Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Nature is a Dirty Word: The Limits of Language


Each of us has a unique perspective and angle, a distinct lens through which we view the world. It's not possible for two people see a thing exactly as another sees it.  While everything is relative, there are certain modes, manners and memes which we adopt, often without question.

 My work has a lot to do with language, how we attempt to approximate how we feel through the words we use, always coming close, but seldom communicating the full range of our emotions.  I'm equally interested in the words we don't use.

Today is Mother Earth Day, and while the idea in principle is a supremely noble one, it's important to remember that Nature has a right to exist separate and apart from ourselves: it has become out moded, out dated, and seemingly, nearly obsolete. While the words 'Environment', 'World', and 'Earth' are commonly used, the word 'Nature', it seems, is a dirty word.

The persistent use of a certain word in favor of another, over time, will often replace it completely. As a result, what is lost is not only the word itself, but the attendant emotional connection previously associated with it. Let us, through language and song, celebrate Nature as much and as often as we do the Earth, the Environment, and the World.


IN PERFORMANCE AT THE WHITE HOUSE | Jack White "Mother Nature's Son" | PBS


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