Buffers, Les élus, Travel Writing

Loving all that lives …

… in nature. And it even has a scientific name: the “biophilia hypothesis” which says that there is an “an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems,” between man and nature. According to wikipedia, it’s Edward O. Wilson who introduced and popularized the hypothesis in his book entitled Biophilia – meaning “love of life” or “love of living system” and it’s Erich Fromm who first used it to describe the psychological orientation towards all that is alive and vital.

And the ‘philia’ is not only towards nature, as in forests, the desert, or parks or but also towards the weather, wind and rain, and animals (I’m thinking that means all animals so I imagine the philia cannot to be properly adopted by people who like “dogs but not cats” or “cats. I hate dogs”, or “red squirrels not grey because grey eats whatever and disturbs this or that food cycle” to the end of those silly arguments).

I was thinking that’s a good explanation for why some of us long to the desert, or develop this urgency or need to climb a mountain and stand on top, or feel called to go to a forest and hide beneath its thick, winding trees or get momentarily lost in snow. And no wonder why people who respond to those calls from the stars, the desert or the raw Earth feel different, energized, empowered and special – as if they were chosen to go there, as a fellow traveller has eloquently put it during a recent hiking trip in Sinai. But it looks like everyone is called, through this invisible umbilical cord that ties us to Mother Earth, but few respond.

Tree hugger talk, I know. But the question that comes to mind is why many of us fail to recognize this tie with nature and the animal world, a tie that seems to be born with us. What blinds us? What distracts us, and then what calls us back? Why have we lost the ability to connect on that level? To stand in the Sahara and breathe in the silence, instead of being intimidated by it, instead of standing on a mountain and shouting “Is there any body out there?” Is it a coincidence that the Little Prince has found his salvation, the clarity to recognize his destiny, in the desert, all alone with the emptiness, a fox and snake to guide him, and the promise of a well -water- nearby? I’ve asked that question before in my post Man, the friend of Silence but so far I have not found an answer.

Is it only in nature that we can find ourselves, the Truth? Or is it when we’re alone in nature? Is connecting to the Earth and being alone, perhaps even lonely, conditions for appreciation of life, of others, for recognition of our fault, failures and shortcomings, and for recognition of what is important and what is really of consequence?

Why is it painful to be alone and away then sometimes?
Why does silence intimidate?
Why does the desert at night, the endless dunes of sand, or the tall-as-sky mountains scare and awe us?
Why does the sea inspire fear and mistrust, why does it hold a type of treacherous beauty and uncertainty?
Why does the Sahara, instead of opening our eyes to the beauty of our inner space, stir up memories of things that never will be?
Why does the rain make us sad, and the snow makes us lonely?
Is it city life that corrupted us as such?
Have we moved so far from the sea that we don’t recognize it any more?
That we don’t know how to love it?

Listening to Une Chanson Pour Tout Dire, Eli et Papillon
and Maybe Findland, Snow and Voices
Mood: Grateful, Calm, and longing for the desert during wintertime

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Buffers, Les élus

Everything is Illuminated

Yes, I borrow from movies a lot. But it’s not this Elijah Wood drama that I want to talk about here, but about Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind … which is not exactly his although he appeared in it, since Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet were the poster stars. But I just wanted to force a link since the blog title fits my current mood, but the post is about something else.

It’s about a simple and a very complicated thing. Moving on, the good way.

These days, I often find myself recalling one of the most moving scenes in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (which touched me deeply on second viewing a few weeks ago … it’s story is complicated, check synopsis on imdb if you haven’t seen it).

After Joel struggles frantically to keep his memories of Clementine as they were being forcefully erased by Relationship-torment-reliever Lacuna, Inc, he realizes he can’t fight it any longer. It’s inevitable. He has to forget her even if now he doesn’t want to anymore.

Inside his own head, in his mind’s eye, as he sits with Clementine enjoying the first memory they have of each other -where they first met- and the last memory to be erased, she tells him, “This is it Joel, It’s going to be gone soon.”

“I know,” he answers.

“What do we do?” she asks

“Enjoy it.”

It’s a lesson in letting go of the things you love. Separateness doesn’t have to be sad, at least not all the time.