“Earth, is not this what you will: in us to rise up invisible?
Is it, O Earth, not your dream once to be wholly invisible?
What, if not change, is your desperate mission?”
– R. M. Rilke, Duino Elegy – Ninth
Who is the future? What does the future entail? WIll there be any soil left? Who will work this soil? How will we know how to care take the earth? Well, the astounding and almost shocking reality is that you are the future, I am the future, and we must learn to create it together, shared and well-tended, healthy and New!
But, something almost always forgotten in peoples prospect of the future is the Soil. The life giving richness that sends its love through our heels and reflects the cosmic warmth of our universe through its three unique kingdoms (mineral, plant, and animal) – before the fourth (Us). Do we owe the soil anything for its years of providing us essential physicality – for freely gifting us its bundled universality and earthliness? Do we heed the intimacies between ‘us’ and what seemingly lies beneath feet?
I would say, for the most part, we don’t actually. We lack the knowing of ourselves and the respect for Life to begin understanding the subtleties and intricacies of how we are actually physically and beyond nourished by the earth? ‘Our daily bread’ would actually have to be corrected to ‘Our daily Soil’. There is no such thing as ‘dirt’. This term only comes from the overly populated un-natural and un-sophisticated cities of our civilization that regards the great womb of nourishment, the soil, as something foreign and calculable from a clean distance.
Actually, Soil is the greatest medium for artistic activity in disguise. It disguises itself as something bland, uncolored, neutral, and ‘below’, but really it is the first and last judgement of all artistic – and further cultural – activity. It is also the beginning of much Economic activity. What really doesn’t end up involving soil at the end of the day, out of the things that most of our societies occupy themselves with, mostly material? I am not saying it is the final creative act of man, I am just saying that its involvement is inherent, and its recognition is demanded right now by the Cosmic-Earthly development of Man.
Of course, once it has gotten going, artistic and all of human activity involves realities and energies much different and more profound than the Soil, but the pervasive negligence of the soil in our time represents cultural ignorance, not just environmental malpractice. It represents universal failure, as our first wonderful gift to support Human life on this planet has been actually disregarded as merely something of materialistic usage by science and business, and something of no interest by most people in western civilization.
You would be surprised at how much of a difference just going out into nature and experiencing its presence would do for you. Maybe even dipping your hands into a ‘clean’ patch of soil somewhere in there, just for the hell of it! The Earth will rejoice. It is here to be turned and touched, observed and pondered, tasted (mostly through its fruits) and rejuvenated by the Human Being. I am a biodynamic farmer, so i have a relationship to the soil like painters have to paint, but I urge each of us, farmers or not, and mostly not, to just give nature a chance to reveal its splendor, its wit and generosity, its growth and decay, its rhythms, its Life.
We need to step out of the ‘concretized’, the illusion of safety and human technology, and begin creating again with Nature. It is not a matter of defeat, it is not a matter of domination, it is not a matter of good engineering, it is a matter of New Attention to Life as it really is before us and undesigned by the human mind of plenty (and plenty of BS). So, I ask you, to step out of the ‘concretized’ and out of the mind of plenty and into the world of Creation. A call for the young people of the world to put down your I Phone or your I pod to look at the sky, at the trees, and to hear the birds or the river. We are in great danger of technologically un-creating and ending Life. The powers of the Human Mind are so great, but widely misused!
“Gardening is not a rational act. What matters is
the immersion of the hands in the earth, that
ancient ceremony of which the Pope kissing
the tarmac is merely a pallid vestigial remnant.”
– Margaret Attwood