How many things lie lonely in nonexistence, never visited by an imagination? The old adage about the tree falling in the woods with no one around to hear it. Does a feeling exist if no one ever feels it? Does a thought exist if no one ever thinks it? The sexual fantasies, vivid blue skies, dewy meadows, sunsets, all have no shortage of daydreamers to breathe life into them. There are scores of ideas that artists paint, sculpt, and write entire worlds for. How many things lie beyond the horizon of our imaginations? Despite the wonder and diversity that surrounds us in the natural world, we always yearn to create other worlds. Do we live in a world so droll that it demands creativity? What if we lived in a more interesting world? Imagine such a world where some landscapes were painted by Picasso rather than geological forces. Different pieces of nature are painted by impressionists, surrealists, classicists even realists. In this world, nature is not simply whittled by the cold careless hands of evolution, it is loved in the hearts of artists. In this world every conversation is as eloquent, poignant, and engaging as the words of Dostoevsky. Words gracefully leap from our mouths to mingle and embrace in sweet harmony. We understand, and we are understood. The ugly disharmony of cars, trains, streets, cursing, yelling, cat calls, is replaced by chords that are as sweet and natural as Paganini’s violin. This world lives only in the hearts of artists with hands too weak to build it. Our only home is the natural world. The truth is, this world is born not of love, but of need. Those who live in this world had no choice. We are simply thrust into this existence. Nature is an existential slave master. Through the pain, I trust that she is simply indifferent, not malevolent. Hunger, pain, loneliness, thirst, lust a thousand lashes from her whip. We cannot think if we must toil. Nature fears our power to undo her, control her, enslave her. Arctic tundras, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, volcanoes reassert her dominance. Artists and scientists harbor a masochistic love for nature. We write odes to her beauty, paint her form with love, fit equations for her intimacy. Our love does not seem reciprocated. The very nature of the universe demands my decay, pain, and death. Entropy dissolves me, radiation shreds me, gravity crushes me. She tolerates our questions, our curiosities, our affections for only so long before erasing us to make room for better creations. I believe this quarrel is by necessity not by will. Nature and humans must do such dirty things to exist. Survival is our true slave master. No one can watch a sunset or look upon the Aurora Borealis without remembering their true feelings for nature. We would simply lie in tall grass and live off the sweet scent of wildflowers if it weren’t for the stinging lashes of hunger and lust. Nature gives us life, nourishes us, even nurtures us despite the havok we will wreak. The artist does not seek to replace nature, but simply imagines a world in which our love is not tragic and doomed. The artist imagines a world in which we do not have to sacrifice love for survival.