Weekend trip to Suichang. The world is moving too fast for me to catch up.
Urban migration, the extinction of village life, people move down from the mountains, leaving ruins in their wake, this is what I imagine to world to have looked like when the mayans went wherever they went to, trash and possessions left behind in a messy trail, proof of humans, lingering body heat, only one family left now in the mountains.
Everyone else trickling down to the village, then the city. There are no young people here, they’ve all gone to city, this is the sound of a civilization crumbling, this ancient way of life, of knowing the earth intimately, following the seasons. There are no jobs in the village, the price the government pays to keep them living must be paid by productivity, but there is none of that here, only the old theater in the center of town, the rows of seats scattered and broken like front teeth kicked in, the old women inside the warm wooden belly of the stage, stringing together plastic flowers into garlands that will surely be sent to America to be sold for next to nothing. Everyone is fleeing towards the cities, they want to trade in their standard of living; shift from water thermoses to cell phones (shou ji), from rice to bread, from raincoats to nike shoes; material things only breed more desire for material things, more and more, western toilets, showers, the fancy cars flooding the streets of Hangzhou.
The cities are all industrial, are half-developed buildings with gaping window mouths, reverse ghost towns, hungry for people to come and fill them with heat. Piles of cinderblock, roof shingles, rubbish. Where do you find for water for all these people? And food? And energy to keep them dry and warm in this cold rain, the winter that comes so fast the leaves all die at once over night, quick change, the way history shifts her feet without warning.