People in traditional societies necessarily are more realistic about their dependence and are trying to understand what the plants are doing all around them. Because we’ve become so detached and so urbanised we’ve drifted away from this to a large extent. We don’t know an awful lot of things that even our recent ancestors did about vegetation and so on … But simply from where they stand they are much more realistic. It is more a fact about us that we have drifted right away from a realistic understanding of the world.

Philosopher Mary Midgley in an interview with Jeppe Dyrendom Graugaard.

"[T]here was a sort of embarrassment about storytelling that struck home powerfully about one hundred years ago, at the beginning of modernism. We see a similar reaction in painting and in music. It’s a preoccupation suddenly with the surface rather than the depth. So you get, for example, Picasso and Braque making all kinds of experiments with the actual surface of the painting. That becomes the interesting thing, much more interesting than the thing depicted, which is just an old newspaper, a glass of wine, something like that. In music, the Second Viennese School becomes very interested in what happens when the surface, the diatonic structure of the keys breaks down, and we look at the notes themselves in a sort of tone row, instead of concentrating on things like tunes, which are sort of further in, if you like. That happened, of course, in literature, too, with such great works as James Joyce’s Ulysses, which is all about, really, how it’s told. Not so much about what happens, which is a pretty banal event in a banal man’s life. It’s about how it’s told. The surface suddenly became passionately interesting to artists in every field about a hundred years ago …

"In the field of literature, story retreated. The books we talked about just now, Middlemarch, Bleak House, Vanity Fair — their authors were the great storytellers as well as the great artists. After modernism, things changed. Indeed, modernism sometimes seems to me like an equivalent of the Fall. Remember, the first thing Adam and Eve did when they ate the fruit was to discover that they had no clothes on. They were embarrassed. Embarrassment was the first consequence of the Fall. And embarrassment was the first literary consequence of this modernist discovery of the surface. ‘Am I telling a story? Oh my God, this is terrible. I must stop telling a story and focus on the minute gradations of consciousness …

"So there was a great split that took place. Story retreated, as it were, into genre fiction — into crime fiction, into science fiction, into romantic fiction — whereas the high-art literary people went another way. Children’s books held onto the story, because children are rarely interested in surfaces in that sort of way. They’re interested in what-happened and what-happened-next.

"I found it a great discipline, when I was writing The Golden Compass and other books, to think that there were some children in the audience. I put it like that because I don’t say I write for children. I find it hard to understand how some writers can say with great confidence, ‘Oh, I write for fourth grade children’ or ‘I write for boys of 12 or 13.’ How do they know? I don’t know. I would rather consider myself in the rather romantic position of the old storyteller in the marketplace: you sit down on your little bit of carpet with your hat upturned in front of you, and you start to tell a story. Your interest really is not in excluding people and saying to some of them, ‘No, you can’t come, because it’s just for so-and-so.’ My interest as a storyteller is to have as big an audience as possible. That will include children, I hope, and it will include adults, I hope. If dogs and horses want to stop and listen, they’re welcome as well.”

© Philip Pullman in an interview with Barnes & Noble Review as quoted in Terri Windling’s blog Myth & Moor.

This is my beloved Hunza Valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Surrounded on all sides by some of the highest mountains in the world (Nanga Parbat, Rakaposhi, Ladyfinger and Ultar peaks), this is one of the most enchanting, otherworldly places I have ever been. I gave my heart to Hunza many years ago and have been visiting on and off since then. Right now, I am munching on dried apricots, one of Hunza’s specialties, lovingly tended and harvested in the ‘Valley of the Gods’ by strong, hardworking village women. Due to its inaccessibility and extremely high altitude, the valley and its surrounding alpine forests have remained natural and pristine, unadulterated by urban-human encroachment. May it stay that way for many years to come. Long live Hunza Valley!© Zaina Anwar | Sept. 2014 | http://indigenousdialogues.tumblr.com/P.S. Photographs are not mine.
Zoom Info
This is my beloved Hunza Valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Surrounded on all sides by some of the highest mountains in the world (Nanga Parbat, Rakaposhi, Ladyfinger and Ultar peaks), this is one of the most enchanting, otherworldly places I have ever been. I gave my heart to Hunza many years ago and have been visiting on and off since then. Right now, I am munching on dried apricots, one of Hunza’s specialties, lovingly tended and harvested in the ‘Valley of the Gods’ by strong, hardworking village women. Due to its inaccessibility and extremely high altitude, the valley and its surrounding alpine forests have remained natural and pristine, unadulterated by urban-human encroachment. May it stay that way for many years to come. Long live Hunza Valley!© Zaina Anwar | Sept. 2014 | http://indigenousdialogues.tumblr.com/P.S. Photographs are not mine.
Zoom Info
This is my beloved Hunza Valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Surrounded on all sides by some of the highest mountains in the world (Nanga Parbat, Rakaposhi, Ladyfinger and Ultar peaks), this is one of the most enchanting, otherworldly places I have ever been. I gave my heart to Hunza many years ago and have been visiting on and off since then. Right now, I am munching on dried apricots, one of Hunza’s specialties, lovingly tended and harvested in the ‘Valley of the Gods’ by strong, hardworking village women. Due to its inaccessibility and extremely high altitude, the valley and its surrounding alpine forests have remained natural and pristine, unadulterated by urban-human encroachment. May it stay that way for many years to come. Long live Hunza Valley!© Zaina Anwar | Sept. 2014 | http://indigenousdialogues.tumblr.com/P.S. Photographs are not mine.
Zoom Info
This is my beloved Hunza Valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Surrounded on all sides by some of the highest mountains in the world (Nanga Parbat, Rakaposhi, Ladyfinger and Ultar peaks), this is one of the most enchanting, otherworldly places I have ever been. I gave my heart to Hunza many years ago and have been visiting on and off since then. Right now, I am munching on dried apricots, one of Hunza’s specialties, lovingly tended and harvested in the ‘Valley of the Gods’ by strong, hardworking village women. Due to its inaccessibility and extremely high altitude, the valley and its surrounding alpine forests have remained natural and pristine, unadulterated by urban-human encroachment. May it stay that way for many years to come. Long live Hunza Valley!© Zaina Anwar | Sept. 2014 | http://indigenousdialogues.tumblr.com/P.S. Photographs are not mine.
Zoom Info
This is my beloved Hunza Valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Surrounded on all sides by some of the highest mountains in the world (Nanga Parbat, Rakaposhi, Ladyfinger and Ultar peaks), this is one of the most enchanting, otherworldly places I have ever been. I gave my heart to Hunza many years ago and have been visiting on and off since then. Right now, I am munching on dried apricots, one of Hunza’s specialties, lovingly tended and harvested in the ‘Valley of the Gods’ by strong, hardworking village women. Due to its inaccessibility and extremely high altitude, the valley and its surrounding alpine forests have remained natural and pristine, unadulterated by urban-human encroachment. May it stay that way for many years to come. Long live Hunza Valley!© Zaina Anwar | Sept. 2014 | http://indigenousdialogues.tumblr.com/P.S. Photographs are not mine.
Zoom Info

This is my beloved Hunza Valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Surrounded on all sides by some of the highest mountains in the world (Nanga Parbat, Rakaposhi, Ladyfinger and Ultar peaks), this is one of the most enchanting, otherworldly places I have ever been. I gave my heart to Hunza many years ago and have been visiting on and off since then. Right now, I am munching on dried apricots, one of Hunza’s specialties, lovingly tended and harvested in the ‘Valley of the Gods’ by strong, hardworking village women. Due to its inaccessibility and extremely high altitude, the valley and its surrounding alpine forests have remained natural and pristine, unadulterated by urban-human encroachment. May it stay that way for many years to come. Long live Hunza Valley!

© Zaina Anwar | Sept. 2014 | http://indigenousdialogues.tumblr.com/
P.S. Photographs are not mine.

viperslang:

etymology of shaman : from sanskrit “śramaṇá “or श्रमण, “ascetic, monk, devotee”. root word : from श्रम (śráma, “labor, toil”)

Milked out of a hazy dawn, the sun is a lazy cockerel peeking through grey layers of stratus clouds.

The word “lost” comes from the Old Norse los, meaning the disbanding of an army, and this origin suggests soldiers falling out of formation to go home, a truce with the wide world. I worry now that many people never disband their armies, never go beyond what they know. Advertising, alarmist news, technology, incessant busyness, and the design of public and private space conspire to make it so. A recent article about the return of wildlife to suburbia described snow-covered yards in which footprints of animals are abundant and those of children are entirely absent. As far as animals are concerned, the suburbs are an abandoned landscape, and so they roam with confidence. Children seldom roam, even in the safest places. Because of their parents’ fear of the monstrous things that might happen (and do happen, but rarely), the wonderful things that happen as a matter of course are stripped away from them. For me, childhood roaming was what developed self-reliance, a sense of direction and adventure, imagination, a will to explore, to be able to get a little lost and then figure out the way back. I wonder what will come of placing this generation under house arrest.

© Rebecca Solnit, ‘A Field Guide to Getting Lost’ pg. 12 (Viking, 2005)

He read Auden and then anything else vaguely elegiac. It made the dark sea friendlier.

© Rich Larson, from ‘The Air We Breathe is Stormy, Stormy’ as published in Strange Horizons.

You used to think about walking away, about running but you stayed, because someone had to, because someone had to be human, because you thought there might still be some love buried deep down with the rot, and finally because you hated, because hate binds tight and cold as chains.

© Sunny Moraine, from ‘Cold as the Moon’ as published in Strange Horizons.

sea-sweet and sea-barbed
nectar of oceans caught
in your throat

I bit you down
to bones
wrapped your wrists

in chains of fervent
foam, fed you morsel
by untidy

morsel to my
uncrowned
eyes

© Eric Otto, ‘Sea-Sweet’ originally published in Strange Horizons.

Only to the white man was nature a “wilderness” and only to him was the land “infested” with “wild” animals and “savage” people.

© Luther Standing Bear (1868-1939), chief of the Oglala Sioux as quoted in Omer C. Stewart’s ‘Forgotten Fires, Native Americans and the Transient Wilderness’. Edited and with Introductions by Henry T. Lewis and M. Kat Anderson (University of Oklahoma Press, 2002)

His solitude was the hardest song he ever wrote
sent to the moving herds of the open plains

Mythologist and storyteller © Martin Shaw, from his ‘Black Tent Poem I’ via his blog.