Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Academic Rewilding and Febreze

I'm fresh back from Yale, where I attended the annual Anthropology of Consciousness conference. It was cold and rainy, and I didn't bring enough woolens. A friend offered to Febreze my socks after I wore them for three days straight. She apparently carries Febreze around with her, so it wasn't a specious, or malicious, offer. I declined but changed my socks and had cold feet for the next few days.

The picture to the right is of the circulation desk of the Yale Memorial Library. At Yale, library workers are likened to priests. The flow of Dean Koontz novels occurs at the chancel of the structure, where celestial energy has historically flowed from the heavens through thin tasteless crackers onward to parishioners. I think I still would be working in libraries if I peddled books/Christ under those conditions.

My lecture about nature observation as a field technique was well received. Rather than going on about my own research I took to the podium to share the method of nature observation. I learned this from Jon Young's lectures, and merged his technique with a focusing technique established by Eugene Gendlin. I guess you could call this academic rewilding.

We spend so much time lamenting human separation from nature that we forget that we have the power to re-pattern our minds on the natural world simply by going outside now and then and building relationships with our non-human neighbors.

Hey children what's that sound, everybody look what's going down....

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