Sunday, September 2, 2012

Beyond words: articulating shifting shadows


Primordial landforms: Pawtuckaway State Park, 9/1/12
While persons brought up within literate culture often speak about the natural word, indigenous... peoples sometimes speak directly to that world, acknowledging certain animals, plants, and even landforms as expressive subjects with whom they might find themselves in conversation.

Obviously these other beings do not speak with a human tongue: they do not speak in words. They may speak in song, like many birds, or in rhythm, like the crickets and ocean waves.  They may speak in a language of movements and gestures, or articulate themselves in shifting shadows...

Language, for traditionally oral peoples, is not a specifically human possession, but is a property of the animate earth, in which we humans participate. *

* Above quotes by David Abram (p. 11) Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology

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