Big busy business,
where is the heart?
So I went to the trees
and sat to hear the breeze
in their leaves watching
the birds fly in the distance
for a flight or a cure
A snail went by with its house
leaving a liquid songline behind
I didn’t know where the laughter
was coming from
until it lightly filled me up.
“Landscape is still often understood as a noun connoting fixity, scenery, an immobile painterly decorum*. I prefer to think of the word as a noun containing a hidden verb: landscape scapes, it is dynamic and commotion causing, it sculpts and shapes us not only over the courses of our lives but also instant by instant, incident by incident. I prefer to take ‘landscape’ as a collective term for the temperature and pressure of the air, the fall of light and its rebounds, the textures and surfaces of rock, soil and building, the sounds (cricket screech, bird cry, wind through trees), the scents (pine resin, hot stone, crushed thyme) and the uncountable other transitory phenomena and atmospheres that together comprise the bristling presence of a particular place at a particular moment.
– Robert MacFarlane (The Old Ways)
* ‘Landscape’ is a late-sixteenth-century (1598) anglicization of the Dutch word landschap, which had originally meant a ‘unit or tract of land’, but which in the course of the 1500s had become so strongly associated with the Dutch school of landscape painting that at the point of its anglicization its primary meaning was ‘a painterly depiction of scenery’: it was not used to mean physical landscape until 1725.”