As I was trying to come up with some ideas for the blogs, a topic came about while I was grilling out with my boyfriend (I know it’s too cold to grill out, but I wanted some burgers!) As the grill was heating up, the topic of what coal consisted of came about. After our discussion I looked up the ingredients to coal and how it is/was made. Coal consists of remains of vegetation from over 400 million years ago. Since the vegetation contained energy from the sun and was decomposed, it produced carbon which is the main ingredient for coal. Here is a link to learn more about the whole process: COAL. Then I remembered the series by Thomas Cole (Coal and Cole, ironic huh?) and the idea of natural progression. I looked through my notes and wanted more information on the topic. It was very interesting to me when I “googled” natural progression and I found very few resources. The meaning of Natural progression can be defined as the action(s) of natural forces or the history of events in nature. It is odd to me that there are few resources with such a natural phenomenon that occurs naturally and without the help of humans. The Earth is 4.45 billion years old and has naturally progressed to where it is today. Thomas Cole’s, The Inevitable, shows us through a series of how the Earth with survive and thrive without human existence.
The Earth has seen so much and encountered so much through its journey, really, really long journey at that. Our planet has withstood so much abuse and change in its lifetime. Just thinking about all that the Earth has seen, produced, and encountered makes me thankful to live on such a place. I’ve never really been thankful for the Earth, but after realizing its preciousness and stability, I really am grateful. The Earth can come back from an ice age, meteors, and so many other natural disasters. It is clear to see that the Earth is so very strong and will continue to be strong. It is also clear to see that the Earth has no need for our existence. Just as dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures once lived and died, humans could do the same without any detriment to the Earth. Cole’s series is a great example of this theory. Cole’s series takes us through the development of humans on Earth, the so thought “take over” of humans, and the collapse of the human race. And in the final painting, it is clear to see that Earth and nature are taking back what belongs to them. The Earth will always be dominant and gain back what belongs to it. My theory is that Cole’s series is a warning to humans. A warning that should give us all shivers and remorse. As so many past species has died out, we could do the same, and nature would take back over. Instead of humans, “taking over” the Earth, and harvesting it for our own selfish needs, humans could work together to give back to the Earth. Yes, there are many services, volunteer groups, and organization designed just to do that. And yes, we have set aside land to preserve and to help mother nature. But nature and the Earth can take it all away just as fast as it has done in the past to previous species. The human race really has no idea how special and crucial the Earth is for our existence. Just as I said earlier, I really had never given any “thanks” or thought to how much the Earth is important to not only me, but to every living soul on the planet. Cole’s warning is a very real topic to me since the whole “2012” speculation of the Earth ending. And as the “due date” of the speculation draws nearer, this painting is even more meaningful to me. It makes sense to me that after 4.45 billion years of abuse and neglect by humans, that the Earth and nature could take it all back and thrive just as nothing had ever happened. The idea of the Earth “starting over” has never seemed so real to me. I am not saying that I am on the whole bandwagon of “2012”, but after this discussion and contemplation, it seems very real and reasonable. The idea of us becoming parts of coal and future species or races using it to grill out their hamburgers is just mind blowing! Although I would be very grateful to not cook someone’s hamburger, it is very weird yet interesting to think about. The Earth is again, so complex and strong. I still cannot grasp all that it has seen and gone through. I realize that I am describing the Earth as a living thing, but that is exactly what it is, a living thing. All living things die and then other organisms gain from that loss. Which is exactly what it could do to our species, kill us off and reuse us, no questions asked. I have come full circle with the coal topic and connected it to life on Earth and the ending of Earth, and am pretty proud of myself for making the connection, who would of thought? Thanks to Thomas Cole, I am more aware of the “living thing” we live on and more grateful for all of its triumphs and failures. I hope my blog allows more people to think about the place we walk on everyday, throw trash on, and pollute everyday. I hope my blog allows people to contemplate ways we can help our fellow living space and contribute to the universe. Let’s try to keep ourselves from becoming coal and keep on keepin’ on.
Until next time,