John muir writings online dating

Remember this too: looking out across a desert canyon in the evening air, the only sound a lone raven calling in the distance, the rock walls dropping away into a chasm so deep that its bottom all but vanishes as you squint into the amber light of the setting sun.And this: the moment beside the trail as you sit on a sandstone ledge, your boots damp with the morning dew while you take in the rich smell of the pines, and the small red fox—or maybe for you it was a raccoon or a coyote or a deer—that suddenly ambles across your path, stopping for a long moment to gaze in your direction with cautious indifference before continuing on its way.Remember the feelings of such moments, and you will know as well as I do that you were in the presence of something irreducibly nonhuman, something profoundly Other than yourself Wilderness is made of that too.And yet: what brought each of us to the places where such memories became possible is entirely a cultural invention. Seen in this way, wilderness presents itself as the best antidote to our human selves, a refuge we must somehow recover if we hope to save the planet. It is an island in the polluted sea of urban-industrial modernity, the one place we can turn for escape from our own too-muchness. For many Americans wilderness stands as the last remaining place where civilization, that all too human disease, has not fully infected the earth.

The more one knows of its peculiar history, the more one realizes that wilderness is not quite what it seems.Far from being the one place on earth that stands apart from humanity, it is quite profoundly a human creation—indeed, the creation of very particular human cultures at very particular moments in human history.It is not a pristine sanctuary where the last remnant of an untouched, endangered, but still transcendent nature can for at least a little while longer be encountered without the contaminating taint of civilization.Instead, it’s a product of that civilization, and could hardly be contaminated by the very stuff of which it is made.Wilderness hides its unnaturalness behind a mask that is all the more beguiling because it seems so natural.

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As we gaze into the mirror it holds up for us, we too easily imagine that what we behold is Nature when in fact we see the reflection of our own unexamined longings and desires.

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