Oh, dear old summertime. Many of us are hard at work with the rest of us at leisure. Oh, and what a leisure it is! After the pile of effort it took to keep ourselves warm during Winter, . . . we have realized our dream of Summer.
With COVID, our focus is directed inward. We can be with family, care for our home like never before; be very, very careful, practice a skill, explore the internet and read. Its as wide as your imagination.
I am continuously reading something. This year, during our family’s 43rd annual camping trip, I was reading, The Spell of the Sensuous, Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World, by David Abram.
I understood, quite some time ago, how we are one with the world and the Universe.
This book describes how to be far more connected to Nature and every living thing in it. In his words, our eyes and the texture of our skin takes-in the nuances of the shifting wind and the nourishment of a rambling brook.
He goes on to suggest that we got the word, “rambling” from the nature of the brook itself. That we got the word, “wow” and “bang” from lightning and thunder. And that we operate at this sensitivity level.
Calling ourselves emotional has been a stifling label. We can set ourselves free from it. We are naturally sensitive, just as are the birds and the butterflies are sensitive. We get our sense of flying from all of nature traveling by flight.
David Abram, a summa cum laude graduate at Wesleyan University, he holds a doctorate in philosophy from State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is a recipient of fellowships from the Watson and Rockefeller Foundations and has a Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction.
He has traded sensory information with indigenous people in Indonesia, Nepal, and the Americas. As an ecologist and a philosopher, his writing has influenced the environmental movement in North America and abroad.
This is his first book. Its lyrical, poetic, and intellectually embracing. It startles our senses out of habitual ways of seeing and hearing for a wider, fuller engagement with Nature.
He traces the steps of Rene Descartes, from the 17th Century; followed by Edmund Husserl in the early 20th Century, followed by Merleau-Ponty in more recent times. They all developed the idea that our earth is animated with life that flows to us and from us.
We are communicating with it and it is communicating with us. It’s a rich exchange.
Amazon has The Spell of the Sensuous. It is published through Vintage Books, a division of Penguin Random House, New York.