Monthly Archives: January 2014

How Fantasy Was Born

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In a hemlock grove atop a snowy mountain, silence blooms. Minutely needled branches quiver.  Water drips from a crotch of snow between crossed logs into a black pool. More silence.  Nothing is as beautiful as this. No poem, no words, no sculpture, no painting. Nothing human-made can approach this three dimensional physical plane, where the points of depth and dimension are plotted by each hemlock needle.

Don’t listen to the theorists who have traveled so far from the physical that their heads float like balloons above their bodies, attached only by a tiny string. They have tried to convince us that reality is perception, that we shape what we see with our language, and therefore can never truly see the world as it is.

We know better.  If you stop, breathe and look, you will see.

They got it backwards. We are part of nature. The landscape shaped us, shaped the brains that made the language, and the landscape shaped the stories. The fallen logs beside the still water tossed up the elves. The creek burbled fairy laughter, the snow-covered boulder created Hansel and Gretel’s frosted house impossibly far from any human trodden path. When you hear a woman screaming in the forest and follow the sound into the mouth of a mountain lion, a thousand myths are born. The seal’s soft round eyes created the selkies who shed their skins and became us. The change of seasons, unceasing variety of bird call and flower petals commanded our tongues. The order of the needles divided our sounds into segments, giving birth to language.  And now when we go back to the source, it speaks us.