Prompt 5: Overcoming Climate
I am only a thing. I take up little space in comparison to the planet we live on. It would seem to be a simple concept if I were not constantly in relation with other ‘things’. The things around me take up little amounts of space, but when we’re all added together, we occupy much of the land available to us. We are arranged all over the place. My current arrangement is the Twin Cities area. Things such as buildings take up space high into the air while others such as the tunnel system occupy those areas underneath the Earth’s surface. Wherever I look, I am encountered with things. All of things around me are in constant interaction, creating a framework around me. My current framework is complex, involving numerous things and places, however, it is rather pathetic as most are related academically through the U.
It is important to see how I am connected to the world around me. I understand that things are connected within frameworks, frameworks connected within clockworks, and clockworks connected within phenomena, but I just don’t necessarily analyze my life in this fashion. I am more interested in the oppositions I face with my surroundings, and those other oppositions that we face in our lives. Maybe it’s just my desire to overcome the impossible or that I just like a challenge, but intertwined things are disinteresting to me until the oppositions are mentioned.
The opposition that I’d like to elaborate on is that of climate and enclosure. I’ve loved the cold my whole life. Summer is nice, but there are always the days that you cannot escape. I guess that extreme climates are always uncomfortable, but they really interest me. The reason I am so interested in this opposition is because it is all around me. After an extremely hot, humid summer where I constantly wanted to be indoors, I found myself to be uncomfortable and frostbite-prone standing in the same place I was 6 months earlier. In both extremes, I wanted to be indoors, in an environment controlled by the systems (things, frameworks, clockworks, etc.) created and built by humans (the built environment).
While being in a controlled environment is comforting, I find it much more exciting to explore the wilderness and the vastness of the natural world. I feel as though both the built environment and the natural environment shape my life, but right now, more so the built one. This is because I am a student trapped in the Twin Cities going to school every day. I don’t have a car and the busses only go so far out of the cities. The surroundings I find myself in are those completely shaped by humankind.
I feel as though the pinnacle of this opposition is Bear Grylls, the man from the tv show, Man vs. Wild. For those unfamiliar with this man, he overcomes the worst, deadliest environments and climates on the planet all alone. He is dropped off and left alone until he finds civilization. While he does some pretty crazy things, his interaction with his surroundings is quite impressive. His survival is dependent upon his knowledge of the region his is in. I feel that this idea is true in other instances as well; not necessarily dealing with life and death, but someone must know their surroundings, even in a city, to participate effectively in the culture. I, personally, have developed a deeper knowledge of my surroundings in the Twin Cities since this fall. The first weekend I was up here, I remember feeling lost and disconnected. Over time, I familiarized myself with places and things and developed my sense of belonging.
I have definitely deviated from the opposition of climate and enclosure, however, I feel that this is important to note. Beginning with a simple opposition, many other ideas spawned from this as I began writing. This demonstrates the framework, clockwork, and phenomena that connect climate and enclosure to weather, culture, nature, and even Bear Grylls.