Atmosphere

The Bed of the Wind

The wind and the rain made a mysterious shape in the grass on the hill. We had quite a storm. It looks like the grass was pushed against itself, with wind-surge meeting wind-surge and the grass suddenly giving way along the line of meeting.  Rather like a weather pattern in the sky, but written in the grass.

It’s fascinating that the grass fell in four quadrants, with sweeping arms, like the spokes of a wheel, lying counter-clockwise. It’s delightful that there is a face in both the western and eastern halves of the figure, or, really, many faces, as the mind recognizes patterns. The lesson is well taken, that energy, the ur-force, the organ, whirlpool, hurricane, orkan (Icelandic), and even the run of the Rhine and the Rhône, the run of the river, so to speak, is present here, or has at least left its mark. This energy is nothing other than life itself: not the modern definition of a self-contained, self-replicated being, but life in the more ancestral sense, as a force that moves into objects, energizes them, and then passes. This is the root of our language, and worth deep respect: the grass caught in a swirl, that is swirled and then left in a swirl, for example, or the grass that is caught in a blast and then blasted. The examples are many. It’s how the language works. The modern fashion, of using this language to describe a more linear scientific understanding, gives words a kind of ethereal quality, removed from the world. We would do well not to trust that approach as we go forward in reconciliation with Indigenous languages that never made that break.

2 replies »

  1. What a lovely, detailed, organic post, Harold. I love the connection of grass to lichen and horses to grass and your way of showing the wind’s bed. Beautiful, and observant- many thanks. Ruth, sharing with my nephew who now lives in Vancover, and whose girlfriend is a scientist and musician- they would appreciate this, as would my sister , Dace, who heard you speak at Litfest In Edmonton, some years back. also my brother’s daugther , Nara Munro ( Anderson) , who lives in Ontario and is involved with photography and builds web sites. Ruth Anderson Donovan.

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