Its strange to be back in the world of fast food, fast cars, and fast living. I must admit (and how surprised are you really?) that I was more than happy to disapear for awhile. Leave all of this non-sense behind, and commune with nature, to simply enjoy the vast land and silence. It was nice to tend only to immediate needs, to use basic survival skills, to not have a roundabout way of obtaining what is necessary. The one thing I completely despise about our culture is how we are forced to work at jobs we don't really enjoy in order to feed and clothe ourselves. It is true that the lives we lead in Canadian cities are relatively safe and easy and fun, as compared to hunting and gathering all day every day. And I must also admit that I so very much appreciate hot water from the tap and a flushing toilet. After spending almost a week in a tent, I have really come to appreciate the comforts of home. Certainly when I fell ill in the second week I was grateful to be staying in a cabin. I often wonder, though, if something isn't lost when we distance ourselves from the real and chaotic natural world. I just read three thought provoking essays on the subject of Nature by Aldous Huxley. He discusses how often we look to nature as a place to renew our spiritual selves, but he also states that as we personify, humanize, and organize nature through spirituality, religion, and science we forget that the world is not united under human innovation, but is seperate, diverse, and chaotic. "Our direct intuitions of Nature tell us that the world is bottomlessly strange: alien, even when it is kind and beautiful; having innumerable modes of being that are not our modes; always mysteriously not personal,not conscious, not moral; often hostile and sinister;sometimes even unimaginably, because inhumanely, evil." He goes on to state that we need to leave the wildness in nature , to not try to make nature conform to human rules and regulations. Instead we must embrace the "Jekyll-Hyde of nature", and because we are of nature, also of ourselves. I believe that we learned this lesson during the last few days of our trip, when we were confronted with the threat of monstrous thunder storms. It made me think how often some people rely on dumb luck to get us through to the next day. Could you survive if the comforts and relatively easy living of city life were taken away? How would you eat? How would you keep warm? What if you were sick? This is why we live in cities with electricity, grocery stores, hospitals, and people who specialize. In the city it is easy to get help,especially if you have the money. Whereas, in the wild money is useless except as kindling to get a fire started.
Anyway, here are a few "Little Landscapes" that i painted while up north.
"Love Island" acrylic on wood, 5in X 7in, 2007
"Green Rapids", acrylic on wood, 5in X 5in, 2007
"Fisher Rapids", acrylic on wood, 5in X 7in, 2007