Seeds Archive 1-10

 

ALDO ZONE ARCHIVES

“Convince me you have a seed, & I am prepared to expect wonders.”                                                                                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Henry David Thoreau (Faith in a Seed)

* Seeds of Thought #1-10… (Voz del Refugio columns, Feb. 2011-Sept. 2013).

Seeds of Thought (#1), Beginning Again (Feb 2011)

Seeds 2 The Life of the Seed (May 2011)

Seeds 3 Form & Wonder (Sept 2011)

Seeds 4 Winter Feeding (Dec 2011)

Seeds 5 Love of wildlife (Feb 2012)

Seeds 6 Life in motion (June 2012)

Seeds 7 With trajectories high and low (Sept 2012)

Seeds 8 Countng our blessings (Dec 2012)

Seeds #9 Expanding our focus (March 2013)

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# “Expanding Our Focus” (where Seeds #9 left off):

The Seeds of Thought (#9) article (“Expanding Our Focus”) just came out, and of course the picture that appears with it is hardly a shadow of the original, as expressed in either on-line versions or Susan’s printing. (In addition  her  copyright notice & website address dropped out of the caption provided.) No harm done if you have come this far. We knew we couldn’t do the photo justice in our low-budget format anyway. The images carry much more oomph on-line, starting with the following Spiney Images (from “Spineless”) in Some photo-inspired thoughts (in this case on Susan Middleton, Ansel Adams, Richard Avedon, Frank Richardson, Tony Angell…).

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Seeds 10: Expanding the conversation [CLICK to open pdf.]

Seeds10 Expanding the conversation (June2013)

calling across categories

calling across categories

To expand the conversation where Seeds #10 left off, i.e., considering how work, play, learning & serving inform each other:

Rebecca Solnit, in a recent issue of Orion (nature/culture/place), writes that Thoreau believed “Great thoughts hallow any labor,” having made a “good bargain” in getting paid for shoveling manure.

“He worked quite hard…though he also played around with the idea of work, appointing himself inspector of snowstorms and proposing his employment could be watching the seasons, which he did with such precision, describing what bloomed when and which bird species arrived on what date in his corner of Massachusetts, that his journals have been used to chart climate change in the present. We call that work, which was so clearly a pleasure to him, science.” (–“Mysteries of Thoreau Unsolved,” Orion, May-June 2013.)

Some work goes on producing dividends, interest &/or royalties long after the doing, in other words. Some work is never done. Sometimes these are the same work–each today brings yesterday’s harvest even as we cultivate tomorrow’s. In nature’s continuing creation, we can hardly tell past, present and future apart, being so intricately webbed, networked, looped & layered with creatures, relations & exchange at countless scales.

To see & know what is now we try to unravel the past that made it so, & goes on making it, being in some senses still present, deeply involved in current formation, form, & shaped nature. How else do we understand anything, but in terms of such relations through time? We know things, including ourselves, partly by their pasts, the histories that shaped them.

So a tree’s current shape reveals its past, from inner seed-form to prevailing winds, both still present in its branching, as its  annual rainfall history is present in its rings. We know things, including ourselves also by direct experience of them now, therefore, subject to modes of paying attention, qualities of awareness, & levels of understanding. We know things also by considering what they might become–even inspector of snowstorms & observer of seasons.

Conventional science suggests the past causes the present, which causes the future, but never anything vice versa, yet even science itself is significantly future-oriented, with its present activities shaped by prospects for future learning. The future plays a bigger role in present activities than is generally recognized, though right there in front of us, like the sense of where we’re heading, with enough adjustments back and forth between present, past & on-coming to avoid going off-course–as trails are never straight.

Even when we not purposefully goal-oriented, thinking about and working towards the future, dynamic time connections can still be very much at play, as, for example, in pollination, fruiting, the egg, seed, and other “unintended” influences that nevertheless cross generations. The lack of individually conscious intentional purpose doesn’t mean that purposeful functions aren’t served at  higher &/or lower scales, as with ecologically embedded organisms, processes, and relationships that do not depend on parties knowing the larger meanings of–except when threatened.

The greater the level of present feedback’s impact on future outcomes, the more responsibility one has to understand the range, limits, and character of that impact, particularly where so many connections and implications remain hidden.

Early on, Aldo Leopold wrote that “the first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save the pieces.” In fact, he came to realize that saving the pieces by themselves was far from enough, just a starting place. More critical, we have to save the integrity of the systems that produce, sustain & connect the pieces (including us).

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