Open your eyes and listen like the mountain: hear nature surround you, a network of worlds where life is so loud that mere words are unable to illustrate just how full of wonder it is. See the community of healthy wooden friends and not just a productive stand of mindless giants. See also their reaching roots and squirming soils as conscious selves, as living parts of an alive cluster. To see what all is being shown, the observer must vacate their interpretive pedestal and become rock: embrace being just one among many extensions of objective selfhood. Open your eyes to the earth around you, and you might just see all the worlds within it.
This world is occupied in all its spaces - by sound, by energy, by observers and the observed. In both human and beyond-human ways, this world is replete with expression. I know that fire is a language. Its scattered crackles and scrambled embers express more than just warmth, and its shape absorbs far more than just heat; I imagine campfires are among the best listeners. I know that water is a language too, that its bodies of rippling whispers and reflective vocabularies speak volumes compared to this oral muse. I know that geese possess a language of their own, one that hurtles through low-lying clouds and slides along frozen lakes, but I can’t translate a single sound they make. On top of all these dawning revelations, I realize just how much I don’t know, how many signs and symbols may never make sense to me because I’ve overlooked or ignored or devalued them. I know that I can’t respond authentically until I open the self. Until we truly listen to the echoes of a first language still alive, still expressed and experienced everywhere we go, we may never be able to ask the tree what it dreams about, or the river how it learned to sing so beautifully.
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