A Short Grammar of Body, Mind and Earth in the Winter Woods

Distance is light, but darkness warms and invites. More specifically, the middle distance, deep within the complexity of nerves, within the body itself, comforts and invites with shelter.

And not just shelter, but warmth. Light shines from the pink bark of the birches, and draws the body close.

There the body sees itself, not in colour but in form and light.


This attraction is a form of foraging behaviour, that brings benefits.

One finds fruitful trees, such as the ash above. And below:

And apple.

And next year’s apples, deep within the nets of thought and memory.

And elder.

Note, it’s not light per se that finds the fruit, but the clusters of roundness and density with the sharp tangles of light refracted through wood, even here at dusk. Like a bird, one settles in.

Distance is light, but darkness chills and repels. Distance appears near and closeness far.

The reading of the body of the land is read as an abstract pattern in the mind.

Within the forest, the readings are more intense and detailed.

Within the forest, one finds sturdiness and endurance, and learns from them.


One finds age, ripening, youth, vigour …

… and branching, the angles of thought and use.

One finds principles of thickness and togetherness that speak to a density of mind and body working as one.

It is not all about trees. The water mirrors the patterns of the mind as well, and the stones within it.

One finds the point at which the forest meets the water and one can read the mind’s abstract depths as blood. Note how the sky is drawn in, mixed in, and flows. Note the red osier dogwood writing the red salmon in the stream.

They swim in memory, but they will appear again.

This principle of blood, or life, or food, materializing from stone and wood in accord with the patterns of body and mind carry far beyond the water. When one looks into the net of the forest, the body recognizes itself as well in the hips of wild roses.

All in all, it is a principle of difference. The image below of two types of forage, the catnip and the grass, illustrate the basic principle as well. Note the absence, the point to which the grass seed falls, but which is empty of grass. The mind stands on that emptiness — the body is that emptiness — as much as it is the completeness of attraction. 

Call it attraction, if you will, but look how it becomes story, when set beside the next glance.

Glance: that which catches the eye. For my ancestors, who live through me …

…the glance is many things. Not long ago, in the general scheme of things, the colours white, blue, gold, yellow, blonde, and even black were known as one colour, because it wasn’t the colour …

… that was vital to survival, but the way its glance caught the eye and matched your need …

…as you moved into your self …


… and found your strength, or life.

I live in a culture in which this ability to read body, mind and earth is suppressed and called beauty, and celebrated, rightfully, as an emotional grounding to “the meaning of life.” There are, however, worlds within this idea, and those worlds, the worlds of feminine gatherers and their male consorts, who are attracted to them, are vital still.



Look for a future discussion on how this vitality has been diminished by abstraction upon abstraction upon abstraction until our selves are largely artworks built on social positioning. The earth, and our bodies, are ours to learn how to speak.


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