Talking Backwards in a Land without Shadows
In 1837 I arrived here, inside the belly of a dream. The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge , had not yet charted its likeness. I am speaking backwards here, where ‘...the body separates itself from thought, … and occupies the other side of his senses.’ (Caillois, 1984, as cited in Taussig, 1993, p.34) Rejecting the notion of storytelling as ‘culture’ laid atop ‘nature’. Though this world may be draped in Western scientific concepts, composed of quantifiable narratives, where each word can be measured for its accuracy, I can read the roiling images of clouds. Turning scientific knowing toward metaphor, creating a mimetic space for the spirit, an alternative science, where the land speaks back. In this ‘nature’ humans are an occupied space. Where sensing replaces seeing, and words yield to the unspeakable. I am inhabited by the interior of the world, I am a filament woven from a shared DNA, my inner substance. Here then, we can tell stories, our lungs suffuse with the taste of clouds - we speak the air. Breathing in as I talk, I am speaking backwards, filling up with the world, as both an object and a subject. Together we are repopulating the shadows, lost to reductive understanding.