The lush and dark green vegetation has closed in around me. A mossy, moist air exudes stringent layers of tropical heat. Vines snake up slender palm trunks towards the somber canopy. Exotic birds swirl around sporting plumage not seen anywhere else but here, on the most far out continent of the earth. If it weren’t for the little metal plates on the tree trunks, engraved with black letters, revealing local and Latin names of botanic species, I might be tempted to teleport myself back to a sultry Pacific Island. The fact is I’m barely a couple hundred meters away from the more hustling than bustling central business district of the three million strong City of Brisbane, where slender columns of glass, steel and concrete have grown much higher than any palm tree would ever dare.
Right next to these splendid Botanic Gardens four rows of solid piles have been driven into the muddy bed of the Brisbane River, which meanders through the town with its murky brown waters like a feathered serpent looking in vain for a healthy bite at its very own tail. It’s between two of these piles that our Aluna is moored, now already for a good three weeks. Back in the mantic mania of civilization the pull of time is once again mighty strong.
Hectic, unabashed, desperately virtual, tantricly absorbed, fiercely abused, methodically ignored: the gardens are used from dusk to dawn for the popular fitness craze, where phosphorescent colored sports ware under the tight control of smartphones strapped to biceps and handlebars absorbs the sweat of rapidly aging bodies. While living a life with loads of labor and a little lack of lust, spending the rest of their days inside cubes and concrete slabs, the absent gaze in the eyes of the Brisbanites hurrying along the many pathways of the park feels shamefully hollow. The contrast to the calm and ever-present people in the outer islands of the Pacific could not be greater. We have come far along in the process of man’s alienation from his natural roots. Modern man is a somber beast, lost infused in the illusion of control, terrified tremendously by his and her own so deeply crippled emotions. The switch to the robotized self has been completed, each physical unit thoroughly enslaved to a mirage of artificially animated clumps of matter, circling like mutilated bumblebees inside slightly swollen skulls.
I never seem to get tired to find fancy words to describe modern man’s frantic intent to rid himself of each and every tie to nature, this blind but very methodical urge to strangle life at its very source. The memories of ‘our there’, where this madness has had limited reach as of yet, these exotic places we have had the privilege to immerse our tired selves in until just barely one month ago, these memories are fading fast while we are being reabsorbed into a sterile world of steel, glass and concrete, hydrocarbon fuels and artificial intelligence, where the value of every single thing is extensively measured a billion times a second. The mind stands back in awe, numbed in an almost total anesthesia, the eyes wide open jaguar-like, staring into and scanning the void, the body aching with its movement restraint by arthritic joints.
What to do, apart from feeling the pain? There must be cracks in this world of glitz and glitter where resilient seeds can grow! There must be uncontrolled air space to undertake experiments of levitation! There must me sacred souls with sufficient suffering to generate a sound but subtle longing for understanding!