The Great Artwork

This is what the present looks like. You can see how a 100,000,000 year old seabed, lifted into the sky by a collision with North America and silted up with the drift of a river running alongside a melting glacier is covered with life, the present state of the earth, and gathering rain to feed it.

The following is what time looks like. This is 10,000 years ago. You can see that the land has been scraped down to post-glacial rubble, contemporary life-giving water is piped across the land’s ancient face, the life is exclusively immigrant weeds, and houses have been erected on shelves of gravel taken from this slope and dumped on the hill. The goal is to re-create the moment when European cultures first stepped onto this human space, and claimed it as an art installation re-creating the moment when Homo sapiens first colonized post-glacial Europe.

It was an attempt to get past history. It is, as you can see, a fortress culture. This is the hill above my house. Millions of dollars were spent to create this bittersweet romantic artwork. Not a penny was spent to maintain the earth it relies on for its illusions.

That’s because the “wildness” of that space is one of the illusions of the artwork called time. What if we stopped looking?

The Human Signature

Rock (and marmots)…P1040936

… rock and water …P1140094

…the thing that makes them similar is you. Here, the same signature shows up again, in an old gold mine in Conconully.

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Fascinating, isn’t it. Here it is again at Ozette.P2270593 And here at La Push.P2280645

It’s comfortable to call these natural forces.

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As soon as you do, you’ve made an unbridgeable separation, which makes your relationship to the earth …

chilcotin

…a matter of personal identity and emotion: forms of possession.P2230770

Let’s try honesty.