Monday, July 5, 2010

"By affirming that the other animals have their own languages, and that even the rustling of leaves in an oak tree or an aspen grove is itself a kind of voice, oral peoples bind their senses to the shifting sounds and gestures of the local earth, and thus ensure that their own ways of speaking remain informed by the life of the land."
--David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

This moment is unlike any other...

In “The Surrealist Manifesto,” Breton writes,

If in a cluster of grapes there are no two alike, why do you want me to describe this grape by the other, by all the others . . . ? Our brains are dulled by the incurable mania of wanting to make the unknown known, classifiable . . . It is pointless to add that experience itself has found itself increasingly circumscribed. It paces back and forth in a cage from which it is more and more difficult to make it emerge . . . Forbidden is any kind of search for truth that is not in conformance with accepted practices . . .

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Who can plead innocence?

Thank you, Mark Morford of the San Francisco Chronicle, for the best words I have come across regarding the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico:

Thank you, alpacas!

The Los Angeles Times reports "a nationwide effort by alpaca breeders to help absorb some of the millions of gallons of oil that's spilled into the gulf. It will be packed into buoys and then sent out into the oil slick.

Breeders say the fabric is uniquely suited for the job and does it better than other materials.

"The alpaca fiber is a hollow fiber rather than wool or human hair that's solid fiber, so it has more space to absorb the oil."

I didn't know that yesterday when I met this recently sheared beauty on a tour of fiber producing farms east of Albuquerque.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A chorus of saltbush, chamisa, and cottonwood

Words from Thomas Berry: "The Cenozoic period is being terminated by a massive extinction of living forms that is taking place on a scale equalled only by the extinctions that took place at the end of the Paleozoic around 220 million years ago and at the end of the Mesozoic some 65 million years ago. The only viable choice before us is to enter into an Ecozoic period, the period of an integral community that will include all the human and non-human components that constitute the planet Earth.

The first principle of the Ecozoic era is recognizing that the Universe is primarily a communion of subjects, not a collection of objects. This is especially true of the planet Earth. Every being has its own place and its own proper role in the functioning of the planet, its own presentation of itself that might be identified as its voice.

Our difficulty is that we have become autistic. We no longer listen to what the earth, its landscape, its atmospheric phenomena and all its living forms, its mountains and valleys, the rain, the wind, and all the flora and fauna of the planet are telling us.

Where are we going?

No one knows, really. But here is an interesting set of propositions, thoughts to suggest a new direction:

Here are two of my favorite lines:
"By careful attention, we will reengage with the non-human world."
"We write with dirt under our ļ¬ngernails."


Inspiration is always a surprise. You can't make it happen.

One morning with no plans and no method I found myself on a blog called

Hours later, after reading every word, I knew that something lost had been renewed, and something new had been born. Thank you, Bill Scheffel!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Aspiration for pure water

Children of Water,

weep, but don’t fall into blame

or helpless despair.

Let your next breath leap,

not knowing the outcome,

knowing that you care.

What can be shared...

We set up chairs to watch the sunset before noticing this rabbit reclining just a few feet away. It shared contemplative space with us for about ten minutes, then hopped off to resume nibbling on flower petals.

Cottonwood jungle

Looks a little like Henri Rousseau, but it's really just the Socorro Nature Area on May 29--hot, full of cottonwood fluff and big ants. One managed to crawl up my leg while I was learning the difference between male and female four-wing saltbush. Reality bites!

The Pool by Paul Kingsnorth

At the Dawn of Time
Was a pool around which two Men sat.
Early Men, though they did not know this.
Clear was the water in the pool.
Clear were their minds, for
They knew no different.
They had no speech, only the use
Of their hands and their bodies.
It seemed to one that
The motion of the fever trees in the wind,
When reflected in the water,
Gave life to its surface.
It seemed to him that the water was alive.
He could not say so.
He had no vision of saying so.
Instead, he looked into the eyes of the second Man
Who, squatting, returned his gaze.
It seemed to both that they were thinking the same thing
Which, being thought, became true.
The water lived,
Like the Men and the fever trees
And the things that moved in the fever trees
And beneath them, and at night
Above them.
Everything lived.
How could it not be so?
There were no thoughts which said it could not be so.