Saturday, 23 May 2009

Just for a Moment

A few minutes ago I was walking down the lane, past shoulder-high cow parsley on the banks of the beck. I stopped on the bridge to look down at the water flowing over the stones, its patterns always changing, always the same. Walking back, I was surrounded by birdsong. I had an intense feeling which, I realised, I often get when I'm out and about and I suddenly realised what it was. Part of me wanted to go back to being a primitive hunter gatherer, to stop being stretched and twisted out of shape by a synthetic, modern society. (It's odd, I should add, how sometimes a thought which strikes us at a moment of revelation can seem commonplace when we review it afterwards). I just wanted to wander the world, taking what food and shelter I could find. I know it's an irrational feeling. Modern society was built step-by-step by people who started out as primitive hunter gatherers, who were probably driven by intense feelings of their own: that there there had to be alternatives to cold, hunger and uncertainty.
Perhaps I'm wrong to say I wanted to go back and it would be more accurate to say there is a primitive hunter-gatherer in me, trying to get out. Perhaps there is in everybody. Just for a moment out there it seemed desirable to have a lot fewer possessions, fewer words, perhaps, and a simpler view of the world which I didn't need to accept, reject or explain to myself because it was simply the way things were. Living any other way, at that moment, struck me as cumbersome, unnatural and inconvenient to the mind.

8 comments:

Dominic Rivron said...

I should add, that sitting here blogging as the kettle boils, listening to WFMU, modern society seems a lot more attractive. We're nothing if not fickle.

Lyn said...

That is the luxury of our imagination..a thought..a longing..
we'll never stop doing it..
Sometimes we even tell others...it's the poetry in us...

Rachel Fox said...

Yes, I don't think it's irrational. It's natural...to want to be what we really (are in some ways). Then we go home and boil the kettle (and we're all that too).
x

Sandra Leigh said...

I think we are healthier (as individuals and as societies) if we make a little room in our lives for the kind of experience you had. There is life outside the grid (says she who panics if her computer crashes).

The Weaver of Grass said...

Dominic - I think you come from a long line of country folk - mainly Lincolnshire fenland country folk - and that sense of wanting to live "in the middle of a field" "down a hole" etc. is deeply entrenched in our family. Added to which, Springtime, cow parsley and birdsong can be very bewitching - see how you feel next January!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Ah, a cloak, a stout stick, and nothing but the open road/field.

I'd be dead by midnight.

Lisa Allender said...

Wonderful essay on "nature". We miss a great deal being in here, cooped up by our computers, but we also need them, to "connect" across countries, and time.....I enjoy your blog.
Peace, man.

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for these comments, everybody. I would say more, but I better go and dig up the convolvulus (see next post). Ah! The joys of country living! :)