Well, how to begin. This book has left me searching for words. It is devastating. It is uplifting. It is exhausting. It is insightful and wise and enlightening. It is terrifying.
EROSION is both a deeply personal and a deeply political book. A collection of essays which orbit around the ideas of erosion and evolution; which address the need for, and participation with, wild places; which expose the violence visited upon landscape and all who inhabit it – both flora and fauna – by our acquisitive and aggressive western culture. Terry Tempest Williams is a fierce advocate for landscape and for the need to inhabit this world responsibly and with deep respect. Her essays touch upon the undermining of democracy, environmental protection, and political representation. She writes of the power of a spiritual connection to place, the power of landscape to alter us, make us better. And especially, she writes of the power of love. She includes some very personal stories that focus on family and she discusses the danger and risk posed by narrow thinking and the current political climate.
Here is a taste for you –
“Whatever I know as a woman about spirituality I have learned from my body encountering Earth. Soul and soil are not separate. Neither are wind and spirit, nor water and tears. We are eroding and evolving, at once, like the red rock landscape before me. Our grief is our love. Our love will be our undoing as we quietly disengage from the collective madness of the patriarchal mind that says aggression is the way forward.”
And one more –
“If we are to flourish as a species, an erosion of belief will be necessary, that says we are not the center of the universe but a dynamic part of an expanding contracting future that celebrates and collaborates with uncertainty.”
At the risk of too many quotes from the book, I will bring this to a close. I checked this book out from the library but see myself heading to the bookstore to buy several copies. I suspect this is a book I will reread and I find myself wanting to get it in as many hands as possible.