The Perpetual Vagabond

Exploring the world near and far, mostly on foot.

July 4th, 2012: We Can’t Grow Forever…

Here are some of my photos from the 4th of July in Portland, Oregon. I was hoping to show a different side of the 4th, maybe a more mundane, real life version of what that day is for so many people…just another day, with some fireworks in the distance. Not to say that it’s not a meaningful day for many people, but it has turned into a spectacle of opulence and over-indulgence. For many of us, watching firework displays that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars is a slap in the face while our communities are being gutted of funding and resources, our friends are unemployed and the future looks bleak.

I love where I live as it is incredibly beautiful and I am surrounded by amazing people, but I also believe our country has lost its way and I’m not sure how much I feel like putting on a show of celebration while all around me the walls of our society are crumbling.

In many ways these fireworks reminded me of growth; you can’t grow forever, if you do you will explode. Maybe that is a better metaphor for our 4th of July celebrations. A reminder to ourselves that we are on a quick path to being nothing more than smoke in the aftermath of a large explosion. Maybe a brilliant one, but one that will leave us in ashes. We can’t grow forever and living in a world where our economic systems are based entirely on growth will lead to nothing but future misery.

But, let’s take a moment to imagine another world. A world where sharing, caring and the protection of our planet is more important than gaining wealth and exploiting resources for personal (and corporate) gain. I hope to someday live in a world where I feel excited to celebrate the accomplishments and successes of my country, but for now I will work to help it not explode and hopefully be able to offer a few better ideas for how to live along the way.













2 responses to “July 4th, 2012: We Can’t Grow Forever…”

  1. asterisk * photography Avatar
    asterisk * photography
  2. Sometimes I Paint Stuff Avatar

    Wow, these photos are incredible. It makes me really sad that I missed it and went to the
    disappointing Happy Valley display instead. I was even going to climb a building in the
    industrial part to look out at the waterfront from. I have to say that I especially love the
    first and fourth shots.

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