in the light of time*

When nothing is sacred, nothing is safe—John Hay

When there were less of us, we fit inside like tiny figures in a diorama. We ran across the plains afraid of violent storms. Lush greenery threatened to smother us, just as it also lent us sustenance. If we did not pacify this place it would surely destroy us. We squabbled among ourselves, like we now still do, but we were not yet strong enough to shatter our shadow box.

When there were more of us, we burst the seams of the land. We took a liking to engines and asphalt, all distance to traverse only at light speed. We ravaged the countryside, built our cities, made our money. Things trumped being. Our lives soon chased after ways to forget. Prohibition never stood a chance.

When there were too many of us, a few grew concerned. Nothing, however, changed. We kept building and we kept paving. One of our leaders proffered the idea of a system of parks, a way to assuage our guilt, an excuse for free reign on what remained. Of course we seized on it. Those places have since burst their own seams, paved as they are for easy access.

When there are less of us again, perhaps more will notice. It will be too late. For now we careen serene toward the end, a night we try never to see. Perpetual light, shone by our own hands, is what we embrace, for in darkness we fear what we came to create.

*soundtrack

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