the forest of the mind dies with the one outside
the forest of the mind dies with the one outside
acrylic, pencil & oil pastel on wood
24"x24"
2022

"We are accustomed to say in New England that few and fewer pigeons visit us every year. Our forests furnish no mast for them. So, it would seem, few and fewer thoughts visit each growing man from year to year, for the grove in our minds is laid waste,—sold to feed unnecessary fires of ambition, or sent to mill, and there is scarcely a twig left for them to perch on. They no longer build nor breed with us. In some more genial season, perchance, a faint shadow flits across the landscape of the mind, cast by the wings of some thought in its vernal or autumnal migration, but, looking up, we are unable to detect the substance of the thought itself. Our winged thoughts are turned to poultry. They no longer soar, and they attain only to a Shanghai and Cochin China grandeur. Those gra-a-ate thoughts, those gra-a-ate men you hear of!" - Henry David Thoreau, 1862

"Humanity’s development is most intimately connected with the nature that surrounds it. A secret harmony exists between the earth and the peoples whom it nourishes, and when reckless societies allow themselves to meddle with that which creates the beauty of their domain, they always end up regretting it. In places where the land has been defaced, where all poetry has disappeared from the countryside, the imagination is extinguished, the mind becomes impoverished, and routine and servility seize the soul, inclining it toward torpor and death." - Elisée Reclus, 1866

"Apart from the fertility of the Earth we have no other source for our nourishment. Apart from the atmosphere that surrounds us we have no source for our breathing. Apart from the waters that flow in our streams and rivers, waters that flow up from the springs, waters from the deep aquifers within the Earth; apart from these waters we have no refreshing water to drink or to sustain our cultivation of the land. So too for the inner world of mind, imagination, and emotions. These faculties can be activated only through the wonders that we observe through our senses. If we lived on the moon our minds would be as empty as the moon, our imagination would be as limited as the lunar landscape, our emotions would be unfulfilled. The real reason why we cannot live on the Moon, on Mars, or any other planet, is that our inner world would shrivel within itself for lack of a wonderful to commune with such as we find here on Earth." - Thomas Berry, 2001

"Indeed, it could plausibly be argued that in the great leap from hunting and gathering to agriculture and the first industries, we had simply replaced old fears with newer ones and created a model of earth that was far less welcoming without its indwelling spirits...Our reverence for the earth - our only home - had been gradually drained away like the ice age rivers that had dwindled to creeks as the great frozen sheaths had at last withdrawn northward. And in place of the clustering fears of ancient man, we now lived the great fear of ourselves, of each other, of the awful weapons we had acquired...But the costs of our triumph have been as heavy for us as for the earth, and just as the animals are smaller in size and far fewer in number since the days of the cave bear, so our sense of life has become radically diminished. At the same time and because of this, our fear of death has become so overwhelming that there is virtually nothing humankind will not try in vain hope of avoiding it. Arranging to be hung upside down in a vat of liquid nitrogen until a cure can be found for what killed us is a stratagem that could only occur to a species that has lost the belief in the necessary interconnectedness of all things, most especially Life and Death - that savage understanding the caveman artists possessed." - Frederick W. Turner, 2004

"Preservation of the world depends on the wild. The poetic mind is wild. Therefore, the preservation of the world depends on the poetic mind." - John P. Clark, 2019