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A Heritage for the Earth

In my one hand, a skull. In the other?
I have no decision. This is forced, but on the other hand I can give my life.
The desert air pushes my back, urging me to decide. My eyes faintly water, irritated by the stroke of steel in the air. The steel makes the air cold, makes my mind cold.
Looking down, the soft leather of my boots clashes against the hard texture of rock. They grate against each other as I inch forward. I look further down, into the depths of the water so far below. A river gushes and clashes, between it and me only still, cold air. Between the edges of this canyon, it flows in one direction. It madly races to into its only future. It struggles to get to the sea. Where is its choice? It must follow the walls of deep sandstone lined with red, showing each age of the past. So cruel, the walls stand against a rage of tiny blue drops – fluid, unstable, condemned for its free movement.
I must relent to this idiocracy. I need to relent to these stone walls. The deep eyes of the skull gaze at me, unblinking, searing a path into my brain. The bleached white of my ancestors, evil in all ways possible. This desert gave into their ways. A land of green beauty, now a red disease burning the air, burning my flesh. The skull I hold rules over this hatred that I have. Small dunes of red boil in my blood as my bones chill from the gaze of my forefathers’ eyes. In them, my life has been brought. In them, I have a rule over this cold sand. These rocks grating beneath my flesh, they are mine. And in my hand I hold the choice of searing death or cold uncertainty. I look back into the river so deep yet so forceful. The fluidity is lost in its great speed. The power rushes, clashing against sandstone, ripping at the skin of this red hell.
My choice? To jump, to take with me the blood of my past, the blood of this land.
And in this uncertainty of a decided death? Death apart from evil. These tiny, unprotected drops cling to my skin. They clamor together to bring a force more powerful than bloodstained sand. I now realize the river has chosen this path, it cuts into the land I thought invincible. Slowly, angrily, cunningly, it shapes the land to its will. And the skull, so suddenly wet, cracks in my hand. It falls into the river; I stare as it crumbles. It screams; the shrill of a lost future, it screams. A bloody scream. And I see the air turn red. The skull tears apart, now only a simple piece of the earth.
I’ve given up this world to join the earth, one to which I will not fear or hate. I see green grass along the riverbed already.
In my one hand, the stains of a bloody skull are gone, my body fluid with the river.
In my other hand? In my other hand, the harsh ice of barren wastelands cuts deep into my palm. The cold anger rushes across the land. In my other hand, a wet fetus. In my other hand, the icy steel of my children’s generation, bringing a chill to the air.

A Heritage for the Earth


Kremmling, United States

  • Artist

Artist's Description

Here’s my conflict between what I’ve seen from the past. How we are connected to the earth as a global community. How are we changing that connection? This is my response.

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