An Earth-centric language
THE PERIPHERY: from Andrew Goodman, “every teaspoon of earth a cosmopolitics a whole field of edges and edginess with its memories of rockiness passed through the appetites of fungi lively in its mycelium-ness its all-together-ness that is never unravelable without losing something without losing everyone and everything all the matters that matter”
PLEASURE: from AG, “in being incompleted and undone and dissolved and nibbled away unnamed and unnamed and forgotten and held too closely and oozing and seeping and fuzzy and edgeless and entered and entering indiscreetly and improperly and joyfully”
from AG: “what could CONSCIOUSNESS be as collective tendencies worldings of their own volition an impersonal unceasing movement never claiming ground never forming homes always on holiday happy to eke and seep and slip and play the field inventing on the spot always escaping forever unknowable unpronounceable elsewhere and everywhere”
* * *
DEMOCRACY: from Damen O’Brien, “As usual, speculative science fiction affords us a path into insight that often can’t be attained through other, more academic, means. I was blown away recently by the book ‘Ministry for the Future’ by Kim Stanley-Robinson. A central message of the book is that if we genuinely believe in the democratic value of equal representation and government for the majority, then our minds have been evolved to allow the present to become a tyranny over the future, performing short-term narrow-thinking actions which if future generations (which vastly outnumber us) were given a vote, would be overwhelmingly voted against. The book tells us that we should give future generations a vote (or a voice) now – if we did, there would be no debate about climate change, just a collective desperation to fix the problem.”
* * *
LOVE: from Kristen, “to nudge or be nudged again and again out of the narrowness of a storyline into the tidal zone of immense possibility. We know this feeling as we might pour it into a particular other. We may know it as the touch of something larger – the all of the Earth, the universe, the life force we are each a part of. We may know it as a sense of kinship, or as a desire to be present, wholly, for a companion, a child or parent, a river, a landscape, a people, a vital cause… We are faced, then, with the need to translate what we feel into action – what do we do with it, how do we weave it into the passing of our hours? Do we get married? Buy a house together? Do we join a land-care group? Or start a war? Perhaps we write a poem. And in the storyline we choose, what is it that reminds us, again, of the love that began outside it? What if the storylines for our expressions of love could be designed to honour the love and not the storyline itself, replacing the narrow, over-written stories of human love with an openness to the rest of the world? Imagine moving through our days with love translated into a guiding awareness of connectivity. An acknowledgement – you are me, and you are me, and you are me. LOVE: to be a scrap of infinity awed by the fineness of this presence, these interactive ripples.”
* * *
CENTRE: David Brooks gives us “a Thomas Browne-like vision brought on by fern ice on the front step, centring this place or rather revealing that its centre might be something utterly different from what one/I had imagined.”
* * *
FREEDOM: from Andrew Goodman, “what if rocks don’t dream of freedom any more than mycelia dream of being heroes if there are no tales of redemption hidden in the teeming soil nothing but an irredeemableness no inside-outside ours-theirs freedom-slavery wild-tamed all inextricably tied one and the same thing just incessant and intensive intermingling a queering differentiality dismantling hopes because who needs hope when you are with kin when there is nothing to know or be or do but endless nesting of symbionts no speciation no dividing up no solo journeys no trophic species no trophies to be won just lures just tendencies lumpish clumpish agglomerations just one big carrier bag of rabbits or potatoes folding in on itself enjoying the bumpy ride that is living-with thinking-with building-with dying-with not living a life on one’s own terms but alife in all its opacity and not-quite-thereness composting machines that are incompossible and hold tight a never-finished with-anything-ness blooming flowering rotting”
HEROES: from AG, “they stare into the sky oriented to the distant future to Mars with toes barely touching all it is to be alive now the feeling of differential singular-but-together liveliness cloaked and shadowy in chaos in a sticky morass they are desperate to shake off to strike off from on their own regardless of the cost the carelessness in such airy yearnings”.
from AG: “what if ROCKS are not immovable bases dead zones ripe for harvest plantation boundary markers streets to march for freedom on pedestals that launch careers but uncategorical and eventful in themselves that we cannot cleave ourselves from without losing something everything whose rhythms whose cycles we cannot escape without losing ourselves our ecologies-homes-kin life’s relational rhythmics.
from AG: what if MYCELIA are not telephone lines for self-important trees to gossip along if they don’t dream of flying the coop don’t want to sit on rocky pedestals but to eat away at the very idea of them to spread and intertwine ropy slippery moving-with-around-through with inter-species inter-spaces inter-speculative appetites”.
* * *
GLOBALIZATION: from SB, quoting Bruno Latour (Down to earth, 2018), “Shifting from a local to a global viewpoint ought to mean multiplying viewpoints, registering a greater number of varieties, taking into account a larger number of beings, cultures, phenomena, organisms, and people”.
* * *
To offer an earth-centric meaning of your own, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.