On the way there a friend passed by and beeped at me from her car. I waved the Shaka sign at her as is typical around these parts. On the way back a bad-ass biker dude I don’t know looked at me and gave me the “Hey” nod. I nodded back. Hey. Whether friend or stranger, friendly-looking or gruff, young, elderly, or in between we acknowledge each other because we’re all in this together. By that I mean we’re all here by choice. There is nothing scary in being who we are in front of each other because the choice we’re making, which is our bond, is simply to be here for the love of here. When locals (and I) have a prejudice against “haoles” (outsiders, generally Caucasian) it’s really the colonizing mentality with an unhealthy dash of Manifest Destiny (recently dubbed “a sense of entitlement” as if that’s a new flaw in a younger generation) that we despise.
When I chose to live in New York, it was for a career goal. “It’s New York or Los Angeles,” I told myself and anyone who asked. Those were the only two places I could ever picture myself living because I wanted to be a screenwriter and thought that defined me. I didn’t choose New York for New York’s sake. I’m sure this contributed to my neuroticism. Neuroticism is something New York is famous for and we say it’s because there are so many people and so many artistic types crammed into a small space. But maybe it’s ambition at all costs that’s causing it, not being artistic or claustrophobic. It’s having to “get somewhere” in your career or with your vision–which are both mind constructs: you’re not actually traveling or getting anyway and you don’t particularly care for where you physically are. It’s not always that you don’t like where you live, it’s that it might not even factor into your equation. You’re neutral on it consciously, putting all of your focus on your goals–but that neutrality is a repression, for we must LOVE where we live because we are that place. We are in it, we are contributing to it, we are taking from it.
I mean, right?
So it’s important to love the environment we are in. And that doesn’t necessarily mean packing up and moving. It can mean taking a look around where you are right now and seeing it with eyes anew. If we loved our environment and us in it, we would not need to “protect the environment” … from ourselves. Think of how crazy that is and therefore we are.
When we live in environments to which we are detached, we need to form organizations to protect them. From us. When we love where we are, there’s no question of right or wrong environmental action. There’s no duality. And there’s less duality between people who are free to be themselves. Doesn’t mean life is perfectly Smurfy, but we’re less a danger to ourselves here.
Except for where Spam is concerned.