Barry Lopez died today. The uncertainty about life this year has played out consistently. Yet, every time I am taken aback. I expected a few more essays and thoughts coming from the man as the year turned and perhaps a few more reflections when all this is over. It was not to be realized. And he has left too.
On the evening run, I played an old conversation of his. It had him reading excerpts from his writing. On time, on experiences in landscapes and more importantly on the limiting behaviour of words. What do we experience when we try not to word what we are seeing or what we are going through? A silent assimilation that is not worded has the potential to lead us into spaces that we cannot possibly experience in this extremely human-centric world of ours.
Man’s brutal. I have heard him say this. I will add that this brutality knows no restraint. The way we impact, often by plunder and reckless utilization, landscapes and places is striking in its lack of thought. While people anyway end up doing what they want to, and there is hardly a way to hold human greed back, I had wished that voices as Lopez’s remain around for as long as they can.
Lopez leaves me significantly better through his writings. He brought back experiences and shared with those who care, with a sense of responsibility. Listening and reading to him has helped me see a world that is beyond the self. His writing concerned spaces that re not about self-indulgent thoughts, emotions, feelings and the web of concerns that human relationships bring along. His was a stream of ideas I could step into and meet an ocean, vast and deep, instead of the puddle that men wallow in. Of the ‘human condition’ there is ever available amount of writing.
I will miss him for his ideas that broadened my sense of horizon and step into a larger world than the self, without fail, every time!
On the run this evening under an expansive canopy of trees in Cubbon Park as I jogged the trail I remind myself not to forget that there is a larger world beyond the self. And that importance of human life and human condition is blown out of proportion.
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