Curled Toward the Sea
My Sip was largely an opportunity to explore the relationship between human beings and our natural environment through the medium of poetry. It was, and is a personal gift to have the opportunity to bring words to my feelings and thoughts regarding this relationship, but it was also meant to be a way I could contribute to a larger discussion, and a way to explore and challenge the way we conceptualize our relationship with the earth. I chose the Deep Ecology movement/philosophy as a starting place for my explorations for a number of reasons. Deep Ecology, as a way of thinking, feeling and acting in the world, challenges the anthropocentric way of life, and encourages an ecocentric one instead. It is not about valuing a blade of grass over a human life; it isn't even about arguing which has more value, or more right to be alive. It is about learning to conceptualize our environment as not inseparable from ourselves, not in a touchy-feely, happy hippie way, but as a recognition of the interconnectedness of all life. It is about the respect that must be encouraged, fostered and remembered in order to honor our place in this interconnectedness in such a way that we do not destroy the earth out of arrogance, greed, fear, or ignorance. Deep Ecology, as opposed to 'Shallow' Ecology refers to the belief that Deep Ecology is a tool to ask the deeper questions regarding the relationship between human and nature. Part of this 'deeper' questioning process challenges our established segregation between "human" and "nature". This process is about learning to see the earth as not just a collection of very helpful and essential resources made for our survival, but as something that has intrinsic, or inherent value. Keeping this in mind, it is not about "becoming the wind" or "being one with the tree" to name a couple of phrases that people quickly write off as fluffy and naive. It isn't about being a plant. It is about respecting the difference, remembering the connection, and honoring this connection through conscientious action, thought and feeling in such a way that we do not 'conquer' or 'tame' nature, but live in humble process within it. As Gary Snyder, poet and Deep Ecologist writes in Deep Ecology For the 21 st CentuD'. "it requires embracing the other as VI oneself and stepping across the line- not "becoming one" or mixing things up but holding the sameness and difference delicately in mind".