Looking at yesterday's image and comparing it to the one above, I'm reminded of what David Abram wrote in Becoming Animal: "each land has its own psyche, its own style of sentience, and hence to travel from Rome to Paris, or from Barcelona to Berlin, is to voyage from one state of mind to another, very different, state of mind. Even to journey by train from Manhattan to Boston, or simply to walk from one New England town to another, is to transform one's state of awareness. Traveling on foot makes these variations most evident, as the topography gradually alters, mountains giving way to foothills, and foothills becoming plains, as the accents of the local shopkeepers transform in tandem with the shifting terrain. The texture of the air changes as the moisture-laden atmosphere of the highlands, instilled with the breath of cool, granite caves and the exhalations of roots and matted needles, opens onto the dry wind whirling across the flatlands, blending the accents of upturned soil with hints of exhaust from the highway . . ." And he also wrote: "Of course, I can hardly be instilled by this intelligence if I only touch down, briefly, on my way to elsewhere. Only by living for many moons in one region, my peripheral senses tracking seasonal changes in the local plants while the scents of the soil steadily seep in through my pores—only over time can the intelligence of a place lay claim upon the person."
Abram is trying to remind us (call us back to) an awareness of our being animal—live creatures in a live environment. This is what is lost (among numerous other reasons) by living our lives while looking down at a cell phone. This awareness is in grave danger I think now, and will be in more danger unless more of us go out walking, taking time and paying close attention to look, smell, listen to, touch the world around us. Our approach to Descartes' descriptions of us as machines will be finally realized as we continue our march toward becoming robots . . .
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