The personal blog of photojournalist Noah Darnell.

The morning, the water ghost, and the tree…

The morning, the water ghost, and the tree…

There is no map for the places each of us go. Daily, we take steps down roads which have never been trodden; or perhaps they have simply never been charted, even by those who have been there before.

Each morning I take my dog outside. She gets me up far earlier than I normally would. Unbeknownst to her, though, she is trotting around and finding the best place to poop while the morning is telling us how spectacular creation is.

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The changing of the seasons, the leaves fall, the water ghosts rise from the ponds and rivers, and the sunlight claims everything – these are the days when even the air is changing. Nature knows the balance between changing and staying the same. Many people want change and only change. An equal number of people want things to stay the same and only that, no more.

Why is it such a surprise than neither are sustainable? Take it from the trees: things that grow and grow and grow and grow eventually hit a point of diminishing return – the branches cannot be any longer so they break off at the slightest wind, the tree cannot be any higher or the tops of the tree receives no nutrients from the roots, the weight of the tree is too much for the trunk or roots and it falls. But also remember… things that never move, never grow, never change, always stay in one place: these things, too, fail because they never grow. A failure to grow is a failure to live: medically, biologically, ecologically…

Because we frail humans are linearly minded, we see that time passes in a line… today, tomorrow, next week, next year. Today the child is 6. Next year he will be 7. And ten years from 7, he will be 17. But these are constructs for our simple minds. Remember how you count the age of a tree? Rings. The cycles are added, the layers of age are combined.

Dare we be a tree? Would our thin skin and pride allow it? Time passes, yes, but even time is in a cycle. Year dates just exist so we know how long ago something happened: for all intents and purposes, we can not predict next week let alone next year, so in 2016, 2017 and 2027 are irrelevant.

It is silly to progress for the sake of progress. And it is equally silly to stand on the shore and hold back the rising tide with the walls of a castle built on the sand. There is an equilibrium. It is somewhere in between… for most of us. But until then, we ghosts of the water will rise with the progressive tide and then, when the tide runs back out and those who stood in its way look at their crumbled walls and seek to blame everyone else for the destruction, those who build boats rather than castles will shrug. What did you expect?

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