The organic movement and the ballyhoo to eat-local have taken root in the common culture. Farmers markets are booming. Some people are passing up Whole Foods for food delivered to their doorstep by local farm co-ops. In my new book, RenGen: Renaissance Generation, I observed that people are taking cues from the natural world, a fact that shows up in shopping habits, packaging, color choices, and even window displays. We have a new respect for Mother Nature. The cumulative affect of too many early springs, snowless winters, floods, hurricanes, and tidal waves have made an impression on the collective psyche.
Three lessons are now imprinted on our collective mindset:
1. Everything breaks. Extinction and rebirth are the inevitable cycle of life. Even things that look solid break down: rock, steel, planets, stars, ideas, texts, and art all decline, fade away, and fall into oblivion. Rough surfaces, raw edges and gnarled hemp designs are the new chic. The tyranny of Martha Stewart perfectionism is over and out.
2. Nothing is perfect. Even on close inspection, the most flawless objects are flawed. Security systems are breachable, viruses cannot be contained by universal inoculation, and whether we are talking about diamonds or tempered steel, flaws are unavoidable. Witness the success of the Dove ads celebrating real female bodies.
3 All things are incomplete. There is never an ending and beginning to anything. We can decide that enough has been done, said, or written about something. But that is a self-imposed demarcation. The renaissance generation will not demand the final word, a supreme of doctrine if you will. But instead wants to chip in a few ideas. Contribute to the conversation. YouTube and MySpace are perfect mediums to facilitate the exchange.
As I look out the window of my writing studio, I see the blue recycling bin resting near the composter. They are fixtures in my life now. Here things get broken down, change form and become something else. And it’s beautifully flawed.