Humans as a force of nature

‘I prefer to let mother nature do her thing.’

‘I think we should just let nature take its course.’

These phrases irritate me.

In some contexts, they are correct to let ‘nature take it’s course,’ still, the phrase itself does something powerful to human minds.

These are just some more phrases we use that show how we talk of ourselves as if living on the periphery of nature.
We just dip our toes into nature every now and then.

‘The world would be a better place if humans stopped interfering!’ How common is that comment said aloud and typed out online?

This language game we play casts illusions of our separation from what we call nature.

This is a problem for all parts of the spectrum on the climate change debate.

There is a side that knows climate change is real, and humans are a large reason for it, and this can lead to a misanthropic view of humanity.
If humans would just stop interfering with nature, the world would be a better place, it is said.

I sometimes wonder if people have truly thought about that sentence before they say it.

Do they believe that humans can exist and not ‘interfere’?
How can we leave things be in a world where we are intrinsically attached to the environment we interact with?
That is to say, we are nature, and we are within the ecosystem itself.
We depend on that ecosystem as much as any other animal out there.

So they acknowledge that humans are at ‘fault’ for climate change, but the words we use often get in the way of change.

In another camp of people who accept climate change facts, they posit that it’s pointless for us to do anything about it now; it’s too late.
And to some degree, I am in this pessimistic camp.
But I note that nature is always changing; things evolve and adapt.
So it’s only natural then, for us as a species, even if the mess is our own making, to say, ‘Fuck, how can we adapt to this information that we’re fucking up?’
And while we cannot stop climate change, we must and can surely adapt to at least lessen the damage?

Who would I be in all my pessimistic glory to suggest that we shouldn’t at least try?
It’s only natural for us, after all, to want to adapt and change to survive.

On the other hand, it’s also natural for us to hide away from scary things, from the truth.
Like people who simply deny climate change, or they do lightly accept it, but they don’t accept humans as the cause.
If anyone has had a spell cast upon them so brilliantly, it’s these people.
The very fact they can’t grasp the idea that humans would have an impact on the environment is an astounding example of the spell words can cast.
Of course we have an impact. And that doesn’t make us unique; all species have an impact on the environment!

Why would humans be immune from making an impact on it?
Oh right, yea, because we talk ourselves into thinking we’re outside of nature, or nature is outside of us.

I don’t believe the bigger changes can happen until we become more conscious as a collective of ourselves being within the thing we call nature.
I think people might be more prone to take positive action if we did away with all the illusions.

Because the truth is, humans are a force of nature.

When something gets called a force of nature, it’s usually something to do with the weather, something ‘mother nature’ does that humans have no control over.
A force of nature may also be used for those fiercest of non-human animals.

Humans are a force of nature for bad, and one hopes for good too.

If we acknowledge we are a force of nature along with our ability to be conscious of the force we bring, with the attitude of using that force more sustainably and become more conscious of our roles within the whole (nature & the ecosystem. Or Everything,) maybe we’d find more people actually give a shit and start caring about our impact on the environment.

Or maybe it’s a pipe dream.

We need to fight for more access to land and end the exclusion cult Nick Hayes mentions in his work The Book Of Trespass.

For the right to access not just in the hopes of nurturing more care in humans for the earth, but also for our health for reasons you can read in Losing Eden: Why our minds need the Wild by Lucy Jones.

And because we all need to become carpenters despite not really knowing if it’s going to work.

I found this quote on Quora:

If there was ever a quote that emphasises we’re in it, and this is our home yet also the place that could and will kill us, it’s this:

‘…We’re in an even stranger position now, essentially carpenters in a crumbling house we neither built nor fully understand, blindly hammering at walls hoping it will help keep us alive a few more minutes.’

Jeff Collin

Quora

‘The Natural world is the refuge of the spirit, remote, static, richer even than the human imagination. But we cannot exist in this paradise without the machine that tears it apart.’

Edward O Wilson Biophilia

After all that, all I can ask is, do we want to become gardners or do we want to be the machine that only tears it all apart?
The machine is here to stay. We can not exist without it.
But will we garden around the machine?

The language and walls that divide us

As I learn more about our segregation from the natural world outside of human nature, I have solidified some beliefs I already held.

One of those beliefs is that our separation from nature is a linguistic barrier.

Language has power, and the utterance of mere words can cast a spell over us.

But what I had only vaguely recognised before was something writer Nick Hayes put into words in his work, ‘The book of Trespass: Crossing the lines that divide us.’

He had found a spot where he’d seen his first ever kingfisher, and like many of us after our first sighting of such an exotic looking bird, it was a place where he’d wish to return and share that space with his mother.
So one day, he goes for a walk with his mother, aiming toward that spot.

‘There’s a lightning-cracked willow with a wild beehive, a deserted house almost entirely sunk in clematis and honeysuckle…’

Nick Hayes The book of Trespass

He says of the spot in question.

But he never got to that spot with his mother because a man came along and uttered the words, ‘You’ve no right to be here. You’re trespassing.’

‘Without a moments thought, we apologised and left the land.’

The book of trespass

‘It was as if his words had cast a spell that had tied our feet and dragged us away.’

The book of trespass

The land sounded all but abandoned from human interference but for maybe the trespassing footprints of walkers like Nick Hayes himself.

The book calls into question the very notion of trespass and points out how little access we the ‘plebs’ have to land outside of our brick and mortar zoos.
Throughout the book, we follow him through journeys of trespassing land we’re not supposed to step foot on.
We’re not talking back gardens, but acres of land that are cut off to us for no discernable reason than someone owns the land because they can afford it or got it passed down from long-dead relatives, not because they should or because they’re doing something with it.

As humans, we seem to have an uncanny knack for making ourselves feel like trespassers on earth.

It’s no wonder that the world outside of our homes and high streets has been stolen from right beneath our noses.

The words ‘man-made’ are not problematic themselves because if a human made something, it is ‘man-made’.
Just as a bird nest is ‘bird-made.’

But we don’t talk like that, we don’t say bird made, we say it’s a bird nest, and we put that in the category of ‘natural.’
When we say the words ‘man-made,’ it’s almost always said with an implicit idea that it’s not within the category of ‘natural.’

And if you think about it, I mean give it some thought. Isn’t that a linguistic wall we’ve built?
Couldn’t talk like this start to make us feel like trespassers on the very world we evolved on?

I think the answer is a resounding YES! I believe it’s already happened.

There are signs all over the land in the physical world telling us not to trespass, and we’re to stick to public rights of way’ and parks.

And then to further burden us with our alienation from the world ‘out there,’ the very language we use in everyday contexts further the divide.

Rewilding & Disability: A dark idea

Winter is a glimpse of what death is. 

You can see the trees skeletons and rotting branches that have fallen and snapped. The leaves accumulated on the ground, the veins stripped away from the flesh. They look like veins holding onto wet tissue paper. 

And I know this is the cycle of life, and I know if I genuinely want to say I love nature I’m supposed to still find some beauty in it. 

I know it’s the cycle of life. I know the leaves that fall become food, and along the way, all the waste becomes nutrients that go back to the trees that lost them. 

And I know that those brown, tissue papery leaves with their skeletal veins are fuel for the spring to come. 

Life renewed. 

Yet, today, I find no hope in the idea of life renewed. 

A part of me wishes I never immersed myself in my interests of the nature outside my window. 
That I never tried to embark on a journey to nurture the interest to its full potential. 

To use an analogy to planting seeds that then fail to grow, that’s what it feels like. 

I’ve tried to plant the seeds, and I’ve wanted to nurture the roots so that something grows only to grow increasingly Depressed and disappointed at the world instead. 

It seems there is no room for disability in a wilder world. 

The ‘rewilding’ communities don’t appear to consider mobility problems; we are not a part of that world. 

The very thing that is supposed to enrich the health of people is cut off from us. Even if there is a place just up the road, it’s no use to you in a wheelchair if there is no way to get there. 

All the talk of nature helping people with different conditions mostly seems to come from people who have the mobility to do so. 

If you’re disabled unless you can afford expensive all-terrain mobility gear and have the space to keep such equipment, there aren’t many ‘wild’ places we can get to. 

If you don’t have a local place to rent the equipment or the storage space while renting it, renting is also a problem. 

There is no one more trapped in a capitalistic nightmare, than those who can’t even afford to get to a local bit of ‘wilderness.’  

A dark thought keeps occurring to me, an idea I wonder if people have silently had but dare not speak it. 

Is disability & illness the thing that holds us in our ‘civilisation?’ 

In this context, I’m using ‘civilisation’ as a negative, something that strips away from us the wilderness.

Without our ‘civilised’ ways, there is no way many people could survive. 

So, I live with this contradiction of a man who wants to get more ‘wild,’ and the man who can’t. 

The truth is, we’ve been lied to. 

We’ve been sold ideals that we can somehow solve a climate crisis and still live similarly. 

If we use so-called ‘green energy,’ things will be fine. 

If we plant trees after flying to combat our carbon emissions, we’re doing something. 

If we make so-called wild paths, we can live in harmony with other species. 

We can use technology to help the environment. 

I always cringe and feel irritated when I come across climate change deniers, but I also understand why they’re pulling the wool over their eyes. 

At least in their view, they can carry on as before. 

But, for the people who speak out about climate change, they still try to sell us something. 

They call it progress. 

A greener future. 

I’ve wanted to believe them; I want to believe them. 

But I don’t. 

I’m angry at them though. 

I feel as though I’m mourning the loss of something, except it was all a lie. 

I now see it this way; I have two options: 

  1. I accept there is no hope and live a ‘civilised’ life. Accept the fate of many species, including maybe man too, are going to continue to decline. Accept that all I can do is watch as it unfolds. 
  2. Accept there is no hope for me. Accept that humans need to change so drastically our lifestyles, people like me will be phased out.

There is only nature & we should make friends with death

”Nature’ itself is problematic as a word because, of course, we are part of nature even if we don’t think we are or accept we are, so in a way, it solidifies the separation between people and the rest of the living world.’

Lucy Jones – Losing Eden: Why our minds need the wild.

Throughout the book before the quote above, I kept making notes on bits that irritated me. For example, all the times we were described as ‘separated’ from ‘nature.’

What I’ve been saying for a long time now to long-suffering friends, support workers & family is, there is no such thing as ‘unnatural.’
That the very word ‘nature’ and how it gets used provides an illusion that we are separate to the world ‘out there.’

People look at me like I’m insane when I say there is no such thing as unnatural. Inevitably someone will bring up the bad things humans do, like murder, rape, torture etc.
Often people also get agitated and dig in their heels with arguments.

When I then reply that, yes even those things are not unnatural, I then get accused of defending those actions. This shows me that we have created an illusion, maybe even as far as a delusion, that, ‘Nature’ means good, and ‘unnatural’ means bad.

The same delusion applies to people who will only buy ‘natural’ products,
things like ‘Natural’ deodorant, natural cosmetics etc.
Their heart is often in the right place, and I’m not saying what they buy is necessarily bad (it can be better than the other more ‘mainstream’ stuff.) But they too, have separated themselves off via language.
Believing that all the other stuff that may well be bad for us, is unnatural, and so will only buy anything with a label that says, ‘natural.’

Another group of people who like to categorise things into ‘natural’ and ‘unnatural’ are people who bang on about ‘natural’ medicine, anti vaxers and the like.
‘I won’t put into my body all those chemicals!’ They cry.
The word ‘Chemicals’ also becoming analogous to ‘bad.’

You can swap the word unnatural in more religious communities and call it ‘evil’ instead.

Why do we homo sapiens, feel a need to shun the world outside of our illusions, delusions and windows?

Could our fear of death be a reason?

‘Psychologists have suggested that human consciousness of death can lead to an ambivalence towards nature, a recoiling away from our creatureliness.’

Lucy Jones – Losing Eden: Why our minds need the wild.


‘The urge to withdraw from nature and it’s untameable natural forces – decay and the fragility of life – might well be part of the drive to deny death.’ Lucy Jones – Losing Eden: Why our minds need the wild.

Lucy Jones – Losing Eden: Why our minds need the wild.

It’s been a personal observation of mine that people like to deny death.
I’ve seen it and felt it in myself, and I have seen it and heard it from others in conversations.
Having reoccurring depression, with suicidal thoughts, death isn’t always the thing that gets to me the most. It’s the suffering; it’s the thought of the people, and other loved animals death, rather than my own that hurts.

Though I worry about the dying process, it’s the potential pain before the death that gets me anxious.

I’ve never been able to deny death outright as I observe in others.
It comes out in many ways like religion and the idea of heaven, ghosts, spirits coming back as animals, the very vague ‘gone to a better place,’ phrase that gets used etc.

Living in built-up areas, cities and the like, people can ignore what we call the ‘wilderness.’
And there is a term used by psychologists I found out in the book, called, ‘Terror management theory.’

In the context of talking about what a team of psychologists found in studies, Lucy Jones says:


‘The team saw the ambivalence and avoidance of nature as a ‘terror management process.’ Nature seemed to remind most people about their death, and the existential terror related to it, and led to the shunning of the natural environment.’

And according to these psychologists the people who had a visual preference for ‘wild settings,’ could have their preference weakened by reminding them of their mortality.

I can certainly think of and remember many times where I have noticed that shunning the outer world appears to have a lot to do with avoidance and fear of death.

I have been thinking for a while now that I feel like I need to, and maybe it turns out, others too, need to make ‘friends with death,’ before we can truly love the world outside of our human-made things.

Man & the elements

The other day, I wrote about the winter clothing I was wearing to go out in the UK’s winter weather.
And it hit me when I read it back, and an image of a spaceman came into my head.

The pandemic only adds to that image, I suppose.

I’m on a planet whose elements are ‘hostile’ towards me.

It’s ‘hostile’ or indifferent to all of us, but more so because of my sensitivities.
I get dressed in all my winter gear for what could be considered mild weather compared to other places, much like a spaceman puts on his spacesuit.

Isn’t it funny how we require so much external protection from the world around us as a species? This is a symptom of our intelligence though, not some ‘separation from nature’ that some people like to spout.

To gather our intelligence, we have evolved to solve problems we may have with the elements around us, rather than developed to have some feature within and without helping us.

It’s not that we have no protection from our bodies, we do, and I’m sure things are going on in the body I wouldn’t know about.

I know shivering is a biological mechanism by which our bodies warm us in cold environments.
So it’s not a lack of bodily protection ingrained in us, but it’s lesser than most other mammals say, with their fur.

Birds fluff up when they’re cold, and feathers are great insulators.
In fact it’s hypothesized that feathers evolved first as insulation rather than evolving for the purpose of flight. Flight came later.
(It may be more than a hypothesis at this point, I can’t remember.)

Desmond Morris aptly named us ‘the naked ape’ in his book appropriately titled, ‘The naked ape,’ in 1967; it makes sense that we need to use external materials to combat the elements.

To evolve our intelligence, we have had to become vulnerable physically.
We then use that evolved intelligence to build and make material goods like clothes.

The ‘concrete jungles’ we create aren’t separate from nature. Which is something spread a lot by environmentalists and anyone else who sees themselves as ‘one with nature.’
Although I’m not defending our ‘concrete jungles.’
I don’t think their the best of places for our mental health.

But the truth is those concrete jungles are extensions of our nature as ugly as they may be. And maybe that’s what’s so infuriating and disgusting about it.

Our homes aren’t separate from nature at all; they’re an attempt at protection from the elements!

I’m careful here to keep using the word ‘elements’ rather than the word ‘nature’ when saying such things as those above like, ‘we have evolved to solve problems we may have with the elements around us.’

Nature is an umbrella term we use all the time.

But I like to be more specific. I like to point out that there can be no separation from nature, even in our built-up homes of bricks!

Really what people are arguing we get back to are the elements.
We’re wanting to get back to being more at ease with them in the hopes that we can fix a problem we have created.

Because if we could just get back to that, then maybe we could take up less space, perhaps we could use less carbon, and maybe we could be more conscious of our impact on the planet we’re a part of.

Our intelligence, along with other bodily mechanisms then, is analogous to downy feathers.
We use our intelligence much like birds use those feathers, and we use it to keep our vulnerable, naked bodies warm.
Hell, we even use downy feathers in some of our coats to keep us warm.

And it’s our intelligence that lined those coats with those feathers.

Though the elements always find a way.

And it’s the elements we’re always fighting.

But here is food for thought, that right there is what we have in common with all the other animals on this planet.

We, as humans may need to learn all over again new ways of being involved in the world, we’re in, while not being so destructive.

Not for any sentimental reasons of ‘the beauty’ we might ruin, because the world ‘out there’ isn’t just a wallpaper that is just a luxury to have and look at.

No, but because we are within that stuff we call ‘nature’ ‘out there’, and we depend on it, we rely on it as much as any other animal.

But then I ask, can we even help ourselves?

January 06 2021: Treecreeper

Today I woke up at about 7:45 am, and then I debated in my head whether I could be bothered to get up yet.
I would usually roll back over and go back to sleep at this point, but I’d got it into my head that I needed to try waking up earlier and going outside.
That if I could get my arse out of my pit, even just one morning a week, I’d see more variety of birds.

So after curling up under the warmth of the bed covers and watching my fingers as I spread them out, I thought, ‘Fuck it, I’ll go outside.’

It was about 8:30 by the time I finally got out the door, maybe a bit later.

My breath trailed out ahead of me; the grass was frosty, and the pavements were full of iced-over puddles.
I didn’t take my chair; I walked with my fold-up stool at the ready to sit and rest.
I can walk with a crutch, but not very far before needing to stop.

I leant on a few lamposts, watched a few Jackdaws jumping from branches up a tree.

A few other people were out walking, one or two getting into their cars and vans to go to work that can’t be done from home.
I felt something trying to pull me back home every time I came across another person I might need to interact with.
But I pushed on till I finally got to where I was headed.

Once I got to the bit of woodland, I was aiming for, no human around, only the slight sound of one or two people in the distance I instantly felt more relaxed.
I sat on my camping stool next to a tree stump and simply sat there.

I heard a few birds twittering and saw the flash of small birds as they whizzed by, too quickly to identify.
Then I saw something jerkily moving around the bark of a tree; I lifted my eyes to a tree across from me, not too close, not too far away from me.
And there it was, a Treecreeper.

It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a Treecreeper, but they were on my ‘want to see list.’

The only downside was that I didn’t have my camera with me. I need to figure out a way of carrying my camera without it being too heavy to allow me to take the camping stool.
I can’t get to this bit of woodland in my wheelchair, I could get most of the way there, but then I would have to leave it out in the open. And that would cause me more anxiety than it’s worth.

If anyone has any ideas on how to manage this, feel free to give me ideas.

One idea I do know of is to take a smaller lens out with me, but I’d need to improve my ‘fieldcraft’ so I can get closer otherwise, the bird would be a dot, and probably a blurry one.

When I got home, my boots were muddy, which gave me a satisfying feeling.

Then I went back to bed for an hour before waking the bird up.

My place, where is it?

Currently reading, ‘Losing Eden: Why our minds need the wild.’ By Lucy Jones. 

She notes that time spent with nature helped her mental health, that it helped her stay clean from drug use as a recovering addict. 

‘During and after time spent in the allotment or the garden, I felt happy, upbeat, less stressed and generally more positive.

…..I put this down to the physical exercise, time to myself, the curious magic of botany…’ 


She goes on to say, 

‘In fact, there was likely to be a biological reason too, at least in part. I saw a poster on a Facebook parenting group. 

‘Get dirty,’ it proclaimed. 

‘Exposure to soil bacteria Mycobacterium vaccae is like a natural antidepressant.” 

And added, ‘As far back as the 1760’s, soil was thought to have a curative effect on the mentally ill.’ 

I found this interesting as someone who has suffered for a long time from mental illness. 

I don’t think my Depression developed as I got older, but was already there as a kid.  

I remember silent moments where, even as a kid, there was quiet desperation inside of me. 

Was that Autism? Or Depression? 

It’s got me thinking because as a child I spent a lot of times in the woods, rolling around on grass verges pretending to be in the army etc. 
You could hardly say that my childhood was bereft of ‘nature & dirt.’  
I used to walk the dogs with my dad. 
And I remember collecting a bucket of tadpoles and carrying it home, swapping hands between a friend and me because it was heavy to take all that way. 

Yet my Depression persisted. 

In my later teenage years though, I guess you could say the Depression started to spiral unchecked by a ‘connection to nature,’ the time in the woods soon became zero although that was because of ill health physically. 

Inspired by what I was reading and to be honest, starting to feel pretty desperate in myself with Depression, I ventured outside the last the two days and purposely put my hand in soil. I peeled off some moss from a rock and scrunched it in my hand; I could smell that earthly smell you get from soil coming off it. And that smell transferred to my fingers. 

And it seemed to bring me back to my senses somewhat, after a desperate day of wondering if death would be better. 

In her book she also mentions ‘Awe’ and how studies have shown that:

‘Unsurprisingly, Keltner(a researcher) found that awe increases happiness and lowers stress.’ 

Also, apparently, 

‘Awe is actually a common experience: People tend to experience awe on average two and half times a week…….

Older people experience more awe, and so do women.’ 

Reading all this, it got my mind whirring again. 

When was the last time I felt awe? 

Because the truth is, I don’t think I feel much awe at all.

I’d go as far as to say I’ve only felt it at least twice in my life. 

And even those times I’m not so sure. 

So-called ‘awe’ inducing activities don’t seem to create awe in me, or if they do, I don’t recognise it for what it is. 

Is this an Autism thing? A depressive thing? Or both? 

It’s as if all the ‘pleasure centres’ of my brain are turned off, and only occasionally turned very slightly on.

When I was a teenager, I thought I might be a psychopath, so I would say fucked up shit to people because I was testing my psychopathy. 

But I learnt that I had an overwhelming capacity for guilt and remorse and empathy. 

Empathy to the point I drove myself and still drive myself insane. To the point that my empathy isn’t helpful to others, so from that point of view my actions or lack of actions can appear like psychopathy. .  

So far the book has made me question what the fuck this means for me and my place in this world. 

Disability & The elements

I put on my heated ‘outer vest’, my coat and my gloves that make it look I’m on a trip to the artic and don’t forget my waterproof pants!
The cold gets to me fast due to my heart condition and so I take all the warmth I can get, even if it’s in the milder conditions of the UK.
The truth is I don’t think I’d survive if I went on my travels to the artic, even with these gloves and the heated vest!

But I’m not there so I guess that fact doesn’t much matter, still the idea of how vulnerable I am to the elements compared to ‘normal’ humans does weigh me down sometimes.
Because I like to think of myself as someone who is at least, just a little bit, rugged. But that’s not really true. Because I’m an anxious being who struggles to be ‘stoic’ even in the most basic of problems! That’s the catch with having Severe Depression and Autism and all the physical complications to add on.

The catch is that across the bridge where the man stands that I want to be, is a bridge I’m not capable of crossing. I somehow have to let go of that image and create a new one but I can’t seem to let it go.
I’m that guy that reads western novels because of the connection to men sleeping in the elements and being ‘tough’ ‘rough’ and ‘rugged.’ The portrayal of characters with stiff upper lips who do what needs to be done.

I’m also the guy that reads books about real life men and women who took to the ‘wilderness’ to live their lives or at least live on the ‘edges of society.’
And tends to enjoy fiction set on farms where the farmers women and men alike are coarse and know the lay of the land.

I’m reading a book at the moment called, Homesick: why I live in a shed by Catrina Davies
 It’s about a Woman who doesn’t have enough money to get by in our capitalistic society.
She writes that she’s terrified of everything, which I can relate to. Still, she manages to do things despite that, that I sure couldn’t do.
She also writes about how there is a gap in what she imagines and what the results of her actions lead to, which I heavily relate to!

She writes

‘The truth was that I was scared of everything. The reason I seemed brave was that I was always terrified.
Everything brought me out in a sweat.
Sleeping on the top of a mountain on my own in a thunderstorm was no worse than ringing around for car insurance. It meant I couldn’t always tell if something was actually dangerous.’

Homesick: Why I live in a shed by Catrina Davies. Chapter: Where I lived and what I lived for

‘As usual, there was a great gulf between what I could see in my mind’s eye and the fruit of my labour in the actual physical world, and the gulf was full of crushing disappointment.’

Homesick: Why I live in a shed by Catrina Davies. Chapter Furniture

Yet despite her confessions of being terrified of everything and living in disappointment about her own achievements I still can’t help but feel a bit jealous, resentful even.
She is ‘skint’ and fearful but she acts on what she wants. She even says that she is so fearful of everything that this can lead her to not really understanding what is really dangerous.

I guess I could say the same for myself, my brain doesn’t seem to fully comprehend what is less dangerous and more dangerous. Everything just is dangerous.
For her it leads to action, I guess that comes from a place of not knowing what is dangerous, feeling everything is dangerous and so just doing it anyway!
For me it leads to lack of action.

I’m thinking all this while I’m sat under a shower of sleet. My hood and my cap sheltering my face from much of the wetness.
I’m on one of my little meditative times in the woods just next to where I live. Sat on a little camping stool, watching and listening to a nuthatch.

I’m thinking how some people who may not be classed as ‘privileged’ have a privilege I don’t seem to have. Like the author I mentioned above, she has the mobility and strength in body to deal with the elements, enough so that she can live in an unheated shed.
And I’m pondering on how that isn’t practical for the likes of me, yet a part of me wishes it could at least be an option.
If not for any other reason but to feel like less of a hypocrite when it comes to my so called ‘care’ for wildlife and nature in general.

It seems to me that once we’re caught in the capitalistic trap there isn’t an easy way out of it. There are ways, but they’re not accessible to me.
And so a feeling of hopelessness set over me. I am trapped.
What does it mean to live more ‘naturally,’ (I could go on and on about the words ‘naturally’ and ‘natural’ and what they imply but I’ll leave that for another time.)
A lot of it seems to mean, in literature about ‘getting back to nature’, being more physical in the world, as in getting down and dirty, doing physical labour with the land.
And so I read these books because I enjoy them but then also with each page I turn there is also a gulf I feel separating me further and further away from these authors in which I claim to have an interest in common with.
I end thinking, ‘Where does this leave me?’

It’s a question that comes up a lot for me. Reading from people who are living on the ‘fringes’ of society (not sure why people say the fringes of society, it’s more like the periphery of society), sometimes gives me a feeling that I’m living on the fringes of the fringes of society.
In some ways I am part of ‘normal’ society. I live in a ‘normal’ flat. In the sense that it’s built with bricks. I have a TV in the corner as many living rooms do.
But then at the same time I’m not quite apart of it. Some of it through choice because there are so many elements of ‘society’ I don’t want to partake in, that I can’t for the life of me understand the appeal of and some of it through no choice of my own. (Choice is another complicated subject I could also rant about though!)

The sleet has got into my moustache and some flakes dangle off the ends and for a moment I enjoy the idea of looking like a man who lives in the wilderness. Then I wipe my nose because it’s running from the cold and the sleet gets removed from my moustache in the process.
Then I go back to the ‘civilised’ warmth of a building built with bricks and look after the budgie that I care for.

Hide diary: Another Jay picture?

Why yes, of course.

Taken today.

Due to the time and lighting they’re a bit ‘noisy’

Here are the photos in colour and then B&W

I don’t think this is my usual Jay. Seems more shy. But they’re here for the nuts.
Also, how cute are they here?
Same photo as above but in black & white.
watching out for peanuts!




Hide diaries: The Jay from May 2020

I like Corvids in general. 

But, in case you didn’t already know…

I especially love the Eurasian Jay. I am pathologically obsessed with these birds. 

We have Common Ravens Corvus Corax, Common Crow Corvus corone, Jackdaws Corvus Monedula, just to a name the most common well-known birds in the Corvid family. 

And then we have Garrulus glandarius. 

As if it needed anything to make it stand out even more from the other Corvids! 

Here are some pictures of the Jay that visits my garden regularly, showing off why he warrants a name to stand out with!