Absence And Light: Meditations From The Klamath Marshes by John R. Campbell

By John R. Campbell

A set of forty four prose meditations encouraged by means of the transitory and bird-rich setting of the Klamath marshes at the Oregon/California border. "In order to simply accept the large accountability that comes of being on the earth, we needs to first conceive, inspite of the entire stumbling blocks, the country of really being the world." it truly is for that reason that John R. Campbell got here to the Klamath marshes, a wetland in southern Oregon shaped by means of 3 historical, shallow lakes, an enormous vacancy that's mockingly domestic to an grand range of lifestyles, of untold hundreds of thousands of birds either migratory and resident, of all of the interconnected existence kinds that make up one in every of North America's richest traditional environments. Absence and lightweight is Campbell's account of his exploration of the marshes and a meditation at the global he stumbled on there, on his becoming realizing of the actual, emotional, ethical, and aesthetic that means of that global, on his personal development as a guy. via Campbell's eyes, we discover the stirring and awesome fantastic thing about the marshes and their creatures, and the utter poignancy in their fragility earlier than the heedless goals of humankind. this is often nature writing at its so much profound and relocating, writing that during analyzing and defining the area of nature is helping us to appreciate the very complex and contradictory realities of being human. Campbell's luminous descriptions and mystical insights will lengthy linger within the reader's reminiscence.

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During initiation, the subject is šrst stripped of his or her former identity; neither here nor there, he or she instead dwells naked in a ritually dešned inbetween space. a b s e n c es Victor Turner, in his essay “Betwixt and Between: The Liminal Period in Rites de Passage,” states that liminal sacra (ritual matter) such as “Ndembu and Luvale masks . . ” So there is a ritual place where ¦ux is the norm and stasis is abhorrent, where two identities can blend into a third entity that comprises both and is identišed as neither.

I knew their demise meant meadows; I watched the duff fall into the water from the wooded shores. I admired their weedy beds exposed by high summer drought. In the shallows, the ripples of sand and pumice struck me as decorative, and the lakes conšrmed my belief in impermanence. In love with impermanence, I thought, I could more easily greet death. Natashia: I’ll admit that I saw the lakes as female, as transitory and unknowable. The mountains were more forbidding, more male, more inclined toward the immortal.

Keats’s “negative capability” is more than simple projection. A form of Romantic absence, it embraces the nightingale without silencing it or pinning it down. So I imagine what draws the geese, how the sheen of water as seen from the air becomes actual habitat as we descend, feet splayed. I imagine the splash, and the feel of the pond as it brushes my belly, as it buoys me up. Although at šrst attracted by abstract notions, I soon discover that the silver waters are real. They are shallow, transient, and cold.

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