Winter Reading: Wild

February 07, 2012

Not a whole lot of time for reading these days, but I make an effort. There is SO much out there that I want to read, but I would need another lifetime to get to it all!

I am currently reading Wild: An Elemental Journey by Jay Griffiths. I recently became aware of Griffiths through this reading she did for Orion Magazine. Although I have not finished yet, Wild is proving to be an astonishing, revelatory read.

Wild is the result of several years of research and travel. Griffiths spent time with various indigenous cultures in South America, the Arctic, and Australia, to name a few. The book explores the idea of wild, our engagement with it as humans. It's part travelogue, academic examination, and part damning treatise on the effects our (Western) culture, and specifically that of Christian missionary work, has had on the environment and indigenous cultures.

 This may sound like a downer of a read, but it's not. It's a rallying cry on the level of Silent Spring that shows how much we have to learn from the natural world, and the ancient cultures that have been living in harmony with it for thousands of years.


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