So we went to a place of joy and natural beauty, a tight, close, loving time, and I sat there watching the desecration man commits in the face of such wonder.
This sinister scribble was scrawled into a place that otherwise looks like this:
Sometime over many years, man came to town, dazzled and licking its lips, rubbing its hands together and seeing a way to profit off the earth.
This curious feature appears elsewhere throughout this park, smaller ones of interested people a few steps on, piling rock after rock in Jewish cemetery fashion, stacking the stones in celebration of what has been lost. This tiny garden appears less than a mile before a mysterious graveyard, the tombs randomly marked with flags and banners, celebrating heroes from long ago, the grass overgrown, the headstones untended, names faded, the memories of deeds rotting into the shards of forgotten history.
Now this is my daughter:
And here’s my son, trying not to gape at beauty, his life grown complicated enough to devise numerous distractions. He wants to be here–he loves us and wants to spend time, but there are so many other interests that occupy him, his irritable middle-teenage years souring his flavor for exploration.
So we are merely one of many, the invaders, people there to sight and see, wandering around on a rather difficult, mostly uphill several mile hike, seven-hundred some carved stone steps one way, more than eight hundred on the way back down.
But invaders we certainly are:
and of course,
But technology isn’t all bad, I suppose, as its coordinated beauty begins to influence nature:
But this freedom–freedom in general can sometimes be merely hurtful:
And the story of history, of the beginning of the world itself, gets lost, retold in various tales that various people wish to be true. And they write their names into the text, sullying the record, elevating selfishness to the peak of our accomplishment.
I took several pictures of this noisy crowd of twenty-somethings, gawking and laughing and publicly getting high, posing atop the fences, a sexy pose, and making the most incomprehensible hooting noises. This was not about an experience, but merely the blue-screen to post on Instagram, or whichever new phase posts our meaninglessness onto nothing.
One couple I watched while they scraped in their names, probably forgetting about it past the next corner. I do not post them here because my snaps also contain several people staring at me, none of them looking happy, one even throwing it back on me with his own camera. They are therefore not here, never was, and will now cease to be. This has happened only once before, an anonymous subject claiming that their public domain picture was being used in an unfair context. Their images were deleted immediately.
But there is another point, all of us taking pictures, posing ourselves, my morally superior tone outright hypocrisy. There is so much fun to be had, the joy. There is a feeling of completion, loving nature in spite of ourselves.
The Finger Lakes are wonderful places to go, filled with tiny-to-middle-sized towns, friendly people and the quiet sound of winds blowing. The most hectic city you can get is Ithaca, centered by Cornell and it’s eponymous University. It is a quaint, bordering on hippie town, with wonderful restaurants and easy access to the touristy space of plenty of the natural wonders. Just beware. Beware, however. Every day things keep getting smaller. They fade away, some civilized pipe bomb exploding the land into newly founded boroughs and growing communities.
And yet vacation, that moment we can get away and not have to face our everyday horror, isn’t this what vacation is meant to be?