By John R. Campbell
A suite of forty four prose meditations encouraged through the transitory and bird-rich atmosphere of the Klamath marshes at the Oregon/California border. "In order to simply accept the big accountability that comes of being on the planet, we needs to first conceive, even with the entire hindrances, the country of really being the world." it's as a result that John R. Campbell got here to the Klamath marshes, a wetland in southern Oregon shaped by way of 3 historical, shallow lakes, an enormous vacancy that's satirically domestic to an grand range of lifestyles, of untold millions of birds either migratory and resident, of all of the interconnected lifestyles kinds that make up one among North America's richest traditional environments. Absence and light-weight is Campbell's account of his exploration of the marshes and a meditation at the global he came across there, on his starting to be figuring out of the actual, emotional, ethical, and aesthetic that means of that international, on his personal development as a guy. via Campbell's eyes, we notice the stirring and astounding fantastic thing about the marshes and their creatures, and the utter poignancy in their fragility sooner than the heedless goals of humankind. this can be nature writing at its such a lot profound and relocating, writing that during studying and defining the realm of nature is helping us to appreciate the very complex and contradictory realities of being human. Campbell's luminous descriptions and mystical insights will lengthy linger within the reader's reminiscence.
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Additional resources for Absence And Light: Meditations From The Klamath Marshes (Environmental Arts and Humanities)
Is all this gray death integral to the function of this living forest? Some of the death here seems more like suffering; certainly the forest could ¦ourish under a bit less stress. Yet many of the trees are clearly hundreds of years old, so endurance and isolation must have their merits. I press on. 42 Soon I hear frogs, and then the hoarse voice of a duck. A green shore appears through the trees. Lake Natashia is like dozens I’ve paused at in the high Cascades, a refreshing and mysterious opening in the woods.
A b s e n c es Victor Turner, in his essay “Betwixt and Between: The Liminal Period in Rites de Passage,” states that liminal sacra (ritual matter) such as “Ndembu and Luvale masks . . ” So there is a ritual place where ¦ux is the norm and stasis is abhorrent, where two identities can blend into a third entity that comprises both and is identišed as neither. In nature, which allows for all culture, liminal places are often fecund: these marshes, both water and arid land, for example, or tidal zones, or the borders between the woods and the šelds.
If the purpose of such delusion is to compassionately enter into other lives (rather than appropriate those lives for gain), then why not imagine the lives of ani- a b s e n c es mals as well? Keats’s “negative capability” is more than simple projection. A form of Romantic absence, it embraces the nightingale without silencing it or pinning it down. So I imagine what draws the geese, how the sheen of water as seen from the air becomes actual habitat as we descend, feet splayed. I imagine the splash, and the feel of the pond as it brushes my belly, as it buoys me up.
Absence And Light: Meditations From The Klamath Marshes (Environmental Arts and Humanities) by John R. Campbell