I guess that this must be the place
Today was cushion buckwheat and tumble lichen. Yesterday, rimrock milkvetch and desert phlox. And before that horsebrush, four-winged saltbush, sweet spring parsley and low rabbitbrush. It’s been quite the spring for identifying things that grow and bloom in my backyard, otherwise known as the great Colorado Plateau. Everything is green and thriving, water’s been running where it rarely does. A lovely time to be alive in the high desert, for plant and animal being alike.
I came out of this winter identifying flowers (shrubs, trees, grasses, birds, soils, rocks, points and places also). It’s a curiosity I haven’t had before, to know this place not just by sight but by name also. A new level of familiarity with home, instigated partly by the influence of friends and some good books read over the winter (Braiding Sweetgrass and You Are Here: A Portable History of the Universe) and partly, I think, by an effort to give what I do clearer definition.
Because someway, somehow, I think much of what occupies me is about defining and redefining what “home” is. Lately I’ve been considering this notion of macro and micro aspects of home, and how they intertwine in the person that occupies them. The macro-home is the physical place – my house and town, the Four Corners community and the Colorado Plateau landscape, the earth, and ultimately the Milky Way Galaxy and the vast unfathomable universe. I think of the micro-home is the inner-workings of how we define ourselves – how we relate to and occupy this place, how we interact with it physically as matter we can touch and move amongst. Or how it holds us emotionally and spiritually, how we connect to it in ways we may not fully understand but which effect us deeply.
I’m curious about all this in generalities as it applies to all of us, but also in the thread that informs my creative endeavors. Because I think this is one of the beauties of art; this expression of the outer palpable picture intertwined with the inner obscure one. I think it’s why art can impress us in ways that are hard to explain. And I think it’s one of the primary reasons art – both the making and the appreciating of it – are core to our understanding of things.
So, if home is something of an ongoing preoccupation, I’d like to make it a central one. Something to really wrap my head and arms around, a way to delve deeper into what I know and understand about where I live and all who live here with me. And why this place and everyone/thing else’s homes deserve honor, respect and protection.
Hence the learning of flower names and such. And more exploring of the nooks and crannies of the Colorado Plateau and the beings that are at home here, animal and plant. And more understanding of where we all are here, now, on this earth, in this time, and in this space.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the same. XO