The Memory of Nature

In what we call primordial cultures there was no driving roar of cacophonous city clamor, no skyscrapers that blocked the horizon’s view, nor bright lights that obliterated the starry dome of night’s awe-provoking, mathematical sky. Plainly put, our ancestors were not removed from nature and its continuous outpouring of information. When you have the opportunity to experience the vastness of nature, you become aware of the loudness of silence and its ever-speaking profundity. You gain the liberating perspective of your own smallness and become aware of rhythms and cycles. Not just the obvious change of seasons or climate, but a subtle perception of nature as a living and communicating presence. Plants, animals, stones, sky, metals, water — everything in life is whispering meaning, and with great listening, everything may be understood. That is what a true education is, when that which is being conveyed behind all things is known.

This can’t happen from books alone — there’s not enough time. But knowledge can come from a developed intuition; human beings have access to intuition, but like anything, if not cultivated, it remains unknown.

Art is a way of “knowing,” an intellectual virtue, and intuition and nature are the elder sisters of art. Art doesn’t seek to imitate the look of nature but represent its essence.

– Alonzo King