Occasionally, writing fast and not editing seems like the way to go.
When we crawled out of the prehistoric sludge we were not yet human. It took billions of years of gradual evolution to make us the people who walk on earth today.
With signs and images and words we connected, grouping into tribes, making friends, making enemies, building alliances to help us survive,
shaping stones into sharp, cutting knives, to protect us from creatures that wanted to eat us, to lay to waste those who weren’t a part of us, to kill the creatures we needed in order to sustain ourselves,
harnessing the magic heat of fire, inventing the wheel and tools made of iron, forging weapons, forging a future, forever forging, forging ahead,
raising ever higher, way above both tasty and inedible animals, using them for nutritious food, for furry warmth, and ultimately selecting which we would ignore, which to enslave, and which we would eradicate.
Smearing our skin with vegetable and mineral, for cosmetic effect, to disguise, to allure, making reproduction more viable, raising passion in ritual, bringing terror to the very hearts of our foes.
We worked for survival then we worked for ascension, while each tried to rise far above the rest. We invented clever ways to travel more quickly, over the land and far across the seas.
Some got rich and some got poor. Some starved to death or died in the dirt. The rich got richer, stealing all the land from the poor man’s possession, and to keep away the hunger the poor man laboured, growing the food to fatten up the rich, building dwellings to keep the rich cosy, safe from hungry animals that bayed for their blood, improving, extending, inventing new luxuries which soon became essentials, prettifying, artifying, craftifying, everything, and if the poor were lucky they’d survive for a while, and maybe have children, leaving them their heritage, scraping out a living, clawing at existance and so it went along.
Wars got bigger, more pointless, more organised. Armies learnt to march to fight the foe. Weapons were sharper, faster, blastier, guns and bullets were the way to go. Railroads connected, collected, affected a whole generation and a lot more besides.
New weapons were invented that could cause devastation to whole populations at the flick of a switch. At enormous expense we designed transportation that took several men to the moon and back.
Knowledge of medicine and health care advanced and in the West people lived far longer than the rest of the world where disease and infections inundated nations, and many stood back and let the horror spread. Many millions died, for want of proper hygiene, for want of sustenance, for want of water to irrigate the land.
Now our plumbing was sophisticated, cables were orchestrated, electricity inovated, motors invaded the dusty roads. The roads got bigger, the people travelled further, aiports increased and we explored the world, in search of relaxation, avoidence of taxation, self-realisation and the need to be free.
The age of technology was fast upon us and we adjusted our pace to keep up to speed. We were told it would bring us more relaxation, more hours of leisure, and make our days more organised.
We studied and we worked hard to live in safe surroundings, we fed our families and we filled in forms. We tried our best to fit into the system, we did our best to live decent lives.
And I can’t understand why, with all of this behind us, with all our education and our history, with all of the experience of countless generations, we haven’t yet found a better way to be.
I look around the globe as I sit behind my laptop, and the internet shows me that the world is on its knees. Starvation and sadism, wars and killings, madness and addiction, control and greed. In spite of the love and beauty in the world, sometimes all this evil is all that I see.
©Jane Paterson Basil