Sunday, January 18, 2009

Howling At The Moon

A few years ago, my husband and I went out howling for wolves, with a dozen strangers. It was a clear, cold night -- so cold. Our guide told us to work for discordance, all of us howling on a different pitch, switching keys randomly, to imitate the sound of a wolf pack in full chorus. We always started out that way, but as each group howl drew out at the end, we found we had turned ourselves into a minor chord -- a rich, deep chord, something Bach would recognize. In a clearing, surrounded by pines that cut the shape of wolves sitting on their haunches, the wolves answered our chorus -- a full pack-howl coming from behind the wolf-trees. I have never loved my husband more deeply. More than that, I loved all those strangers that night. I didn't know a thing about them but I loved them.

I have come to believe that natural beauty can be the ground of human connection, and the richer your experience of the natural world, the richer your experience of the people around you. When we alienate ourselves from the natural world, we alienate ourselves from fundamental parts of ourselves, and become lesser -- and impoverish our relationsips with ohther people, too, because we have less to give.

~Kathleen Dean Moore quoted in How Shall I Live My Life: On Liberating the Earth from Civilization by Derrick Jensen.

Picture found here.

Moore describes the experience in more detail here.

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