To move forward, let’s move forward and show our ends. This is your mind on roses.
Gaps, Tracks and Crosses of Mind
They feed and shelter birds, protect young seedlings from deer, keep scurvy at bay, and provide beauty, the force that allows you to measure environments and bind them across past, present and future time.
To move forward into using that mind, let’s recap. I have been talking about the concept of a gap:
The Gaps Here Are Also Your Mind
You are not only the lines of thought but, like a pine tree, the space between the lines that is flooded with an undifferentiated sun. Without making room for undifferentiated life, right within your deepest thoughts, the growth of your thoughts will either end or be forced to extend past your present concepts. Nothing is immune. I will let you draw connections to contemporary politics. They abound.
I have been speaking for a gap as a gape, that yaws (or yawns) to become a mouth, a space that invites crossing, or filling, such as Okanagan Lake, which fills an over-deepened fault in the Interior Plateau, and then holds it:
Looking Southeast from Peachland to Squally Point
This is the work of the Earth: wherever there is a gap, it will be filled by the substance that approaches the gap. Even a magpie.
Everyone eats. Even the sun.
The Ice on These Cherry Buds Will Soon Evaporate Into the Sky, Drawn Up By the Sun, Just as the Sun Drew the Juice from these Cherries last August
It is the effect of the mountains to the west. What passes for heat here is the mountains drawing water out of your skin. Your thoughts are created by that drawing and that drying out. Your political freedom, should you live here, is dependent upon the Pacific Gyre striking those mountains.
I’ve pointed out that there are two conjoined powers, both the same energy: the gapping energy and the crossing energy:
Canada Goose Tracks Crossing the Ice on the West Arm of Okanagan Lake, looking West from the Priest Valley Indian Reserve
Without the gap, there can be no crossing. To be clear, let me repeat: gapping and crossing are the same energy:
Not a Canada goose passing across the West Arm of Okanagan Lake, with the Terrace Mountain Volcano in behind, but the Earth, filling. It is a language and can be read.
I also pointed out that the art of tree pruning was a function of creating gaps which a tree will fill. It is, essentially, the art of crossing, because a gap made that does not invite crossing, or which invites the wrong kind of crossing, is not a gap but an absence. You’re just cutting off things that will have no future.
Maple Tree Cut Indelicately By Insects and Wind, Okanagan Landing
There’s just a hole. That’s not a gap. It is a reaching out that can have no completion. It goes nowhere. But don’t be fooled. The gap below, on a red haven peach tree, will fill with new branches almost two metres in length by the end of August. If I had cut three inches below that point, I would have just made a hole, and an uncompleted space. If I had not cut, all branches below this point would have died by mid-July, because a peach tree only grows where the sap flows most strongly. It creates shade but cannot tolerate it. To have peaches, one must work with the tree to remove the shade. Otherwise, the tree will break branches to do the same.
De-horned Peach Tree
This uncompleted space has a name: it is a “wide,” specifically a “veit…”
A Sunny Day in March in Myvatnsveit, Iceland
The space is wide open, we say, or it is a wide valley:
The Heart of the Monster, Kamiah, Idaho
This Northwest cultural site is so old that when it entered the history of the Nimiipu’u there was no other recorded civilization of any form. The Nimiipu’u are still there.
When we speak of a wide valley, we mean that it is not a gap, such as the fjall, or fall, below, on Puddinhead Mountain in Keremeos:
The Glacier is Still Active, Long After the Glacier Has Passed
When we speak of “wide” energy, we mean this cliff higher up the mountain, where the world quickly ends and room begins.
Look at the Lichen Blooming in the Sun
Don’t look for it in the drought of summer. Then the bright energy, the breadth of light on earth, has entered a different space, right within the air, but right now it is visible. It’s worth repeating: lichen and sun are one; without lichen, and those firs covered in early morning snow, there would be no sun here, only a swirl of dense gasses, methane and such-like, that would block it from leaving. As any student of carbon’s effect on the atmosphere knows, it is the ability of radiation to leave the Earth that creates brightness. Trap it on Earth and you heat up.
Room is a living space. It must be wide, which is to say it must not invite crossing but lingering. It must be full of veit energy, or, rather, it must be veit energy expressing itself.
Sun Lakes, Grand Coulee, Washington
One recognizes a Veit by gradations of light. Your ability to be intelligent on Earth (to use Earth to extend your Mind) is dependent upon that brightness, its relation to space, and what foreground and middle ground darkness mean for your survival. It is a language. Your body is meant to read it.
To be clear, your body and this space are not separate. The words “your body”, “your mind” and “this space” are one concept.
Dry Falls, With Coulee City to the Upper Left
Because Coulee City was a railroad service town, and railroads need flats, it (and its connections to the world) are dependent upon the railroad. After 150 years of that, it is a ruin — almost a ghost town. To live in it is to live within the power structures of railroads, but not to live on Earth. Let me be clear: if you do not close a gap with your body, it becomes a Veidt. Your world shrinks. Yet you can come to the edge of the fjall and be struck by the physicality of the world. With no words for it anymore, you might say, “how beautiful,” which is to say “how in balance.” That’s your body, filling the gap, right there. Will you follow? Or will you get back into your car and drive away? Will you choose to speak or to become silent? Clever readers may enjoy drawing parallels to contemporary politics in the USA.
My ancestors knew Veit as a space that was only a crossing. It was not that the crossing was the space but that time began when you started to cross it. You were in a story. Time and the story ended when you eventually reached another side. As long as you remained within it, you were in its veit power. Once through it, the Veit retreated from you and you were left with memory of being there, in veit. Consciousness comes from thought and memory. It is this power which “Wide” draws forth. It makes you Wide. It is the end of world and time. And their renewal. These are good things to place yourself in.
Thought: Pacific Beach, Washington
Memory: Montana Buffalo Country
Now, they’re made of grass.
The power of wide, gap, bright and crossing energy is universal on Earth. If you make a gap, the Earth will fill it, likely through your crossing. Your crossing will be a line, an extension of the invitation of the gap. If you enter a veit, a width, a wide, you will become wider than your body. The width will stay with you. You will call it thought. If, for example, you wish a wide thought, you must enter width. You will then fill with it.
The Rang River Reindeer Herd at Tangar, Iceland, in the Early Spring
That is your crossing: out of yourself. You will have made a secondary self. Effectively, you will be the veit. It is your wit. You are with it.
Yakima River Gorge
The saskatoons here aren’t washed over by scree, nor are the grasses. They climb it, after minerals and water. Any person looking for wide energy will climb them too. In this ancient chain of villages and trails, any person looking for community will descend into the depths of the canyon, where width is compressed into dense webs. To be clear: the width and depth are the same energy. You cannot have one without the other.
West Arm, Okanagan Lake, from Priest Valley Indian Reserve, Looking West
The Icelandic term for this union is Læk, or Like or Lick.
The unclosed gap that initiated the Veit will be crossed, by remaining. By not accepting the lake as your mind, the lake’s width will be wasted. You will become a wasteland, always coming to shore to be renewed. “Nature,” you may call it, if you are a Canadian. “Beauty.” It is your self. Anything else would be to live under the dominion of others.
Coming up Soon in this Discussion of Intelligence: Wild.