Koyaanisqatsi

I saw this sign today, in the middle of the Plague, and came up with two possible scientific explanations:

#1: The sharks are trying to help us to enforce social distancing by random attacks to keep people off the beaches.

#2: Nature is teaming up to send a powerful message to us humans.

I feel that #2 is the most probable explanation. The smallest predators teaming up with the biggest predators to send us a signal. Wow.

So what is the message from Nature to us humans? Here’s my take: “Koyaanisqatsi.” This is a Hopi word, meaning: “Life out of Balance.” It is also the name of a great movie from 1982, that shows how far away we are from living a life in balance with nature.

Now the movie really only has one spoken word (you guessed it: “Koyaanisqatsi”), so there’s a lot of room for subjective interpretation of what the movie means. However, I feel safe in saying that the message of the movie is that we imperil ourselves increasingly, the farther we move away from a life in balance with Nature. The movie is meant to be a warning.

The main symbol of the warning is the pictograph panel that appears at the beginning and end of the movie. This panel of Native American art is in Horseshoe Canyon in Canyonlands National Park, in Utah, USA. This pictograph was created by the Anasazi ancestors of the modern Hopi people somewhere between 400 A.D. and 1100 A.D.

Part of the Great Gallery in Horseshoe Canyon called the Ghost panel

 

I have been to see this pictograph panel several times. It has an unearthly feeling about it that can be overwhelming. The last time I was there, alone, an icy cold wind blew over me, despite the hot day, and a large Great Horned Owl (a symbol of death to many western tribes) almost touched my hair as it flew over my head. I ended up running out of that canyon. The panel is a warning of the dangers of “Koyaanisqatsi” IMHO.

If you see nothing else, watch the last 5 minutes of this film.

You may be wondering: What does this have to do with bicycling?

Well, sorry to say, but the Earth has been suffering from our presence for a long time and now it may be telling us: Too much! We have raped, pillaged, and plundered every other species on this planet. We have caused more extinctions than giant meteors hitting our Earth. Our transportation choices now make up the single biggest contribution to global climate change. We are now life out of balance.

If you view the Earth as a system that can be healthy or unhealthy, as I do, then the Earth is severely unhealthy. We are the virus that has led to this situation.

However, there is one thing that helps above and beyond everything else you can do as an individual to save your communities and our planet: Kill your car and switch to biking as your main form of transportation. This is the one thing above all others that can restore balance to our lives, our communities, and our planet.

Bikers are uniquely positioned to be champions for health at all levels: from the personal to the planetary.

Here’s my own Koyaanisqatsi-like video:

This is the bike version of the movie. No bikes were harmed in filming.

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