Today is August 12, 2017. It is an anniversary. A year ago today I drove down the driveway of my childhood home for the last time. I boarded the big plane and returned to Greece. It has been a full year since I have been away from America and, while I have travelled a bit outside of Greece, I have not felt the need to return to that dark and fractured fortress. I actually have not felt the need to leave Paros. Everything I need, everything I want, is here.
Summer turned to Autumn, ushering in the green and wet winter. By the time spring rolled around I had been adopted by a pair of cats and now, at the edge of summer’s end, with its heat, crush and crowds, I have my simple and healthy routine. Most if this involves avoiding said crush and crowds. I move through them as gently as I can, reminding myself that everyone is having fun, on vacation…Is it misanthropic to wish that they would all just go home? Perhaps. I am not alone, it seems. Scan the newspapers for anti-tourist articles. Hvar, Barcelona, Venice, Florence, Rome…I imagine there are many more cities but these are the top destinations that are fighting back against the overwhelming tide of cheap tourism. Something must be done, if only to save the fragile ecologies that, indeed, seem to be the reasons for going to these places. It is a Moebius strip of dilemma and solution.
The ultra-wealthy dream of the stars and colonization. New energy techs butt heads with the global dinosaur juice cartels. The concept of human identity and gender have been revealed to be as fluid as water. New paradigms rise up, have been rising for decades. In response to what threatens their withering grasp, the old paradigms of fear and warlord thinking shake their sabres more loudly than ever. They seem to say, “If we can’t have it our way, then we are all going to go down in flames.” How will humanity be saved? Not by Jesus. Not by Exxon. Not by Coca-Cola. Not by Little Green Men. It has to be unilateral and evolutionary. The minds of the trumpkimputins must go. The old paradigm must fade if we, as a species, are ever to survive. Humanism is the only hope for us. We must take responsibility for our lives. We must put aside our big, thinking and very stupid arrogant brains and finally understand that we are just another organism on this planet, no better or worse than any other. We are subject to the same natural laws as the cockroach I liberated from my bathroom last night. My cactus has more humility and true sense of place than most people. What arrogance we have, thinking we are so special! This will be our undoing, as it always has been.
So it has been a year…and what a year it is shaping up to be.