Monday, October 19, 2009

Why I blog about Bowen Island

Thick fog in the Sound this morning, and I was awoken by the acrid scent of it mingled with pulp mill exhuast combined with the ferries filling the inlet with periodic wayfinding blasts.

Reading this marvelous essay by David Abrams. Captivated by these paragraphs:

Each place has its rhythms of change and metamorphosis, its specific way of expanding and contracting in response to the turning seasons, and this shapes, and is shaped by, the sentience of that land. Whether we speak of a broad mountain range or of a single valley within that range, at each scale there is a unique intelligence circulating among the various constituents of the place—a style evident in the way events unfold in that region, how the slow spread of the mountain’s shadow alters the insect swarms above a cool stream, or the way a forested slope rejuvenates itself after a fire. For the precise amalgam of elements that structures each ecosystem exists nowhere else. Each place, that is to say, is a unique state of mind, and the many beings that constitute and dwell within that locale—the spiders and tree frogs no less than the humans—all participate in, and partake of, the particular mind of the place.

Of course, I can hardly be instilled by this intelligence if I only touch down, briefly, on my way to elsewhere. Only by living for many moons in one place, my peripheral senses tracking seasonal changes in the local plants while the scents of the soil steadily seep in through my pores, only over time can the intelligence of a place lay claim upon my person. Slowly, as the seasonal round repeats itself again and again, the lilt and melody of the local songbirds becomes an expectation within my ears, and so the mind I’ve carried within me settles into the wider mind that enfolds me. Changes in the terrain begin to release and mirror my own, internal changes. The slow metamorphosis of colors within the landscape; the way mice migrate into the walls of my house as the climate grows colder; oak buds bursting and unfurling their leaves to join a gazillion other leaves in agile, wind-tossed exuberance before they tumble, spent, to the ground; the way a wolf spider weaves her spiraling web in front of the porch light every spring—each such patterned event, quietly observed, releases analogous metamorphoses within myself. Without such tunement and triggering by the earthly surroundings, my emotional body is stymied, befuddled—forced to spiral through its necessary transformations without any guidance from the larger Body of the place (and hence entirely out of phase with my neighbors, human and nonhuman). Sensory perception, here, is the silken web that binds our separate nervous systems into the encompassing ecosystem.
This is why I blog.