If you view everything as connected—us as part of, perhaps an attribute or emergent property of our entire, complex, astonishing world, then it cannot be possible to view any part of it as something to be exploited, despoiled, or polluted. Such an attitude in no way conflicts with attentive, respectful use; indeed, that’s a natural process. You trim your nails, you cut your hair; you don’t cut off your feet or tear out your hair.
(Based on a note from November '02)
 Barry Lopez; p. 178 in Crossing Open Ground. New York, Vintage. (1989). 209 pp. ISBN 0-679-72183-5. This quote fascinates me, not because I think it's perfectly true—I have some reservations about it (e.g., the dualism)—but because it encourages me to wonder. (I admit I'm often leery of aphorisms that seem to be undeniable: a thing said beautifully and forcefully can be deceptive and dangerous.)
Photo 1: Entrance to the Whangai–Whenua—Ahi ka exhibition at Te Papa Tongarewa, the Museum of New Zealand. This is the first long term exhibition to open there in the last eight years. If you get the chance to visit, do so. [Click the photo for an enlarged view].
Photo and words © 2006 Pete McGregor