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Earth Abides
BY J RANDALL MURPHY

Human culture abounds with anthropomorphic metaphor, and perhaps the most ubiquitous is Mother Nature.

In ancient Greek mythology she is portrayed as the Goddess Gaia. In Māori tradition she's called Papatuanuku.

Regardless of faith or belief, we all have our own personal relationship with nature.

Because Gaia has become somewhat of a New Age trope, I wanted to try something new. So I used three separate sources to create a composite scene with a mystical Eastern Indian flair. After creating the clip, I noticed that although the stars in the background aren't animated, they visually shift when I adjust my viewing position. Can you see it too?

I don't know a lot about Eastern Indian culture, but I do know that the smallest of details can have meaning, so if anyone happens to know more about the symbolism behind the garments and gesture above, please feel free to comment on the YouTube page.

Allusions to Sci-Fi

This song was first written and performed during 1988 when I was heading a local underground band called 9 DAZE ( not to be confused with any current band by the same name ).

Back then it was titled Sojourn of Sorrow. I changed the name at some point after that to Earth Abides, because it was inspired in part by the 1949 novel of the same name by George Stewart.

Despite the book's depressing plot, Earth Abides is among the earliest portrayals of post-apocalyptic life in the history of the genre. It's also among the first to impart the idea that Earth has been around far longer than humans, and may very well be around long after we're gone, unless that is, we clean up our act.

I found the artwork on a free clip site. If anyone knows the original artist please let me know so that I can give them proper credit. In the soundtrack there's also a sampling from the 1957 radio play Earth Abides voiced by John Dehner ( also now in the public domain ). The words are included in the interlude section of the lyric sheet below.

Not Without Hope

By the end of the video I was attempting to leave viewers with the impression that after some extended length of time following the apocalypse, the Earth would renew itself and return to it's pristine state, leaving Mother Earth happy once again for all her children.

The final clip is a composite of several free photo clips I found online including a young mother who was originally holding a baby in her hands. I find motherly love to be one of the most beautiful expressions of love that exists in the world today. It gives me hope for the future.

Lyrics

Earth Abides
VERSE I
Mother I know you're crying
Your children all gone bad
Look at your face. I can tell your dying
'cause nobody, nobody gives a damn
And your tears flow in the rivers and they burn your skin
And our family can't live together
'cause it's filled with so much, so much sin
So call on Moses and I'll pray to the Lord
Deliver us from the fate this world is headed for
INTERLUDE
We won't make the mistake a second time
There won't be any looking back
We'll forget the train that used to run
The tall buildings, the soft food
We'll go back to the Earth
VERSE II
Mother don't you feel alone
And your children won't they ever learn
Look at your face this age is growing old
And every little scratch and cut, how they take their toll
And your voice cries on the wind
But they won't stop the torturing
See them rape and kill for some stupid cause or the dollar bill
So crack the city walls and raise the tide
Mankind may come or go but
Earth Abides
- END -
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