Due to habits picked up while working in a bakery as a teenager, I am an early riser.
I hear the dawn chorus most mornings.
Birds are singing dinosaurs, 150 million years working on their melodies & harmonies. No human music could ever come near.
Humans appropriated music & song from birds, & then wiped out bird habitats & ate them by the billion.
When it gets a little brighter I open my blinds.
In the distance I view The Little Sugarloaf mountain.
Part of The Wicklow Mountains, Irelands largest mountain range.
These mountains are about 430 million years old, uplifted during a mountain building period known to geologists as the Caledonian Orogeny.
They are 200 million years older than the first dinosaurs.
Our species arrives about 300 thousand years ago.
But only becomes a species which attacks non-human nature, rather than participating in the organic cycles of nature, after the invention of agriculture around 10 thousand years ago.
10 thousand years is also the estimated time it will take for nature to erase all visible traces of humanity from the Earth after we go extinct.
Everything from Gobekli Tepe to the latest aircraft carrier will be powdered by the weather in roughly the same ammount of time it took humanity to go from building the first farmer’s walls to the era of nuclear power.
Geologists, knowing more about apocalypses than any other branch of human knowledge, have begun to refer to the geological record to be left to the future by the extremely brief human species as THE BLIP.
A couple of inches of dust, later hardening into a couple of inches of rock, buried deeper & deeper as the millions, & then the billions, of post-Human years go by.
That is all that will be left of everything all of us have ever thought or done.
It is in this context & from this perspective, the one that does not shy away from naming the human as a subject of nature & not the other way around – let’s call it suprahistorical materialism – that one can get a proper sense of the absurdity, vanity, & ultimately the melancholy of the human experience, the human situation.
This melancholy is in all of us. It is the sadness nipping at the root of all our hearts, the sadness of being unavoidably destined to vanish without trace, no matter what we do.
We are the brief dream of a sleeping mountain. And it is not a good dream.
In the dream the dawn chorus disappears & is replaced by incessant drilling, & the mountain’s veins are emptied of their vital minerals by human industry – which spreads so quickly & is billions of times more toxic than the most poisonous virus, the most virulent snake.
At least that is how the mountain must see us.
And does not the mountain have so much more right to Peace on This Earth than we have?