As the solstice approaches, I write with a few short updates.
Holiday trees and gratitude in The New York Times:
Fir trees, olive oil, yule logs: the aromas of holiday traditions evoke deep memories. I write about the ecological meanings of these experiences today in an op-ed.
Recommended reading short-list for the winter:
The following essays and books are, I think, important and beautiful. Well worth your time:
Two essays by David Abram in the amazing new Emergence Magazine. Magic and the machine and Creaturely migrations on a breathing planet.
To Those Who Were Our First Gods, a new chapbook by poet Nickole Brown.
Lauret Savoy‘s Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape.
Michael McCarthy‘s The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy.
Reader, Come Home. The Fate of the Reading Brain in a Digital World by Maryanne Wolf.
The Songs of Trees and The Forest Unseen are both available in paperback:
In local, independent bookstores. Find one at IndieBound
Also: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, iBooks
Many thanks! I send my best wishes for the solstice season.
Responses from Australia: from a friend in Perth about to head on a 5 day drive back to the NSW south coast: unlikely to come across scents on the Nullarbor (yes, imaginatively named) reminiscent of northern Europe; from a farm in Tasmania: the smell of eucalyptus after rain (is far from pine resin); and from NSW, those scents of an English childhood mark the divide between this really ancient continent and the new forests of post-glacial Europe. Thanks David, as always making us ponder beyond the mundane.
Thank you, John! Contrasts in time, indeed, especially in the N of Europe — a very young ecosystem.
Just stopping by to say that I absolutely love The Forest Unseen, and I have lost count of my re-readings. There is so much to cherish in that book. Imagine my delight when I finally did a little googling today and discovered there’s another book now! I just purchased The Songs of Trees and very much look forward to reading it. Please carry on … your writing creates a special place in the universe for those who love and respect nature.
“My conscious brain catches up later, adding a patina of language.” Gorgeous as always. When my wife and I went to Fundy National Park in New Brunswick, Canada, we stepped out of the car and were surrounded by spruce and fir. We said, “It smells wonderful. Just like a candle!” Only slightly ashamed and greatly amused that we knew the candle before we knew the tree.