"...at times we just hear them more clearly." - Rainer Maria Rilke
We started off our Environmental Literature course with a little extra "environment" immersion to go along with our literature immersion. Big Rock Falls (in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve) is always a favorite place for the semester, and a place that "sings" God more clearly for us to hear.
Given all the rain we've had in the recent past, the waterfall was mighty and roaring. We swam in the pool at the base of the falls, sat up on the rocks, and marveled at its magnificence.
The rest of the week professor Fred Bahnson helped us marvel at some of the great authors that American literature has to offer: Annie Dillard, Wendell Berry, Edward Abbey, Henry David Thoreau, Rachel Carson, John Muir, Aldo Leopold, and more. We discussed their works, questioned them, did our best to comprehend them, disagreed with them, opened our minds a bit more, and allowed them to inform our world views. They have seen a lot of different versions of America than we have, and there is much to be learned in their writing about both our past and our future, and what sorts of things we should be asking and doing in the present.
During night class, we spent time around the campfire, reading shorts stories and poems from Jane Kenyon, Billy Collins, William Stafford, Scott Cairns, Hafiz, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Wendell Berry. It was an atmosphere advantageous to getting our minds into a different frame for a few hours. Although poetry can seem cryptic and daunting for some of us, Fred did a great job guiding us through some very thought-provoking and enjoyable works.
Thanks for a wonderful and formative week, Fred!
|Big Rock from afar|