beauty and waste
The world is a baffling mixture of beauty and waste. Desire makes it run, desire creates its vibrant variety and its entropic disasters, its climax ecosystems and its ruinous wastelands. Now the desire to expand always and forever to move on leave it all behind transform everything control everything never to have to pay for what we do never to suffer the consequences never to die – animates us, or at least the most powerful among us, and those who desire to be in their place. All that churning desire generates beauty and waste – far, far more waste than beauty, but then a small amount of beauty is infinitely more sustaining to us than a mountain of waste seems destructive. We will wade through an ocean of waste for a moment of beauty, pleasure, triumph, desire fulfilled.
Buddhists say the way to enlightenment is the stilling of desire. But desire has been unleashed from its ancient constraints by history and economics and there’s no calling it in now. Pace Marx (or Buddha) i venture that forces larger than human are all that will reshape it, in time. But the Law of Unintended Consequences, the one that dominates our story so far, offers only unpredictable results…
And in the meantime? Seeing this, can we try to uncouple beauty from waste, or at least, rebalance the proportions? What does that mean in a given life?
Perhaps: watch closely, speak coherently, act generously.
(I don’t know. Insert changing adverbs as needed.)