I’m pleased to have another short essay, “6 Degrees of Interconnection”, published in the latest Orion. Despite the title of the piece, I promise it is 100% Kevin Bacon free.
Here’s a description on the rest of the issue:
“In this issue, Robin Wall Kimmerer explores how language can affirm our kinship with the natural world, and John Landretti considers where the line lies between what is real and what is perceived. Other features include Jeremy Miller on an ecological experiment to create a wilderness area, and Anjali Vaidya on what it means to adapt in a post-colonial world.
Also: poetry by Sierra Golden, Kimiko Hahn, Joan Naviyuk Kane, and James Thomas Stevens; plus Simen Johan’s lush photographs of wild animals and Jesse Chehak’s photographs of luminous water and ice in the North and West Atlantic.”
I had the pleasure of attending the 2015 Bread Loaf Orion conference with Anjali Vaidya, so I’m naturally delighted to have my work featured alongside hers. Titled “Native or Invasive”, Vaidya’s essay navigates two tangled histories, one personal and one floral, arguing how attempts to reduce each to fit easy categories does disservice to their rich complexities. I won’t spoil the piece too much as it’s a great read, but I will highlight one of my favourite parts towards the end:
“Scars have a certain ugliness, in that they never let us forget the underlying shapes of old wounds. They never let us forget that resilience came at the cost of purity; that a body, or a nation, or an ecosystem, will never be able to return to what it used to be. But scar tissue is also what helps us move on after an injury, like the quick-growing plants that cover land after a fire. The adaptations that come with new realities may not be pretty, but I think jugaad can have a beauty of its own.”
– Native or Invasive, Anjali Vaidya
These ideas around native and invasive, purity and corruption, and the power of language to shape intention remind me of other stories I’ve covered on Ekostories, including Emma Marris’ Rambunctious Garden and Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. “Wild and Invasive” makes me reflect upon my own history as a child of a post-colonial society, as an immigrant negotiating between two cultures, and as an urbanite drawn always to the margins of nature. Marvelling at the scar tissue, I suppose.
Featured image from Orion Magazine.