I cannot believe this course is about to wrap up. I have learned a lot from this class that I never would have learnt in many ages. For my final free form article I decided to talk about Blake’s creativeness and its connection to nature, simplicity and complexity; These contradictions that summarize what pastoral is ultimately about. Blake articulates a series of peoms that represent the fundamental movement from the world of innocence to the reality of experience of every pastoral life. Particularly his peom called the Holy Thursday has both an innocence and experience edge that helps us explore the two unique perspectives of the world we live in. Continue reading
Bulldozers and front-end loaders are everywhere, the earth shakes, huge rocks roll down hillsides, and tears fall down the faces of the people of Appalachian region. Suffering slowly dominates the area. Like a crumpled shadow awaiting a cure, they escape the poison of their impulses as they confront the mystery of pain. The Appalachian community has been affected by mountain top removal mining for a very long time, and it has displaced so many people and destroyed a lot of ancestral homes.
As noted by Erik Reece in his essay “Moving Mountains,” “the history of resource exploitation in Appalachia, like the history of racial oppression in the south, follows a sinister logic─ keep people poor and scared so that they remain powerless” (Reese 185). The mining companies instill indelible fear into the minds of these helpless people in two ways. Firstly, to convince the Appalachian people to leave, the Association of Miners gives them a contract “Broad Form Deed,” so named because it gives the deed holders broad rights to extract the coal by any means they desired. Under the Broad Form Deed, miners are ruthless and the landowners are powerless. Secondly, they intentionally under invest in the community to maintain control, leading to the loss of thousands of jobs and leaving the unemployed with few alternatives but to flee the region, stay with no employment or work for the coal companies.
Every day it seems like science and technology is taking over quite fast. Back in the past, it was more about writing books, art and creativeness but now more people are getting fascinated about developing and creating new technology. It is not surprising that even the energy industry has been affected by this craze. In the pastoral period, people cherished the landscape, the trees, and the mountains and now companies are taking it all away by ripping off these priceless assets. During the last two decades, mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia has destroyed and severely damaged more than a million acres of forest and buried nearly 2,000 miles of streams. People in these regions die periodically from heavy metal poisoning, lung cancer and other pulmonary diseases. It is sad that we are trading our peace and serenity of nature for a flat landscape just to get money, of which we can get from other sources.
The ecumenical challenge of finding a balance between the simplicity of the pastoral period and its complexities is especially poignant as these two great characteristics create a loophole where no one wants an extreme but a mixture of them both.
The video shows a brief display of the intertwined want for complexity and simplicity as Beethoven, plays a tune with soft pitched complex intrumentals, violin and piano, that help relate the music to the sounds of nature. Continue reading