John Clare, Loss & Gain

On a surprise (forgotten) day of PTO, I learned of John Clare—I am Jack Randall now. I was Byron and Shakespeare formerly. As I read his verse and am confronted with his dismay at the destruction of the wild places he loved—this was the 19th c.—I am filled with sadness and nostalgia for how far this has gone in 200 years.

What kind of mathematics allows us to calculate the good and ill lost and gained? To balance the destruction of our poor earth with any progress we have made in recognizing the human dignity of all people? There is none—they exist apart. Co-exist unrelatedly? Or maybe there is another way to conceive of this and view it together. It is always down to personal or tribal gain that we destroy everything around us. Gain and fear—and acting on the biases of fear is just another sort of gain-seeking.

Maybe in the end it is our fear of death—we fear dissolution and so we seek to make ourselves eternal in some grasping sense, or we indulge ourselves in complex schemes serving little more than to distract ourselves with comfort or mental or physical activity, be it for entertainment or achievement.