Saturday, February 23, 2013


‘When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things 
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief.”

From The Peace of Wild Things
                 Wendell Berry

As I mentioned in an earlier blog I was trying to emulate
“ the peace of wild things” no luck yet instead I 
have found increasing levels of pessimism and
 cynicism pervading my own thoughts and my
 conversations with others. This somewhat  
discouraging trend is I think in part fueled 
by the constant bombardment we face it seems
things are only getting worse whether it is 
violence against women, the gap between rich
and poor, the hope initially raised by movements like 
the Arab Spring now descending into familiar 
patterns of corruption and intimidation,
 the collapse of economies worldwide, 
the greed and duplicity of politian’s and in 
Canada we can add our inability to resolve
 our long standing issues with our 
First Nations and the all-out assault on the 
environment by our government and their 
industry cohorts. I am not belittling any
 of these issues but sometimes I think people
myself included begin to resemble a parody of 
Peter Finch’s character in Network drained 
by a sense of continual moral indignation. By the way 
I have no cure of the issues I listed or the 
metal state I have described if the post seems rambling 
and disjointed that is actually the way my mind 
 often works. 

Maybe this is a natural occurrence and the first step  
leading to my friends and I taking our place on the porch 
of life railing (sorry) against kids stepping on the grass.
So what is my point? I am attaching a link to crows in the snow.  
Because this is in nature / poetry blog after all, to paraphrase 
Arlo Guthrie Alice's Restaurant “remember Alice” remember the 
nature / poetry blog. 

While I have little hope we will respond to the damage 
we are doing to the environment in any meaningful
 way thanks to YouTube we can still have crows
in the snow and I think we need these small moments 
these brief glimpses of those “other nations” that 
surround us to disrupt our predictable days, our 
shadow shelves providing our lives with a flash
of insight/illumination that may lead us to create 
art or science or change or encourage us look
 after ourselves and others or at least
provide us with  a moment of joy or wonder.

I have included these shots of an Eastern Grey Squirrel 
in my yard, remember the nature / poetry blog,
 most of our squirrels are black but editing these pictures it 
really drove it home to me that the black colour phase was
 somewhat maladaptive because the black squirrels stick out 
so much more in the landscape. Here the grey Grey 
Squirrel blends perfectly with the tree trunk. 
While not exhaustively tested Shaun and Whately
 have no stated preference for the colour phase 
of the squirrels they chase, it is all good.


“We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical 
concept of animals. In a world older and more complete than 
ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions 
of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices 
we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not 
underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in
 the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour 
 and travail of the earth.”

                         Henry Beston
                                       The Outermost House


Gary said...

Great squirrel and doggy shots!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Guy said...

Hi Gary

Thanks, doggie shots are always appropriate and I am sure Boomer would agree that squirrels are fun especially when they are running.


Julie G. said...

Just last night, my husband and I were having a discussion about all the negativity bombarding us. Being outside amongst nature always soothes my soul. The snow playing crow video certainly put a smile on my face. Wonderful! Terrific squirrel and pooch photographs!

Hilke Breder said...

Guy, your blog is always so interesting. Your remarks remind me of Yeat's poem The Second Coming: "Things fall apart, the center cannot hold. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world..... We have come to the end of American Exceptionalism and we are joining the rest of the world: turmoil, confusion, poverty, excess... Thanks for posting the link to the crows playing in the snow! Miraculous!

Guy said...

Hi Julie

Thanks for your comments. I have to say that is why we have built a cabin, so we can be closer to nature and get a break from the hustle and bustle and bombardment of the everyday world. No one escapes forever but a break is good. I am sure that is why you are enjoying the house you are building. You certainly get the change to see the nature world thru your beautiful bird photos.

All the best.

Guy said...

Hi Hilke

I love that poem and agreed that scary as it is, it seems that " The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity" things will certainly have to change, but the fun of crow watching is a great tonic.

All the best.

Kathie Brown said...

Guy, I can totally understand your pessimism and cynicism as too often the news is full of all the bad things and the stuff that isn't being done. I too feel woe over the collapse of the Arab Spring and the continual political gridlock in my own country's capitol. I see big business, big oil, and big mines winning out over what is good for the earth and good for nature and good for the common man. will greed always win out? I do not know. But there is still joy in the little things in life as you mention, and a chance to lay ourselves down on the breast of the earth and hear her breath can surely bring peace to one's soul. I have done this many times myself and found myself renewed for the day and often for the future. As long as You and I and poets and artists can find this connection I believe we will be alright. come out and chat on the porch anytime. It is good for your soul! It is good for mine!

Guy said...

Hi Kathie

Thanks for you comments. It helps to know that other people of good will are not only sharing some of my concerns but are also finding joy in the same small things in the world be it art, or poetry or nature. Hopefully as others come to recognize the destructive path we have travelled they can join us in trying to mend rather then destroy the world.