Saturday, December 24, 2016

An Invitation to Wander

Earlier this year I read the book Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature, written by Alva Noe, who is a philosopher—so he is approaching art, psychology, and neuroscience as a practitioner of none of these fields. However, unlike most philosophers, he can actually write, so when he does have an interesting insight into the relationship between art and human nature, he expresses it well.

Noe writes that "pictures organize our lives by shaping a communicative landscape in which we are wanderers." I love that landscape/wanderer metaphor. Although he singles out "pictures," his idea can be applied to any art: music, dance, poetry...all of these shape that "communicative landscape in which we are wanderers." I would argue that they are the "communicative landscape," and that it's the artist/musician/poet who does the shaping (and who is no less a wanderer). But I quibble.

Haiku and tanka are the ultimate "communicative landscapes" in which one can wander. As a way of exploring reality/realities, reshaping perception, offering new cognitive experiences, short-form poetry hits all the marks. I am so glad I have this practice in my life, this almost daily way of creating for myself a place in which to wander.


more than this
reedsilver lakelight
not until
we relearn
how to see

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