Arts

Jezersko Village

My friend Tamara in her botanical garden in Slovenia noted yesterday that some of the images in my post a few days ago about Big Bar Lake on the Cariboo Plateau could have been interchanged with hers on the old Roman path across the mountains. You can see her  haunting images by clicking here. Those are a follow-up to her first set of images on the theme: Jezersko Village Flora in August. To tempt you to have a look at what she saw there, here’s a teaser:

What Tamara Saw at Jezersko Village

After seeing those, I wrote that compared to my original images, such as this …

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Big Bar Esker

… hers placed people right in with the mix. I asked for more information about that, and she volunteered, generously, with her observation that there at the conjunction of humans, stone, water and wood, culture thrived, and has remained as it developed in place over thousands of years, and that what made the images appear similar was that both landscapes were carved by glaciers and water, and humans seem to be following in their ancient flows. And then she asked, “What do you think?” Well, I think that’s beautiful and wise. I also think this:

P1200750Wild Lettuce Waiting for the Wind

I think it’s not just people who find life in these points. I also think we can add wind and air to the mix. I also think (Whew! what a lot of thinking!) that that’s the signature of this earth.

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The Earth, Signing Her Name

Yes, there are people on the Cariboo Plateau in British Columbia who are indigenous to the place, but none living in the kinds of houses they invented on this land, which were underground pit houses for the winters, and houses of rushes for the summers. Still, I’m intrigued by the idea that those of us who inhabit the colonial space made out of this landscape have a chance (now that that experiment has been going on for 150 years or so) to bring our indigenous sense of water, stone, air and wood, the one buried in our languages, to this place. We could change history.

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The New (and Old) Face of History, Big Bar Lake

Are not our languages the voices of our ancestors? Of course they are. That’s where words get their meaning, and where languages get their structures. They, too are houses that we live in.

P1200009

Voices of Our Ancestors

Damselfly and Driftwood

There are Secwepemc and Tsilqh’otin languages for this place, but there’s also just the languages of wind and water and stone and wood, that we speak with our bodies.

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Moth, Grey Canal Trail, Bella Vista

I think now that book culture is on the wane and a culture of imagery is taking hold, words are at a powerful moment in their development: they have sculptural tools again, once again publishable in the world, rather than in the substitutes for the world, called books.

P1200847Choke Cherries in a Tent Caterpillar Net

The words and their visual representations are very close right now in the Spirit of the Age, in the Zeitgeist, in the present presence of time, just as they are Jezersko Village. I’m sure glad to have friends like Tamara who have run ahead of me down the path and call back, “Look! Look what I have found!” Thanks, Tamara, and look at what I found:

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A Botanical Garden for Tamara!

This is what you get when a farmer’s wife teaches French Language and Literature at the university down the road. And again …

P1200813 … and again …

P1200814 … and again! P1200816I should put a table out on a road, with a bucket and a sign:  Words, $5 a bucket! And just fill it up with words. Maybe a coyote will stop and have a sniff, eh!

8 replies »

  1. My dear Harold, I will buy your bucket of words! Receiving your posts always changes my day, and always for the better. Here I am in the city, living what is basically an unsustainable lifestyle, and yet when I go out I lift my eyes to the sky also. Every day I see and feel the shape of land and sky, and I hear our raucous songbirds, the crows and the magpies, sing their love of the sun to all of us under sun and wind.

    My ancestors were poor, and they came to this landscape believing it to be free of liens and encumbrances, a dream come true. I forgive them for that, but I must apologise for their assumptions and subsequent actions too. The language is full of assumptions, and the land is full of promises, some of which we have broken. I want to work for a sustainable city, in a sustainable country. So often people forget what they have because they concentrate on what they must give up in order to go forward together.

    Thanks for reminding us of the shape of the land and sky, and the sun incarnate in all life…and of how our language is a country and our landscape is a language.

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  2. Najlepša hvala, prečudovito! ( Thank you so much, it’s more than beautiful!)
    Thank you for your kind post and for the colourful bouquets !
    Comparing these two glacial landscapes from so far away made me conclude it’s not important how far, or ever how different the landscapes are, they will always benefit from the same: from being respected…..I adore the way you transposed this land-wind-water -human interface into relationship between ancestors, language, pictures and (home)land-as respecting nature made it possible for the people of an old village to survive into new millennium, so respecting different cultures, different languages (even the language of pictures) can bring old villages and their land to the people of new millenniums… no doubt here, you should put your stand with words on display as soon as possible, !!!
    All the best,
    Tamara

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