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Mar 24, 2023Liked by Jason Anthony

We can start by rewinding our imagination and your writing reflects this.

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Thank you, Michael. I really appreciate that perspective.

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Thank you for this essay. I'm a new writer on Substack and am inspired to find a community around the things I care most about, that is, restoring habitat in a small part of midcoast Maine and making art that reflects the abundance of the living earth. I believe each of us can effect change, and one of the ways I hope to do that here is by sharing and cross-posting information.

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Hi Dudley. Welcome to the community. And yes, you're right about the importance of doing good local work and staying in communication about the work to be done. Good luck with the Substack and the other good work you're doing.

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Hello Dudley. May an old man make a suggestion and offer up the idea of a "kora" a Tibetan term for a special type of pilgrimage to sacred spots. Not necessarily sacred to the desert God that came over to this.continent only a brief instant ago in Deep Time, but to the far older spirits that were present even before the advent of we humans. I have never been to Maine but suspect Katahdin might be such a place. The most sacred destination for a kora in the lands currently called America is far to your west at Hovenweep in the Four Corners. Someone of note once wrote of it:

'I think that Hovenweep is the most symbolic of places in the Southwest…Hovenweep gives me a feeling similar to what I feel when I’m participating in ceremonies which require a tacit recognition of realities other than the blatantly visual. During those times I know the nature and energy of the bear, of rock, of the clouds, of the water. I become aware of energies outside myself, outside the human context. At Hovenweep, I slide into a place and begin to know the flowing, warm sandstone under my feet, the cool preciousness of the water, the void of the canyon, and the all covering sky. I want to be a part of the place."

— Rina Swentzell, Tewa architect, potter and scholar, Santa Clara Pueblo.

She was wrong only in calling it symbolic. There is real power there that can transform ones life if one is receptive and has humility.

There is another excellent substack, Land Desk, that that quote was drawn from. Well worth a visit.

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Thank you, Michael. I was not familiar with the term "kora," but recognize the importance of pilgrimages and attendant spirits. When I first came to Maine 35 years ago, I did a lot of solo hiking along the coast in Washington and Hancock Counties, and that was where I came to believe that the landscape is a spoken and written phenomenon, in the sense that sound vibrations (the Hindu concept vac) created the world.

I haven't been inland to Katahdin but am sure you are correct about its energy. Hovenweep is someplace I would like to know more about, and look forward to reading about Rina Swentzell and checking out Land Desk. Last year I was at Bandelier National Monument, which seems to be a similar place, and relatively speaking, not so far away from Hovenweep. Next trip to Santa Fe!

Thank you again for your thoughts and suggestions - I am off to explore.

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Another amazing essay, thank you. Particularly loved this line about the landscape of fear: It’s fear moving in both directions, as we grow less familiar or comfortable with the natural world, and they with us.

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Thank you, Rosie, for noticing that line. I was happy with it too. The good news is both movements are reversible, right?

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If we can walk one way we can turn and walk the other. Thats what I try to do with my art, help people understand, reconnect and change direction.

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Mar 24, 2023Liked by Jason Anthony

Another brilliant essay. I am happy to hear Sam's name come up. Your two newsletters are like twin bright suns spiralling around each other in a double helix while moving forward through the dark time of the Anthropocene casting light for us readers.

Think globally act locally. At my little place we feed all the life in our yard a small rewilded part of my city. The birds, from crows to hummimgbirds come flying in when they see my white head. No more fear. It's good not to feel being a pariah.

We humans are such a paradox of cruelty and compassion. I used to hunt and yes, kill. My best friend and I would go out with our guns into the countryside saying boastfully we were going "to kill every living thing." But that was almost a half century ago and I learned compassion finally. I walked up to that last animal I had shot lying on its side; looking down seeing its chest

cease movement. With its last breath, the will to take life left me forever and I get tears remembering it even now. I hope we humans learn the same lesson, that it is extremely easy to take a life; there is no grace or good in it. It is fell; disgraceful. The same applies to destroying an ecosystem to put yet another subdivision or factory. These must become repugnant to us.

We must individually learn and it starts with our children. "Teach your children well.." as the song goes.

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Thank you, Michael, as always. Yes, Sam is doing great work at The Weekly Anthropocene. Happy to hear that the birds are welcome, and feel welcome, in your yard. We've done a fair bit of hand feeding, just for the joy of a chickadee perching on our finger or atop our hat.

The fundamental hunting question, as with so much in this era, is distorted out of recognition by the scale of the modern human experiment. Leaving aside the question of whether meat should be eaten at all, we're confronted with the quandary of what kind of hunting is sustainable in an industrialized world populated with 8 billion people. Here in Maine, I come from a hunting family and the deer/moose are fairly well managed. Other places, the deer populations are excessive, hunting ethics are slapdash, and fragmented suburbs make hunting less safe. Some hunting practices are grotesque (trapping, bear-baiting, etc), but much of our industrial meat production is no better. There are few clear paths through the moral thicket other than avoiding meat completely. Our path is to eat very little purchased meat (mostly local), focusing instead on home-raised chicken and some venison. And mostly local seafood. But I'm pretty sure that it's not a sustainable model for the 8 billion...

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