My mom visited me this fall break, so I decided to take her with me into the Crum. I took some photos of my surroundings. She took some photos of me. It was Wednesday–sunny, a bit chilly, and beautiful, and perfect for taking pictures. But if only I knew what I was trying to take photos of!
I’ve been struggling to come up with a topic for our next “Meet the neighbors” pieces. I’ve realized that, for some reason, I’ve been trying to shy away from the naturalist part of this course–and it’s making me really frustrated. I seem to lack a great deal of motivation when it comes to learning about the “neighbors” in terms of their names, features, habits, etc. I’m just not inspired by the textbook-esque aspects of these organisms. And I wonder why I’m so unwilling to learn in this respect.
It could be just laziness.
More than sloth, though, I find myself really confused about how to approach this project–how do I combine the personal with scientific knowledge, from which I am so detached? Maybe what’s really bugging me is that–I lack authority in this field, and there is no way I can speak knowingly about these “neighbors” with that kind of understanding, and in that kind of language. My reluctance is really just another manifestation of another fear of mine. I can cloak it in a lot of disguises–it deprives nature of its mystical qualities; it strips life down to numbers and names; it analyzes and filters everything with a coldness that makes all life seem deadly stable, unchanging. But what it might all boil down to is…that I fear science.
I don’t know.
Fear of science.
Or…maybe I’m just a hippie-wannabe. I really connected with one passage in Emily Hiestand’s “Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah,” when she describes something her “Buddhist pal” says: “that douce resignation seems a close cousin to his practice of detachment–a way that fuses passionate caring with letting-be, a way of moving within the world’s own startling motley of loveliness, nests, violence, sadness to the bone, and summer games” (965). I thought that was beautiful. And I think I just want to let things be. (Because haven’t I disturbed nature enough already?)
So–anyone else having trouble deciding what their “neighbor” piece is going to feature?