I have a pretty clear view of where this country is heading, what with all the urbanization and increasing of production and population that’s been going on. When one just elongates existing trends from the last 30 years it gives a good idea.
Add to that the tendency of mankind to do things because they’re possible (in stead of what’s desirable) and it is clear: more roads, more buildings, more people, more houses, more traffic, more noise, more pollution in the Netherlands.
pic by Roger Waleson
Less animals, less patches of unkept nature.
Especially with the tendency of the Dutch to do everything thoroughly, optimalized and regulated.
This future is not a bad thing. It’s just a thing that will happen.
It is no good to cry over the loss of panda’s and silence and funny little frogs. These things are happening and these things are to be expected. Because we are who we are and we do as we do.
pic by Margan Zajdowicz
It is not my aim to sit here all gloomy and doomy and cry my eyes out, no matter what the tearjerking nature documentaries or accusing reports are trying to accomplice.
It is my aim to come to a mental attitude that aknowledges these processes and premisses and finds a way to exist happily within them. I just need some time to sit down and think about this properly. Apply my mind and find the nuggets.
SOME ASPECTS I SUSPECT IT WILL INCLUDE:
Within this future I feel there will be a chance to witness the unexpected beauties that will develop from the new situation. Like we never would have expected LOLcats and the joy they give when we first thought about internet and its implications.
lol by Mandy Julian
In the same vein there will be unexpected new things come into existence in a more urbanised world. Already the city birds sing harder than their country cousins. Certain bugs can exist thanks to the city warmth.
Humans can get involved. There’s already something called “Guerilla Gardening”. I have done so myself, throwing poppy seeds all over town to grow some flowers.
There will be other things.
pic by Michal Koralewski
A second thing that will pop up in this exercise of thought will probably be the embracement of shrinkage. I cannot shield the square mile around my cabin from urbanization and heavy industry. But I can shield my little patch of woodland. I can optimize it for animals. And I can find joy in sitting in the grass and seeing a bee emerge from the bee hotel I made and enjoying the flowery herbs I sowed.
I also expect there will be a word or two about human culture. Therein may lie the way to happily spend time and feel forfilled as a human being in an urban world. Or at least be amazed at what’s possible and how intricate it can be.
It will be something that’ll be lost to future generations too, just like our polar bears.
In the same way we no longer appreciate the intricate meanings of a gift of flowers a couple of hundred years ago. They were like lettres! Also in art the chosen flower was a communication.
Or the way women tied up their head scarves. There was so much meaning in that. It was a form of communication. For all the community to see.
So many meanings, implications, reasons for public outrage or private chuckles in these expressions of culture are now lost to us.
And so will ours in the future. Internetmemes, ’80s music, action figures and films. Their meanings and communications are now gone or fleeting.
But joining in, becoming part of a contemporary cultural tribe, might be an answer to the feeling of doom one gets when realizing how the world as you know it is changing and that things get lost.
Other answers are denial, distraction or numbing (that last one by using drugs).
These are not my style. Although I use distraction a lot to manage the stressors I feel. When it is not the time to deal with them I use distraction a lot (aka watching movies or solving a difficult puzzle)
My style will be to identify what changes are to be expected in my country, in my environment, in my lifetime.
Then I’ll try to identify what attractive options I have to feel good about living in this world at this time. I expect at least these three aspects to be involved: trying to predict and spot unexpected opportunities budding from the new situation; embracing life on a smaller scale; looking at human culture for existential delights.
Art is one expression of human culture that delights my mind and spirit:
pic by Winnie Lee