Forgetting and Remembering the Air
The ecologist David Abram’s words on this issue I found particularly engaging ; “sensory blindness to other life forms “, “ears deaf to other voices, the non human voices all around us” , the way he phrased what some might call ignorance to environmental crisis, is in a way which seems more sympathetic than just bluntly blaming it on ignorance. I had never considered it before that people didn’t always make a conscious choice to ignore the non-human world. It seems that it is more because the air is invisible that people genuinely forget it exists and therefore view it as an empty space, and in todays society of harvesting as much as you can from whatever you can the air becomes filled with pollution in many different forms. Because the air is invisible, people do not realise that the air is already already full , it becomes conceptually an ’empty space’ just waiting to be filled with all of our stuff .
He then goes further in comparing the chaotic behaviour of air to that of a heart beat, in how each reacts to an event outside themselves making their rhythm and movement unpredictable to humans. A humans we are obsessed with predicting and controlling every aspect of life, but these things aren’t out of control as such but rather David Abram describes this chaotic nature as ‘wildness’ , this wildness permeates us, it is everywhere.
From the discussion of these issues I think the main point is that we as humans need to learn a new respect for the air, that it is not just an an empty space, but it has in fact a purpose before humans.
In this session we also examined the importance of dust for pretty much every area of daily life, reading about all the things it is essential for I was really surprised, and gave me a never before appreciation for it.