Monthly Archives: November 2015

A correspondence between surfaces and lifestyle

Consider it a poem

Impervious surfaces are a man-made construct which disconnect us from the organic way of life. ‘Way’ in a literal sense; the way we flatten the surfaces we dwell on and the paths we travel by foot and vehicle is akin to the way we flatten our expected path and dwellings in life. The ground unaltered by man is irregular with various lumps and microclimates, and that varied terrain is more like the emotional terrain we encounter in our lives. We form expectations that the emotional terrain we will experience shall be level and predictable, like the paved surfaces we build, but this expectation is often unmet because it is not the true terrain of this world.
The analogy between physical terrain and emotional terrain has other examples too, however occulted, which can be revealed with further reflection.
One example is the terrain of learning. With our man-made constructs we learn through steps which lead to doorways; like walking along a path and turning to climb steps up to a door to enter a house. Within a man-made ‘house of knowledge’ there are various doors and maybe even different dwellings, like apartments that share the same floor or maybe take climbing further steps to access. With the terrain unaltered by man we see a different analogous ‘way’ of learning. In the wild our paths are much freer, likely to be irregular and progress in a very organic way unique to each individual’s conditions. There are certainly some points higher than others, but these high points on the path of knowledge are different than that of the man-made way. One may find a slope and climb it, persevering through all its topographic and other challenges. It is unlikely to find a ‘closed room’ in this wild space, yet as one climbs the mountains of knowledge, there will be precipices and plateaus one may peak at. If one climbs further, beyond the ‘false peaks’ that offer what some call ‘half-truths’ on the path of knowledge, one may reach a true peak with the highest view on that individual mountain; the mountain offers a 360 degree view freely from this point to all who earn it. As the mountain gives the view and the traveler takes it, we can remember that some things good alone are better experienced together, and this inspires thoughts of sharing knowledge and experience. A whole different set of analogous lessons is available on that point, by considering how conductance of power works in electrical engineering and how that may be akin to our own personal power and relationship with the force(s) of life in this world.

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