In his recent book THE NATURE PRINCIPLE, Richard Louv brings together a host of provocative thinkers and research. He describes the work of Robert Michael Pyle, who writes about the “extinction of experience.” What happens when people lose touch with the outdoors? when we lose our capacity to connect with something beyond the two dimensionality of a screen, mobile or not.
“Our sensitivity to nature, and our humility within it, are essential to our physical and spiritual survival,” writes Louv.
What if faith is a sense, along with sight, hunger, peripheral vision, and smell ? Each moment outdoors is a moment to re-nature, to re-create.
The wildlife presenter David Attenborough is frequently asked “When did you become interested in animals?”
His response is always “When did you stop being interested?”
Below, a crane costume that I saw recently on display at the training center for the National Park Service. The wardrobes that some people will consider, in pursuit of their interest. I love it!
Many days I wish I had more patience for reading… and for words… uninterrupted by feeling like I have to do something active and physical, immediately. If I could only pick up a book and settle myself, as easily as I pick up my running shoes and run along a beach. The writer Wendell Berry found a very compelling word with such patience, reading E.M. Forster’s book Howard’s End. The word is “AFFECTION.” And then another two words, “BOOMER” and ‘STICKER” from his own writing teacher Wallace Stegner. The excerpts below are from the WENDELL E. BERRY 2012 Jefferson Lecture at the NEH, in which he puts these three words together.
WENDELL BERRY on Boomers and Stickers [Wallace Stegner] thought rightly that we Americans, by inclination at least, have been divided into two kinds: “boomers” and “stickers.” Boomers, he said, are “those who pillage and run,” who want “to make a killing and end up on Easy Street,” whereas stickers are “those who settle, and love the life they have made and the place they have made it in.“Boomer” names a kind of person and a kind of ambition that is the major theme, so far, of the history of the European races in our country. “Sticker” names a kind of person and also a desire that is, so far, a minor theme of that history, but a theme persistent enough to remain significant and to offer, still, a significant hope. The boomer is motivated by greed, the desire for money, property, and therefore power… [Stickers] on the contrary are motivated by affection, by such love for a place and its life that they want to preserve it and remain in it.
WENDELL BERRY on Affection, and Aldo Leopold “I don’t hesitate to say that damage or destruction of the land-community is morally wrong, just as Leopold did not hesitate to say so when he was composing his essay, “The Land Ethic,” in 1947. But I do not believe, as I think Leopold did not, that morality, even religious morality, is an adequate motive for good care of the land-community. The primary motive for good care and good use is always going to be affection, because affection involves us entirely. And here Leopold himself set the example. In 1935 he bought an exhausted Wisconsin farm and, with his family, began its restoration. To do this was morally right, of course, but the motive was affection. Leopold was an ecologist. He felt, we may be sure, an informed sorrow for the place in its ruin. He imagined it as it had been, as it was, and as it might be. And a profound, delighted affection radiates from every sentence he wrote about it.”
read the entire WENDELL E. BERRY 2012 Jefferson Lecture at the NEH
For more on 360s mentioned in previous post below… a bit of a tangent from the inquiry into America’s divorce from the outdoors, but not really… check out www.islandjournal.com/360.
(360 c0mposite image recorded on south end of Hurricane Island, Maine, on Saturday)