Composition by Mike Olson, "Noopiming." The music of this piece is unusual. The composer used a choir of eight voices who sung the single word, Noopiming. This is an Ojibwe word for in the north, inland, in the forest. Olson then took the recorded sounds and electronically separated and blended the syllables and notes to create this haunting and beautiful piece. For me, it conveys the feeling of the wilderness perhaps because of its small fragments arranged into a whole. The sound creates an ecosystem, or echo system. Photographs are by Dale Robert Klous
The Body / The Body of Earth
Write with the body, commands each writing teacher. Use the five senses. This makes writing come alive. Along with writing from our own body, I recommend something more. Consider the other body that we are inside. Write with the details of a river, sea, city, mountain, desert or forest. Be awake to the layers beneath your feet and the ghosts. Other people and animals have tread in this place, old roots have reached in and never been pulled out and stones speak.
Wilderness as Metaphor / Wilderness as Wilderness
The wilderness is our most valuable asset because it contains what we don't know, don't understand, and can't grasp. It is mystery. This is expressed by Wendell Berry, in his "Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front":
Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant,When we awaken to the wider sphere, we are aware that wilderness is alive with its own hidden movement and life. Animals go with intention, and they act upon the environment. They travel or wander or track. Populations rise and fall in accordance with the law of balance. Its boundaries are natural. Watersheds and flows and forces and cycles come to bear upon our experience and become part of our story. Sigurd Olson said:
that you will not live to harvest.
Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Wilderness to the people of America is a spiritual necessity, an antidote to the high pressure of modern life, a means of regaining serenity and equilibrium.We need the wilderness more than the wilderness needs us; we are in fact part of its multiple systems. I do not want to sentimentalize.