do I really want to live in nature?


Nature heals. Better connection with nature. We can hear that all around, it has been adopted from fringe hippie idea into popular, mainstream culture, including language of advertising, trying, as always, to capitalize on new trends. What is that nature though? Flowers and not too dangerous waterfalls, but not nasty, thorny bushes and tsunamis obviously. Tropical beach, yes please, but not the icy shores of Arctic sea. Butterflies are welcome, but moths, ticks and mosquitoes obviously not.

Just like when we eat shrimps but crush cockroaches, this selective approach hides a lot and tells a lot at the same time. Examples given above refer to the outside world but that applies equally to the nature of inner life, internal ecosystems, where certain feelings are preferred over the others. This parallel is very clear to me. When I want to be living in lush greenery of tropical jungle, but bitch about cockroaches “invading” my bubble I really do the same when I say I want to open more my feelings, but what I actually mean, is I would like to feel happy, joyful all the time and hate when anger, impatience, envy and other nasty fellows crowd my inner space.

The dream behind mentality of control tells us it is possible. We can trim more and more naughty weeds, keep the flowers and call it living in nature. We can suppress anger and irritation and live in love of our neighbour, of course as long as he lives up to our expectations, and we are the ones who decide when to give.

I look at my daughter going through such emotional extremes, which most likely in civilized world would probably be classified as some form of “dis-order” ( look carefully into semantics of this term ). So I am obviously content when she is erupting with unconditional, uncontained ecstatic joy, but shiver when she starts to moan, complain – or even practice that same wild joy when I am tired and need quiet – and that is so often.

Could I / should I trim her behaviour, make it more balanced, more moderate, the same way I could trim my garden, make it less unruly? Or to reverse that parallel, if I turn to spraying strong chemical around my house to contain invasions of ants and cockroaches, is it acceptable ( as increasingly common in Western world ) to use another chemical substance to medicate my daughter into some more docile, obedient, acceptable form of civilized order?

Where is the objective , where is the limit? Is it in archetypical Vienna, lands of neat streets, orderly parks and beautifully designed architecture, where men in suits analyze deviations from the norm, at least in those who let themselves be examined, not the ones busy imprisoning their daughters in cellars under solid edifice of society. Can the nature be truly controlled by design originating in human brain, that strange product and part of it at the same time? Or even if we eliminate all cockroaches and keep the puddles, exterminate the weeds and plant GMO flowers, eat healthy living cultures in yogurts while exorcising the GERMS, the chaos will still be lurking in the shadows, and growing stronger, only to catch up with us when some part of the fence is neglected, like an African immigrant breaking into fortress Europe, like a virus, not respecting man made rules, or even less visible, less tangible, like a mental affliction, breaking the facade of control?

If I say I love the nature, I must love it as it is, tropical jungle with the dampness, humidity, cockroaches. Desert with scorching heat, mountains with freezing cold. My daughter with her whims and hysterias. My neighbour with her flaws, desperate too in their non-acceptance. I must notice my desires of “something else” than what I am gifted with, otherwise there will be no place to run and hide in this world. But notice them, and love them too, because they are also part of my nature.

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