I am searching for farm landscapes (farmscapes); researching & writing something about how to look at land as other than a utilitarian set of ‘resources’, a list of measurable ‘nouns’ to put on a truck with a weight and a dollar attached; meaning reduced to mere numbers. This is the technocratic curse.
Our environment is more defined by functional connections and dynamic flows, ‘verbs’ that emphasise the dancing and the singing of landscapes and the community within. I wanted something that illustrates Connections to community, and to land, and to spirit. And I found this. Zane Williams – Southwest Wisconsin. It will not resonate with all, and I would prefer a New Zealand example that is on a par with this image – a Grahame Sydney of Central Otago, all big sky and dry – but I quickly found this Williams, and felt the need to express. The image is not the point. The point is the representation of what it is to belong.
Have those connections, be in a landscape, be in a socialscape, be in a soulscape (a thoughtscape), and you are whole. This is the lesson of Human Ecology and of Indigenous thought – and I include all the Europeans in Indigeneity, because we come from waves of Celtic and Germanic tribal connections and spirit/land/culture tales of folk.
We are ‘indigenous’ if we have those connections, and we build that sense of ‘Becoming Native to a Place‘, not when we have been here through the generations, but when we feel these connections. Carl Jung understood; “The earth has a soul.” It is only this current obsession with a 400 year-old so-called ‘Modern’ Disenchanted Age post-Bacon & Descartes trumpeting dualisms and hard analytical dichotomies that separated us – from each other, from the land, from spirit.
To the ‘Modern’ mind, it is not just land that is a ‘resource’, you are seen as a ‘resource’, a thing, worthless without a dollar attached. Here evil begins. Analysis can kill synthesis, tangential dreams and thoughts, intuition, deeper meaning, feeling, instinct, sense, wisdom – and then we lose the moral sense. We justify Gulags with models and finance.
And even then only some of us lose those connections; the ‘educated’ experts of the Modern Age – taught to murder to dissect as Wordsworth wrote, to see the world through Discounted Cashflow analysis or a simple disconnected mechanical task because the land is a factory and animals are units of production; to continue the Modern Plan A of Easter Island destruction writ large to our island Planet Earth by mining the Moon, then Mars – the extension of Mordor to the Universe, feeding Sauron and his henchmen.
It is with our dys-connection that the sickness begins. And the destruction. When you are whole inside yourself, to diminish the land, or the community, or the soul of things, is to diminish yourself.
The solution to our Terminal Age is not in technical fixes and a continuation of our Modern disconnect, it is in sensing our belonging, and diminishing the hard false logic of the technocrats.