Thursday, August 2, 2007

The hose dance

I was riding home from school the other day and I saw a guy in his yard coiling up a hose. This guy was really good at coiling his hose, in the end he had uniform circles that set nicely in a pile. Not only that, but his movements as he coiled the hose were smooth and rhythmic, like he was an expert hose coiler. Have you ever tried to coil a hose, and every time around you have to stand on the hose to keep it from going in its own direction? Have you ever noticed that hoses have a way they "like" to lay and if you don't do it their way, they will rebel and not stay put? Trying to force a hose to coil how you want it to coil never really works, you have to submit to the natural laws of the hose.

I think the same principle is true with nature. There are natural balances that keep everything running smoothly. Sure you can force the issues, but eventually nature will have its way and go in the directions it wants to. I think that our car culture is forcing nature in directions that it doesn't want to go and it's about to unravel itself. The internal combustion engine has been around for about 200 years, creating exhaust that doesn't exactly make nature go the way it was designed. Just like coiling a hose, you can hold it in place for quite some time, but we are losing hold of the hose and it is going in directions that we hadn't planned. For example, global warming, smog, dependence on foreign trade, etc. There will be a time when we realize that we have to either tend the hose forever (if that is even possible), or start over in the coiling process.

So how do you coil a hose? The first thing is that you can't force it to do what you want it to. Sure you want to be superior to the hose and impose your desires, but if you do that, the hose won't stay. What you have to do is dance with the hose, keep the hose appropriately twisted (or untwisted, as the case may be) so that it wants to lay down nicely in a pile of little circles. You have to dance with the hose, twisting and bending to meet its desires so that it will accommodate your ultimate goal. It is in your compromise and extra effort that the hose will lay nicely in your garage without springing everywhere.

It is the same with nature. You can't force it. We have to play along with the rules or things will spring out of control. We can't pump tons of CO2 into the atmosphere and expect nature to just except it. We need to find how natural processes work and then mimic nature in order to obtain our goal. Mimicking nature through organic farming, biodiversity and utilitarian transportation will be the best way to get ahead. You have to play by the rules of nature or things just won't work out right.

Next time I won't use an analogy from a rubber/plastic object to demonstrate my point.


Bri-onic Man said...

I hear you, brother. It would be nice if people would get hip to this before my house is blown away and/or under water. The apathy on this issue is amazing.

Emily said...

Hmm...yes...quiet true.