Nature, life, death and the media

Sometimes tragedy seems to happen randomly, chaotically or by chance. The law of averages is thrown in, or the old adage at the wrong place at the wrong time takes priority. But many believe things happen for a reason, that everything is connected, and somewhere there’s a plan or a direction in which everything is headed. Call it the plan of somethingness shadowed by nothingness surrounded by meaning. There’s purpose to everything, there’s even purpose for nothingness because without nothingness we can’t have somethingness and meaning. Nothingness and somethingness are, of course, metaphors for death and life. In the world we see you can’t have life without death. Possibly, though, we don’t see the total picture and death is not death as we fear it is. Death as we know it is extremely common and it’s akin to a flock of undetectable birds flying overhead 24 hours a day. In other words, death is usually constant and silent. We don’t notice death consciously until it hits home in some way, either through loved ones or proximity. That is, of course, if you ignore the media. Technology is doing a good job of connecting mankind into being one big whole. The media great-great-great-great grandchildren of technology, are the greatest factors in achieving mankind’s single wholeness. For good or bad, the media have made death proximus maximus. A recent example is the horrendous traffic accident on the tollway near Marengo involving the women’s group from Chicago. As usual, many learned of and experienced the tragedy through the media. It didn’t take long for news journalists to start calling Rockford’s Anderson Gardens when they learned it was the main stop for the women’s group from Chicago. I assumed the journalists that called the gardens were groping for reactions and some spiritual connectedness between a place of natural beauty and the tragic deaths. A day after the accident, I went to my favorite place of meditation under the small trees near the small stream close to the tea house at Anderson Gardens. There, I began to notice all the warblers moving about. The warblers were chasing insects, which were fleeing for their lives. It seemed like the stream was moving fast that day. Then I noticed the leaves and their branches were moving. In fact, whole trees were moving in the wind. Visitors were moving, the few clouds that were in the sky were on the go, and the sun was moving as it always does, be it ever so slowly. Was everything living moving to stay alive? Were they moving to position themselves for death? The sun is dead, but it moves. Ironically, the sun is the largest dead object around, but it gives life to nearly everything living on Earth. But as the sun gives life, it brings death, because one is the absolute partner of the other. Perhaps everything living that moves is searching for answers. But is death at the core of most questions, as some insist? I believe life is at the core. We are all born married to two things—may you be in love with life for ever. May all your moves benefit life. Here is a repeated observation and maybe an answer, at Anderson Gardens and other places of natural beauty—everything is moving. This is one form of the media signing off for now. See you next week! Rod Myers is a local resident with an interest in the environment and disability issues. He has an associate’s degree in science and a bachelor’s in fine arts. Rod is a member of the Audubon Society, the Wild Ones Natural Landscapers and Rockford Amateur Astronomers, Inc.

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