Sunday, November 7, 2010

Tinker Creek, Trees & Cecilia Vicuna

it was summer when i started to read Annie Dillard's "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek". i blogged about it in August, when i ordered it second hand, and received an unread first edition fom '74:  used. good condition. in September, i quoted from it: "We must somehow take a wider view".

and i am still reading it. such an intense, complex, dense book. so many thoughts. you can feel the years it took to get it together, the time that went into the experiences which then turned into words that move beyond the realm of language, like in this passage: "Can I stay still? How still? I could not, or would not hold still for thirty minutes inside, but at the creek I slow down, center down, empty. I retreat - not inside myself, but outside myself, so that I am a tissue of senses. Whatever I see is plenty, abundance. I am the skin of water the wind plays over; I am petal, feather, stone."

another thing i am still reading: the entries of the Festival of Trees #53. yesterday i arrived at Dave Bonta's tree notes, they include a line that also takes a wider view, reaching back through time, to the era of megafauna, and the first humans who painted nature, 16.500 years ago, and moving from there to today's trees, and today's society, to "the world as we know it — or should I say, as we have made it, we and our ancient hunting partners, the dogs. Together we have tamed the earth, and orphaned ourselves in the process. Which is, perhaps, the scariest thought of all."  - from Haunted tree

the third text is one i found while piecing together the blueprint book blog feature for The Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry (now online here) - which was coedited by artist and poet Cecilia Vicuna. i browsed her website - and arrived her art installation of unspun wool (that's the photo in the right corner). and learn that in the Andes, unspun wool is cosmic energy, pure potential - and that she was asked to remove this work from the exhibition. curious, i browsed on, and arrived at an interview with her, it's part of the Water Writing e-book. and find this line on the world we live in, us, nature and art: "I inherited an idealistic view, both from my European and my indigenous side, that art was a way of interacting with the life force. Because art is a way of getting deeper into the question of how perception works; how observation affects what is observed. Now, through quantum physics, you can see that the ancient view of the indigenous, and some European traditions, were grounded in an understanding now proven as completely real. The practice of art affects the body, nature, and everything else."

+ a note the background images, they both are from the weekly newspaper "Zeit". the tree image is from Stuttgart21, where ongoing protests against europe's largest mega-construction site in the centre of Stuttgart now lead to a current stop of the project - the turning point was the day when the first trees in the park were cut. people now start to turn the remaining trees into objects of art. bus tours from other regions come to Stuttgart, to visit this scene of unexpected civil protest. i blogged about Stuttgart21 before, here.

the Kyoto/Nagoya article is about the Convention on Biological Diversity, where, according to the press release "a new era of living in harmony with nature is born". let's hope it's growing up soon.

1 comment:

Editions Bibliotekos said...

Repeating what has already been said . . . but worth re-stating: one cannot go wrong with Pilgrim at Tinker Creek - wonderful, inspiring, meditative, spiritual . . .