online:29 October
modified: 29 October 2008

27 October 2008 interactions

in a city forest

...within sight of a dozen or so white geese accompanied by a heron as they graze on the grass behind a neo-classical mansion...

...this park and the surrounding forest impose similar actions on everyone who comes here... as i suppose does any place or venue, on any person... for instance my own sitting here and looking at what there is to be seen, the geese, people walking, others jogging, leaves falling... though in writing this account of these familiar things i suppose i differ from the others... (in my trying to describe the whole scene... and to allude to all the interactions)... front of me are four tall beech trees each grown very differently in size and shape yet unmistakably beechlike...

...and now, as i watch a man in red running past, i sigh for no apparent reason... at which he turns his head to look (without interrupting his swift strides and rapid course)... i suppose we are all alert for sighs, or any other sounds of human voice, whatever else we may be doing...

...and as i note this tiny example i imagine that such interactions between living things and their surroundings comprise one of the greatest categories of life on earth or anywhere... and i imagine also that, despite the many academic studies of environmental behaviour, this category has been only very slightly observed, described, or theorised about or understood in any full or extensive manner... for it seems, at first thought, to include almost anything...

...when i set out today to this place that i think i know i was hoping to experience and to note something of the sublimity of existence (i'd been reading of Immanuel Kant's theory of the sublime and other such categories*) and now, in these almost mundane thoughts (on a Monday afternoon) i suppose that little miracle has happened!

*Douglas Burnham, An Introduction to Kant's Critique of Judgement, Edinburgh University Press, Edinbrugh 2000, chapter 2 and others.

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