01 November 2010


In autumn you can see breezes softly lifting the leaves from the ground, spinning them in a spiral up and up. Then, just as quickly as the breeze swept in, it is gone and the leaves tumble to the ground again. This happens near buildings, around corners, and sometimes in the middle of a quiet parking lot. No one seems to notice these zephyrs juggling leaves. Autumn is their playground and leaves their swings and slides.
It is not only leaves though. Once I was standing on the second floor of my school and plastic bag floated calmly up, hugging the building until it cleared the roof then leaping away and spinning out into the sky.
There is something about a plastic bag in the wind that captures all the hopes and fears of humanity. We fear environmental destruction and that plastic bag is litter, a suffocation device, not biodegradable, a death sentence. The way it just floats makes it seem like a bird, kin to the air, wonderful, art. It soars like a parachute, a life-saver, a safety, and it falls like a bomb, a missile, a fog.
For the moment it lives as a breathing entity the world hushes. If you stop to watch it, breath slows and noise softens for the moment it lives. Just as quickly as life flung it into the air, death has made it fall.
It echoes us and it is our creation. Does that bag make us feel like gods? For that fleeting moment it is animated and our creation is infallible. But moments are too fleeting, zephyrs blow past in the beat of a heart, the blink of an eye. If you miss its careful tossing of our creations you have missed something profound.

1 comment:

Melissa Marsh said...

I love this post. I never thought of a plastic bag quite in the way you portrayed, but I really like the imagery you use with it.

And for the record, I LOVE watching leaves swirling and scattering...even the sound makes me smile. :-)