We are in the dark corner of the pub together. We have been here for some time. Out of my coat I produce a pile of old photographs. Something to show you. They are a gift from the past, together we will look, I will tell what comes to mind.
Simon, I am---or was--or am--trying to make myself believe in the worth of my third book, mostly written but coming together haltingly in a time when it is hard to hope there are ears to hear. It is presently titled "One Place Understood: Field Notes from a Personal Ecology."
It is somewhat of an eco-memoir told by a naturalist-teacher who has learned to experience and know "sense of place" (a phrase unheard of in my former and distant-past physical therapist life-work).
My "folk writings" in the book are mostly "from, for and about Nature." It hopes to provide somewhat of an antidote to "nature deficit disorder" and our broken relationship to the Whole of organic be-ing.
Your writing has brought my attention to the notion of "culture deficit disorder" as another consequence of placelessness, commodification and the "engineering mentality" (if it CAN be done then it SHOULD be done." Much is lost when efficiency and profit are the only measures of what survives and persists.
I live in a very small isolated Southern Appalachian community notable for its "works of art" in traditional music and instrument-making, pottery, mixed art and artisanal small-farming--the "Creative Economy." I hope to distill from your work (only two pieces so far--this and In Praise of the Gods)--to remind our community how crucial the marginalized, low-paying infinitely satisfying work of artistry is to our collective life going forward. There is still hope of going forward.
I think I will stop highlighting your work. There is no emphasis if every sentence is included in annotations. Thank you for your words and wisdom.
Floyd County, Virginia
I'd argue that commoditization, technology and scale has unlocked more creativity. By automating the technical aspects of production and reducing its price, it has allowed more people to contribute and innovate to design. Thanks to squarespace, I can design my own website without knowing how to code. Thanks to Ableton, I can produce music without understanding music theory or mixing. Thanks to 3D printing, I can make a toy without understanding manufacturing.
I do agree that public spaces aren't prioritized enough, and that convenience and commoditization is an environmental risk, as people prefer to buy new instead of repair.
Sad and beautiful thoughts. Beauty breaks.
This is a very very wonderful work. This piece of writing is itself the gray-clad Monk telling us that it all depends on the philosophy of Light. Thank you Monk. Thank you Simon. Thank you pictures. Who knows anymore who to thank. Thank you iPhone? Who know. Well, thank you.