Sunday, February 22, 2015
The Sunday Series: Sunday No. 7
Sunday no. 7
A Sunday in the park, and who knows what we will see or experience at Griffith Park. My wife and I wandered through the park without a plan or thought in our head. We didn’t even do it for exercise, but more of a thought that we can discover something new in our lives. Even though it was a sunny morning, there was something dark about the way the plants greeted us as we enter its kingdom. Park Rangers managed to put speakers throughout the park, where they played Brahms 4th Symphony, which I have to say, is one of my favorite pieces of music. The grandness of the melodies in this specific symphony matched the moodiness of the park itself.
As we walked past the abandoned or closed merry-go-round, I felt a tinge of fear in my chest. I didn’t say anything to my wife, because I didn’t want to admit to her what I was feeling. I knew from the very moment I opened my eyes, that we would go for this walk. I sought to put it off, but she was very convincing that this activity would be good for the both of us. “a healthy body makes a healthy mind,” someone once said, and I’m not sure if the author of that quote is still here with us. Nevertheless, the first sense that came to me was the smell of fresh horseshit on the dirt walking path. I also understand why people walk together in these hills, because for one, it is very easy to get lost, and two, if you fall down a hill, you may stay there till death takes over.
As we walked on the pathway, I was trying to imagine what is around the corner. The total unknown aspect was slightly scary to me. As we walked on the pathway to whatever it is, I kept hearing sounds on the side of the hill. We stopped, and looked at the direction and I can make out what we think was a human figure behind a tree. It didn’t move, so we didn’t move. After awhile, we stood there silently and chose to move on. Around the bend we saw what looked like a skeleton of a dead animal. My wife thought it looked like a human’s skeleton, but I thought “No, that’s not possible.” I took a stick to move the bones around, and I was convinced that it was an animal, but it must have been a large animal. Perhaps an ape? Are there wild apes at Griffith Park?
As we went further down the pathway, we saw a side of the landscape that looked like it had small tunnels, but were actually holes. Me, being me, wanted to stick my hand in the hole to see what would happen. I did so, and I touched something that felt like fur, but also it seemed dead. By instinct I tried to pull the fur object out of the hole, but it wouldn’t budge out of the tight area. My wife told me to stop, and after 26 years of marriage I did so. Still, once I pulled my hand out of the hole, I smelled my fingers and there was a scent on it that seemed like death to me. Then again, it could have just been the smell of my clear nail polish.
Nature being natural, always struck me as an artificial world. Once a human stomps on the side of nature, it becomes a mere representation of what we think is “nature.” When I put my hand in the hole or perhaps it is even a gopher’s entrance to an inner world, I still wanted to touch something that was part of another world. Clearly I don’t belong here. Nor does anyone else. For nature to be natural, it needs to be separate from the rest of the urban world.
As I write, I ‘m surrounded by plastic plants, because I like the idea of nature, but I prefer the representation of it. For one, these artificial plants will never die. And two, the death of nature is very disturbing to me. I walk in the park, and all I see is death. Beautiful death, but nevertheless, death.