Computers. Desks. Doors. Papers. Streets. Phones. Pictures. Books. Stairs. Beds. Refrigerators.
Arguments. Essays. Policy. Science. Education. Logic. Reason. Language.
Not only are we making squares and rectangles, but we’re also learning to think in them, too. We make things that are logical, efficient, and cost-effective and we’re always pushed to think in this way. What’s the opportunity cost of spending one hour at the beach or working on a paper? How can I use words to convince, reason, or persuade in my argument?
Now, take a walk in the woods. Just look at a tree, a leaf, a stone, anything not made by human efficiency. Think of how long it took a rock to form in the earth, how many years of rain or river weathered it down to be perfectly smooth–not so efficient, eh? Not quite so reasonable. Imagine how ridiculous it would seem for a businessman to say, “We can make 2,000 of these rocks identical in perfect spheres for only $500 and put them on the trail!” What a tragedy that would be.
I like the nonsense of nature. I like how every leaf has its own shape, every creek its own path, every bird its own unique set of feathers. Although an architect may find it crazy, I like the instability and wave of the trees against the wind in front of the immovable steel building behind it. I like the odd shapes of lakes, clouds, and continents on a map.
We take roads to get from A to B instead of for the ride. We mass-produce computers, cars, and food to live life on a screen, on the way somewhere, or to sustain existence. We use words to convince, persuade, and reason an indescribable, natural hope for human rights. We listen to digital music on the computer that used to be live and send Facebook messages instead of letters in our natural, unique handwriting. Perhaps sense is really nonsense. Maybe our thought bubbles are really just unusual puzzle pieces that we try to force together. We crunch and we shove–but they never quite fit.
What if we embraced each puzzle piece as a masterpiece and left it at that? We could make roads that go in circles, or buildings like trees. We could go back to the chaos that makes you you, me me, and life somehow existent through a crazy, nonlinear turn of astronomical and biological events. Nonsense.
(feature photo credit: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/06/09/178444120/an-abstract-look-at-the-food-we-eat)