Water, Life and Thought:

What is the difference between this?

iceAnd this?

mulleinWhy, the same as the difference between this…

ice3… and this.

orangeNone at all. Water flows. Sometimes it takes minerals along with it. Sometimes those minerals look like this:

cracksLichen Following Cracks in Stone

Minerals following similar same paths appear white. Likely, the lichens are feeding on the minerals carried with the water from their own cracks.

The minerals take on crystallized form when they evaporate. The lichens, in complex crystalline forms, appear to be evaporation as well. Life, it appears, rises at intersections of different forms of energy. Is it any wonder that human thought works that way as well? What if human thought is akin to lichen? What if it is not ours but the earth’s, and we are like stones on a late winter mountainside?








2 replies »

  1. Your observation that human thought might be “akin to lichen” is truly thought-provoking, given the interdependence of lichen growth on rock, the necessity for water, the transfer of energy from the life of rock, and the organic essence not only of observed life forms but of our very thinking processes.

    It was also synchronous with my reading your post this morning (reading Okanagan Okanagan is part of my morning ritual, as I drink my first big glass of water) while reading Robert Macfarlane’s introduction to Nan Shepherd’s The Living Mountain. He used the word “sintering” for the process of snow molecules in the high Cairngorms being transformed into ice. I had to look up the word ‘sintering’, discovered it was used in metallurgy to describe the creation of objects from powder. The process I now think must derive from human experience of living with and observing the workings and patterns of snow and ice affected by wind, then applied to other materials. The word ‘sinter’ itself (you probably already know this from your language background) comes from Old German (I think of SinterKlaus) and cognate with ‘cinder.’

    Reading your writing here always leads to insights about the connections between world-out-there and words/thoughts-inside-our heads as the true nature of things.


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