Before Green Returns | 9.4.22
The Sunday Edition
All was green once, tapestry of emerald draped across the surface of all things, wild and unruly jade that snarled and spread of its own accord, never bothering for the rules of things. We came, and for a time lived inside all that color, called it home and learned to exist as it wished us to exist, no more, no less, just enough to get by. Some time, some far ago time the hatred rose in us, and all that green bled into our own veins, envy for what we were not, for what we could not be, and so we chose grey to drive it out. Over hillsides and fields we poured hot grey in straight lines, scars on the face of our Mother, crisscrossing across a planet like ribbons tied too tight. Up we went, more grey and black, as green was chopped to make room for buildings taller than trees could grow. Stole their limbs, their trunks and needles, used them as the bones for all that would stamp out the color, freely growing.
Rare now are these places, endangered the sanctuaries of sage or lime, hunter, forest, seafoam or basil, and so we seek them, we force them onto reservations small in our cities so large, crowd them at first glimpse of Spring sunshine.
misplace the understanding
that all was green
and all will be green
Green will come
and green will
try as we might,
try as we
we too will be
-The Never Was #132 by Tyler Knott Gregson-
I wanted to kick this Signal Fire of with some prosetry, as I felt it deserved it, as I was inspired by a scene in a film that so poetically and perfectly summed up how I feel about the way we humans treat this planet, the way we are so proudly and arrogantly incorrect in our assertion of dominance over this place. The film was “The Green Knight” and it was one of the most uniquely beautiful films I’ve seen in a long, long time. It moved me, throughout and completely, and there was one scene in which The Lady delivers a speech that floored me in its truth, in its beauty, and in the potency of its message. I found it, on YouTube, and I will paste it below so you can all enjoy it too, but the fact is, it’s just Right.
Whatever we think we know about ourselves, about our place on this planet, we are guests here, and eventually, all will be green again. The only question is the timeline of these events. Perhaps we destroy and turn ash and mud all the green that once made Earth alive, but eventually, after decades, centuries, or eons, those roots will push up, and light will push down, and in the middle once more, emerald will explode.
I decided to quote out the scene from the film below, so you can read it if you’re not able to watch it, but I do encourage you to watch it if you’ve got minutes to spare, 3 is all you need.
LADY: But green is the color of earth, of living things, of life.
We deck our halls with it and dye our linens.
But should it come creeping up the cobbles, we scrub it out, fast as we can.
When it blooms beneath our skin, we bleed it out.
And when we, together all, find that our reach has exceeded our grasp, we cut it down, we stamp it out, we spread ourselves atop it and smother it beneath our bellies, but it comes back.
It does not dally, nor does it wait to plot or conspire.
Pull it out by the roots one day and then next, there it is, creeping in around the edges.
Whilst we’re off looking for red, in comes green.
Red is the color of lust, but green is what lust leaves behind, in heart, in womb.
Green is what is left when ardor fades, when passion dies, when we die, too.
When you go, your footprints will fill with grass.
Moss shall cover your tombstone, and as the sun rises, green shall spread over all, in all its shades and hues.
This verdigris will overtake your swords and your coins and your battlements and, try as you might, all you hold dear will succumb to it.
Your skin, your bones.
The point is, we’re temporary, all these hues we call ourselves, just watercolor drops on a canvas that has known every shade of green longer than we can imagine. We are fleeting, and we owe it to this marble spinning in the black, to take better care, to try harder, to save the spaces all that wild growth fought to burst through. When we are through here, when all these monuments to progress fall away and crumble, it will be green that covers it, in vine and moss, in leaf and clover. One day, when our reign has come to a close, from high enough up it’ll be green, and it’ll be blue, and so little else. I wish, oh my soul I wish, I could see it then.
a fleeting burst of color
before green returns.