Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I feel like I've suddenly woken up from a dream. I guess some sort of shock. I guess I'm home now. I wanna go back!

It was the moon that did it for me. I walked outside to the car so that I could accompany my father to the laundromat (you know.... big industrial cool washers that clean towels super good and super fast!) and I looked up. All the stars looked "normal". Not so foreign and wonder inspiring (despite being a million times more numerous than any I saw 'over there'). The sky is different. Standing on the street, I looked up, and the wild darkness threatens to encroach upon the glow bubble of civilization lighting up the atmosphere. Back in Europe, the darkness of the sky seems tamed and the lights were much more likely to theaten the little darkness actually obtained. It is what seems like a reversal of roles, of whats ''out there".

Now honestly, if I had to describe Europe in one word, I would say tamed. It's not just the sky that seems tamed, it's the woods, and the flowers, the animals, and the streets. Nature looks natual, but it's not the natural nature: the wild "you'll get eaten alive by wolves or mosquitos (there are next to none in Europe) or get lost" natural. It's a tamed land, a conquored continent.

And back to the moon... this is the first time i've seen it on this side of the big pond, for a loooong time. I guess the moon just always conjures up lots of memories and images for me. I did my middle school science project on the moon, I camped out under's it's brightness, stumbled along hidden paths in the wood by it's glow, marvelled at it's beauty reflecting across lake waters, peaking from behind mountain tops, shinning through trees, skipping across the mud-flats, and so many more. Now, though, I got two more.....

In my last week in Esens, I was biking home at about 4 in the morning after sch├╝tzenfest. There was the early morning glow of sunrise and the stars and the moon overhead. Since I live about 15 minutes out in the countryside of the countryside, it was just me, trees, cows, and the celestrial beauties lighting my way along the curvy road. Behind me was the cute little Esens; in front of me was my true home away from home (I'll skip the sentimentals!). Now, my second image is a orange cresent moon, hanging in picture prefect harmony with idyllic American street buildings, low in the sky. As we are driving along the vast expanses of the countryside, I watch the mom & pop taverns and dinners slide past, telephone poles every 2 seconds, distant glow bubbles of shopping centers and town streets, and a true sense of the hidden beauty of our continent that we have destroyed with light pollution and houses between every other field, in a blantent display of hillside dis-purity, just wasted. Why can't we keep our houses in the villages? The landscape is wasted, just like the starlight by lights brighter than we really need, or like the garbage can of trash that we produce every day that would take my host families a week to produce. Wasted like the typical bag of american paper napkins, a pile twice as large as all the napkins, all four of my families in the entre year combined would use.

What happened to appreaciation for the little things?... taking the extra 10 minutes to enjoy the taste of your meal, the extra couple of hours for a summertime full of colorfull flowers, or even the 30 seconds to set the table instead of the TV trays, so that we learned more about our loved ones instead of the families who just lost loved ones in wars half way around the world? We own the land of opportunity, full of every kind of invention, natual riches, and representatives of all the people of the world. We have amongs the worlds smartest and best educated people, with the most resources and cutting edge knowlegde in human histroy, the materialistic riches to rival King Tutencoman (sp?) (the typical american household holds more objucts than he ever posessed), enough land to practically give it away, and the political, economical, social, and media powers to do whatever our hearts desire, with little cost.... and without consiencious use for good. So why is it we take for granted and nearly ruin what many, many people around the world dream for, work hard for, and try to maintain???

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