by Monica Ng
As I lie in bed and listen to the angry howling voice of the wind and think about yesterday’s news forecast about the winter storm and dramatic change in our weather conditions, I wonder if we will ever have a chance to hold each other again before the world ends. I mean, before the whole planet crumbles beneath into the depths of the ocean or collapses into the nucleus of the Earth. I never forgot about the burning ball-shaped nucleus I learned about in high school geology class. The image of the structure of our planet from my textbook is etched into my brain forever – the crust, mantle and the outer and inner core, which in coloured pictures reminds me of a Gobstopper. If you don’t know what a Gobstopper is, it’s a candy generically known as a jaw breaker. It’s super-hard (as the name suggests) and as you suck it, each layer of colour disappears and reveals a new colour. When you get to the last colour – that’s the end. At that time, the hard candy is nothing but a soft matter that you can crunch with your teeth. And with that final crunching motion, the powder will dissolve and disappear into your mouth. And just like that, it’s gone forever.
Thinking of the Earth being stripped down to the “last colour” like the Gobstopper, is an obsession for me when I picture everything that humans dig out from the earth including precious metals, gems and foundations for endless new buildings and structures. As humans we exploit what’s not ours and rape the earth of things that don’t belong to us. We are greedy and ignore the consequences of our actions – global warming…climate change…world hunger caused by the imbalance of political systems…
The more we dig, the closer we are to collapsing our planet. At that time we will all slide into the fiery core like a thousand puzzle pieces being poured back into into the box after we are done building it. But unlike the puzzle pieces, we will fall into the abyss. From above in the galaxy, we would see planet Earth one second and then poof, it would turn to dust. It’s like how things above disappear into the sinkholes that occur when the earth beneath shifts or weakens – or simply when what humans have built can no longer support the weight that it was designed to hold. I think about plate tectonics – plates that weren’t attached to begin, crashing together at an incredible force – creating new continental divides, mountains that weren’t there before and new political disputes to settle the matter of newly acquired land. I picture the divide between us. Will we meet again in our lifetime? Can I hold you again and lovingly stroke your five o’clock shadow before the world we know is over? Everything in life seems trivial and becomes insignificant when I think about this. A magnetic pull so strong exists between us but we allow the small things to keep us apart. At the end of the day, does it TRULY matter that I typed the word “into” twice in a row in my rantings above? You probably didn’t notice because we are programmed to read like robots, so don’t feel bad that you didn’t notice. It’s something that spell check won’t catch. Maybe grammar check would catch it, but honestly who cares?! But if you happened to notice my intentional typo, thought it was accidental and wanted to tell me – I love you for that because you know that I am a perfectionist and would want to correct my typo before I share my work with the world.
Cherishing and holding onto what and who matters most to us while we are alive, is what really matters.