Sometimes our hearts tell us things.
When we lived in town we had a neighbor who would put her hand up to the right side of her face, like a blinder, whenever she left her house. One day I asked her why. She pointed to the new buildings in the ravine at the end of our street. "Those houses--I can't bear to see them," she said. "My children used to play there. It was all woods. We had picnics--"
Her voice broke, and she didn't finish her sentence.
But her meaning was clear:
We bond with landscape just as we do with people, and the breaking of those bonds hurts just as much.
But growth is the one thing our modern capitalist society cannot do without. When housing-starts fall off, the economy is in trouble. When people stop buying consumer items, the economy is in trouble. Expansion, constant expansion, is what we need. Therefore, we are trained to suppress stabs of grief such as my neighbor felt. "Well, that's progress," we are supposed to say, resignedly, when a highway, shopping mall, or subdivision replaces the greenspace we had loved.
But our hearts keep talking.
Enter writers, whose job it is to hear heart-speech and then express it through their own creations.