Saturday, March 10, 2007


AN EXPERIENCE NEARLY FORGOTTEN


While gardening today I was pondering a sentence I'd come across describing a Japanese garden at an exhibition: "This garden gives visitors the experience of a day in the forest, an experience nearly forgotten." I never thought I would hear such a phrase in my own lifetime.

It sounds as though we have given up already, and believe soon we will have only videos of forests, photos from back when there were trees, even groves of trees. Before long, people will come to believe that there are no forests left (and by then it may be true, or nearly true) except for the few in forest zoos, i.e., parks - as it is with the endangered fauna - and so it will all come to pass by default.

Later, encountering one of those damply religious people who search for higher truth in the lower regions, seeking the source everywhere but in themselves, I reflect that each and every one of the cells and elements and ethers that comprise me (and him) are linked unbroken to the birth of the universe, and have a familial history beyond the boundaries of faith. What need have I to look elsewhere after reasons for my life, let alone in words written mere millennia ago? A hair follicle embodies more knowledge than all the creeds and holy books ever devised; think of the wisdom in eyes! Holier-than-thou is in fact a matter of astigmatism.

The more I am out here in the woods on the mountain in the cold and silent air amid living and imminent plants, birds on the wind and animal eyes in the night, the lonelier I get, and the more opens up to me of the secrets that are lost in the crowd. It is the kind of loneliness that leads to oneliness; it is an essential food, that nourishes the bones of the spirit for the long journey.

2 comments:

Trace said...

"Damply religious people who search for higher truth in the lower regions..." I really like this. I shall never forget it in my lifetime!

Winston said...

A beautiful piece of work, Robert, presenting many thought triggers. My favorite is:
"It is the kind of loneliness that leads to oneliness..."

And the line that made me smile, if not laugh out loud:
"Holier-than-thou is in fact a matter of astigmatism."

Thanks...