, content to watch the sun fall away, leaving them with only the stars and each other for company.
Gulls called frantically and hawks screamed, flying after the sun, begging and pleading for it to stay, yet it’s rays continued to fade. They knew not whether it would return, only hope and faith holding them back from horror. They must believe in its return. For without it, they could not live.
Slowly the light in the sky faded, drifting into that slow, timeless twilight held dear by lovers and poets. A time where the plans of the future hold no sway and all that matters is the awakening of the stars as the moon stretches towards the heavens, forever holding its hand forth in supplication to the light it can never truly touch. It is a time when words seem to flow like water, where dreams and hopes and desires seem tangible and within reach. It is beautiful, a time without time; where nothing matters and one can feel peace. Yet this, too, cannot last.
The spell is broken as the last of the light fades from the clouds, leaving them dark and cold and barren. Empty. The stars glitter like diamonds, icy and unyielding. They care not for the earth, content to sit on their sharp thrones of light, judging mortals to be unworthy of anything more than the sight of their glory. They spare no attention to what lies below. To those fleeting concerns of creatures desperate for the sun. They do not see the man and woman lying on a blanket pointing at the sky in wonder and amazement. The stars do not see their reflections tossed in the waves, spinning and swirling in the foam of the sea. Nor do they see the tears glimmering in the eyes of a child as she traces her hands over the fingerprint-bruises encircling her neck as though trying to erase them. They do not see man’s innate struggle for self-mastery nor the unnecessary extension of that: a burning desire to control the things that cannot be controlled. They do not see, for they do not care.
Nature is a many-faceted beast, a monster capable of infinite cruelty. Yet it is necessary, though it may be foreign and alien. It is an incomprehensible force that we must embrace or conquer if we are to survive. Even as our structures and monuments and cities spread, sown by the careless hands of desire and necessity, still, nature remains vast and unfathomable.
It is easy to see why past civilizations formed the core of their religious beliefs around spirits or gods as masters of the elements and the forces of nature; of those things that are so far beyond our control and so grand that we cannot help but try and tame them by placing causes and human motives behind their fury. When lightning burns and rages, ferocious in its strike, there seems to be no way that we could stand against such an elemental force. So we must find a way. Whether that be claiming that a supernatural being is angry, and if we but appease them, no more lives need be lost, or installing a lightning rod and surge protectors.
As humans, we desire control. As humans, we are furious when control is forbidden to us. What is more contumacious than the sea? Than the wind? Than the burning of the sun? The forces of this world existed long before Man tried to enforce its will upon power as old as time, and they will continue to exist after we are gone, despite our best attempts to restrain or conquer them.
Yet it is akin to a child in a tempest, surrounded by roaring waves and splintering flashes of lightning and whipping rain. The child howls defiance, commanding the sea not to swallow him whole, yet the sea does not listen, for the sea hears him not. It does not know that it is about to engulf a life of possibilities and hopes and dreams. Indeed, if it did, it would not care.
Nature simply IS. It is not a foe opposing the spread of civilization, merely an unknowing obstacle. Simply another casualty in man’s futile struggle for absolute control. It is futile for it is an endless war. Battle after battle with no end in sight. A one-sided conflict with a single objective. Control.
This need for superiority is obvious; even fools have noted it. Yet if you look deeper, you would see that it is the symptom of a broken world. Similar to when the human body knows it harbors a secret illness that its consciousness is not aware of, the world is broken. And man, the primary consciousness, is not aware of it. All we see are the outward expressions of this illness: war, disease, famine, pain, horrors committed and atrocities hidden. This pointless striving for power and dominance.
I do not claim to know how to fix it. Or if it can even be fixed. Or if it needs to. Perhaps this is simply another expression of Darwin’s principles: the strong survive and the weak perish. Perhaps I am simply yet another of those trapped in this race for authority over something, anything; perhaps I seek control of my sorrow by writing. Perhaps the world will fix itself, reaching a form of precarious balance. Perhaps. Perhaps. PERHAPS. That word sparks something inside of my heart, for it is an expression of willingness to loosen my grip on the things I believe I control. A murmur that fearfully welcomes the embrace of the unknown. For I no longer desire to waste my life chasing after the unattainable. It is not enough for me, and I don’t believe it ever was.