Sunday, December 19, 2010

Summer Memories - Anticipation

This weather is crazy! And they used to say my native New England had crazy weather. Friday I photographed around 8" of snow on the ground. It's been raining ever since and the snow is gone! No wonder I feel steadier while contemplating photos I took last summer. I'm working on several "ecological" essays, and these photos fuel my thoughts. One is an extension of my recent post titled "Eveything Connected" and the other is "A Natural History of Phone Booths." The snippets I post here get modified and expanded in my journals and eventually developed into essays that may find a place in my book, "A Crack in the Sidewalk." Meanwhile, they also serve as conversation pieces with people who follow my blog. Their feedback helps launch new ideas.
I'm currently reading a very powerful book that has been gathering dust on my bookshelf for over 20 years. It's by Garret Hardin whom I met during a summer curriculum writing stint in Boulder many years ago. He was identified at the time with his thought-provoking essay, "The Tragedy of the Commons." A friend of mine made an impressive documentary film based on that essay. Anyway, the book I'm currently reading is "Filters Against Folly." Among other things, he deals with the tragic split between the science/math/rationalist outlook and the literary/humanities outlook. Besides the need to reconcile these two outlooks, he proposes a third, an ecological outlook, that is needed for humankind to be able to solve the many problems it has created for itself. The four photos above have significance for me in that they stir memories of the great variety of personal reactions my hiking companions have had to encountering these scenes. Everything from admiring their beauty to fear and revulsion. And these photos don't even include scary species like Black Widow Spiders or rattlesnakes. Right now my thought are all over the map. I hope that during this two-week winter break I can build a couple of coherent essays out of the chaos. Meanwhile, i hope you enjoy the photos. Maybe send some comments. Can you see beauty in spittle bugs?

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