I am interested in people’s relationships to nature, and to each other. I believe these relationships are related and influence each other in meaningful ways; in other words, your attitude toward one often bears on your attitude to the other. I’m going to spend some time in this space exploring the various aspects of these relationships, through my own experiences and the experiences of others.

Why? Who cares? First, nature is neat. But also, because I – like most people who think and write a lot about their pet subjects – think this cud-chewing can illuminate other things. But mostly because I think cephalopods are awesome. And Jesus Christ lizards.

Anyone who wants to talk about this has to deal first with the old question that keeps popping up and tying everyone in knots: What’s nature? Even asking the question presumes some degree of separation between what is human and this construct we call nature. All answers seem circular. Is nature “the natural world?”  Well, then, are people part of the natural world? Is a highway part of the natural world? Is laboratory-created meat part of nature? Is a house part of the natural world? If not, then why is a bird’s nest?

This is totally unfair, but I’m punting on the issue for now. I have the general contours of my own answer in my head, but I think this might be one of those other parts of the room that gets illuminated along the way.  I will say this — I’m fond of paradox, irony, and tension, and I suspect the answer will involve all those things.

But for now, I offer you only a nearly-grown tadpole, probably a cousin to the Header Frog, whose dour expression I love.


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