Monday, January 21, 2008

What's missing?

Ok. So we talk about native plants, native animals, native species; predators, scavengers, herbivores, decomposers, all kinds of good stuff. We want to bring these things back to the areas to which they are best suited. It would be better for all of us, right? What's wrong with this picture?

I thought about this when riding in the car to a concert a few days ago, listening to friends converse about the amazing possibilities we have for our space, and adding and subtracting elements of our environment to make the space more free for everything and everyone.

Native...native...n a t i v e . . .


Most of us, with the exception of a few who have native blood running through us, are NOT natives to this land. I'm speaking realistically here. This land is your land, this land is my land, but we took this land, and claimed it OUR land. I guess this has been in the back of my mind for a little while and just wanted to put it out there. Do we really belong here? Things are changing, pictures are being painted, but we must remember to look at the entire canvass, as well as outside of the canvass. I guess I might just want some confirmation that what I'm doing is okay and I'm not stepping on boundries I shouldn't be. Think and discuss.


sharqi said...

My family has lived on this continent for almost 300 years. I have a smidge of native blood, but am white in appearance. If we aren't native, what are we? Would I feel at home in Europe, would American Indians feel more at home in eastern Siberia? What is native?

I don't expect the dandelions or plantain, honeybees or earthworms to remove themselves from this place. We're all crawling the cracks, all in these trenches together.

What feels invasive to me is all this pavement, but that is not inherent in human culture. We can do other things than give our planet cancer. We just have to realize it.

Great topic!


abby lives in said...

i love thinking about eco-climaxes, about what land does, how the plants and trees interact as the soil beneath them is allowed to rest, to sit. all these things start coming up, stuff that comes up, disappears, makes way for the next thing until the land re-settles into itself. it can take a while. so there're loads of "natives," but which part of the maybe hundreds of years long process do you plant? which natives do you choose?

i believe in paying attention to what enjoys the land its in, sometimes hacking vigorously through the things that enjoy it to the detriment of too many others.

maybe if it's enjoyed, then it's OK. i hope.

Hakim Baker said...

greetings a.l.i.!

enjoyed, enlivened

we all belong to the land, nothing lives apart from all our relations

the "we" that doesn't belong here is still here--but I don't count myself as part of that "we" any more.

there just isn't quite a word yet for postcivilized, neo-indigenous, permutationculture.

playing the infinite game.

taking to leaving said...

Awesome comments guys, thanks for the insight!

I guess I didn't give a formal introduction in my first post. I'm Jonathan, have lived in Cincinnati pretty near all of my life, and am working to change the environment for the better in as many ways I can think of. Despite this, I am only human and need the support of other humans with the same ways of thinking in order to do my best in this effort. It's good to see a (number of) good community(s) working together to do what we've been called to do.

Thanks for inviting me Badger!
Thanks to other contributors for contributing. This is all GOOD STUFF!

Peace & Love


shadowcrrew said...

welcome to "noble savagery". enjoyed your opening salvo. nativizing yoself is good insurance. to that end, lately i've been paying attention to the sun more. staring at it through squinted eyes at sunset and sunrise and beginning to get how important the energy of this star is to us. most of the life on this planet is in part because of plants grabbing ahold of the suns rays. how this happens is grandly mysterious to me.

if it was Primitivist Peter saying writing what you just said, i'd be worried he'd be going in a nasty brutish and short kind of direction. as i know you to be filled with love it is most exciting. let's hear more of your inspired thoughts!

shadowcrrew said...

on this subject and whatever else