Walrus

Barry Lopez is on fire!

“The differing landscapes of the earth are hard to know individually.  They are as difficult to engage conversation as wild animals. The complex feelings of affinity and self-assurance one feels with one’s native place rarely develop again in another landscape.

It is a convention of Western thought to believe all cultures are compelled to explore, that human beings seek new land because their economies drive them onward.  Lost in this valid but nevertheless impersonal observation is the notion of a simpler longing, of a human desire for a less complicated life, for fresh intimacy and renewal.  These, too, draw us into new landscapes. And desire causes imagination to misconstrue what it finds.  The desire for wealth, for revivification, for triumph, as much or more than scientific measurement and description, or the imperatives of economic expansion, resolves the geography of a newfound landscape.”

Arctic Dreams pp 255-6 [emphasis added]

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