Earth Tones Inertia

DewScapeAn object at rest tends to stay at rest. And man, I was resting–far longer than I intended after Ann left for work at 5:45 this morning.

The loveseat and fetal position curled up with a warm puppy in the crook of my legs, stove ticking and flickering, and a soft blanket in the quiet dark–what’s a lazy man to do?

Beside, I had an epic dream I hoped first to remember at all, then to jump back into to see how it turned out. I partially succeeded in the former, but the bleat of chickens in the coup at sunrise put an end to the novella behind my eyelids.

After finally coming around and facing the music (and the livestock) for the day, I ran across this image in my unprocessed pictures folder. It seemed to fit the blurry, enigmatic, cobwebs-on-the brain dream state that has begun this gray late October day. [Click to enlarge]

I have to prepare for my meeting with students after noon, the topics today cosmic time, our place in time (geological epochs, mass extinctions, the expansion of human civilisation since the end of the Pleistocene), and then the Anthropocene and its chief features and the choices they will be involved in (or not) going forward.

Bearing on the latter, and incorporating a previous conversation in class about sense of place, we’ll have more to say about the “new economy” that must replace the failed “golden goose forever” economic model that has made some much richer and the planet poorer. Wendell Berry’s guidance about how we treat our soil and each other, also previously touched on, will enter the all-too-brief discussion.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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