Thursday, March 18, 2010


Interface ... when one thing meets another.

I stopped by our local urban greenspace today, parked my car, made sure all the doors were locked. Looked around me carefully. Crimes happen here. Evidence of illicit nocturnal activity lay on the ground around me.

But once I had left the parking lot behind and plunged myself into the woodland, my fears calmed. I observed waterfowl skipping across the lake, squirrels scrambling through the pines, and found the tightly wrapped buds of trailing arbutus, a few days away from their moment of glory.

In the woods, I was at ease. At the interface, at the border of man and nature, my hackles were up.

Thus is it always. The interface is the most dangerous. Cautious are the steps of a stray dog as he approaches a potential rescuer. The outstretched hand could pet, or it could smite. Every sailor knows that he is at more risk when approaching land than when he is out to sea. Every couple began as utter strangers who for the prize of perfect intimacy took the chance of a broken heart, or worse.

But what are the alternatives? The moon has no interface, unless one counts where sterile space meets the dead landscape of rocks and craters. There are no crashing waves upon a shore, no tortuous tangles of mangrove swamps between river's flow and land's comfort.

Without interface, is isolation, is sterility. Life requires it, life demands it.

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