"The story of the mind exiled from Nature is the story of Western Man. It is the story of his progressively more desperate search for mechanical and rational and symbolic securities, which will substitute for the spirit-confidence of the Nature he has lost." Ted Hughes The words of Ted Hughes, stick with me as I run along the road from my house towards the mountains. Sipping on my morning coffee, I came across an article in Resurgence Magazine discussing the left and right hemispheres of the brain. The Left, prefers what is known and familiar, theoretical, mechanistic, rigid, linear, predictable, dominates my present experience. I engage in my daily routine, stepping right, then left through the fence, off the road, down into the arroyo, past the disc golf course, a small scramble out of the creek, through the St. John's College parking lot and onto the trail. Fifteen minutes perhaps have gone by, down the gentle rollers, following the signs at each intersection of the winding single track, I ease into my stride. I know the first climb up to the boulder outcropping. Then the second, more sustained, up to the peak. When I reach it, I'll pause for a moment to catch my breath and stand on the same rock that I always do and gaze at the city from above. I'll think of the physical benefits of running up a mountain every day, of the mental benefits of escaping the noise and pollution of the city and the spiritual benefits of being surrounded by nature. I will not be those things, I will simply think them. Then I will turn around and follow the conveniently marked path back to my home. "The non-poetic view is the one which considers that once the senses have perceived things and intellect has determined what they are, everything is settled once and for all...the poetic view is the one which continues to interpret them and never assigns any limit to their plenitude." Shlegel Perhaps it's the morning's rain, a breach in the dry, high desert routine, that leads me from my usual perch not in the direction of home, but to the Eastern hills; intriguing, mysterious, deliciously inviting. The narrow interpretive trail soon fizzles and I'm plunging straight down the hillside into the valley. The Right, attuned to anything new, sensory and personal, truthful, in touch with inner life, exploratory, dominates my present experience. I have nothing to guide me but the contours of the land. I climb, following the ridge line, focusing on each step, each rock, pine-cone, and broken branch that make up the three feet of reality in front of me. My senses are alert. The rain trickles down my bare back. I quieten my breath and listen to the silence of the forest. I bring no judgement to the woods, no agenda, no purpose, neither do I seek meaning. In my raw, primal state, am happy and I am free.
Shaun Freeman captures the essence, using the right hemisphere of his brain in an aquatic home movie.