March 23, 2016

from “Landscape and Narrative” by Barry Lopez

I think of two landscapes—one outside the self, the other within. The external landscape is the one we see—not only the line and color of the land and its shading at different times of the day, but also its plants and animals in season, its weather, its geology, the record of its climate and evolution…..One learns a landscape finally not by knowing the name or identity of everything in it, but by perceiving the relationships in it—like that between the sparrow and the twig….


The second landscape I think of as an interior one, a kind of projection within a person of a part of the exterior landscape….the speculations, intuitions, and formal ideas we refer to as “mind” are a set of relationships in the interior landscape with purpose and order…..The interior landscape responds to the character and subtlety of an exterior landscape; the shape of the individual is affected by land as it is by genes. Barry Lopez from his essay:

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