Thursday, May 04, 2006


When was the last time you laid on your back in the grass?

Amy, Kalli and I were playing in the backyard last night when I decided to crash out in the lawn. Two very interesting things happened.

First, there was a very slight but significant psychological shift where I felt I had a whole new perspective on things. I don't even know how to explain it except that we're so used to be 5-6' above the ground all the time, there was a very strange new vantage from that level. Sure I crawl on the floor all time time (especially with a kid and with yoga), but doing it in the dirt is entirely different.

Secondly, I had this weird experience where suddenly it didn't seem like there was just a floor underneath me, but rather that I was on the top of a very thick crust of earth. See, it was like I was on TOP of this massive planet, rather than the earth being just a floor on which to walk. Not sure if that makes one damn bit of sense or not.


isaiah said...

Another interesting perspective you have discovered and have introduced us to.

I find when I'm twisting and contorting myself through boulders, trunks of giant live-oaks, beneath sand dunes to get the perfect perspective for a photograph that I am not separate from the landscape, but part of it.

When we do discover these unique perspectives (hey, it's the grass- we can roll around on it anytime we was second nature as a child, but do we now? No!) we wonder how we ever lost them to begin with.

A very long while back, under the influence of some pretty wicked
hallucinogens, I found myself flat on my back in the grass looking up into the night sky and into a canopy of the most brilliant sparkling stars and experienced the same feeling you write about- the Earth wasn't a floor, but a second I was looking up at the stars and the next- it was morning, the stars had faded away and the sun was beginning to rise. The experience was my first realization of "no-self" coupled with "I Am".

kev said...

good stuff. an ancient connective practice that's been misplaced in most "modern" cultures. definitely dig your comment on photography, isaiah: getting down with the earth, on a "level playing field" if you will.

there are vibrations and rhythms that are useful to us when we're barefoot or touching the earth with our bodies directly. here's another example you might dig:

Andrew said...

Yep. It makes sense. Thanks for posting it.

And Isaiah, yeah... how did we ever lose it to begin with? Or, as some of the mystics would put it, why do we refuse to admit that we've known it all along, and insist on pretending to have forgotten it?

Allison said...

yep, makes sense!

Jon said...

Definitely, sense!

I've got to do that soon. It's been decades!

anonymous julie said...

As it happens, yesterday morning!

Makes all the sense in the world.

As it happens, I just read this passage from Annie Dillard's "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek":

Take just the top inch of soil, the world squirming right under my palms. In the top inch of forest soil, biologists found "an average of 1,356 living creatures present in each square foot . . . had an estimate also been made of the microscopic population, it might have ranged up to two billion bacteria and many millions of fungi, protozoa and algae--in a mere teaspoonful of soil." . . . I might as well include these creatures in the moment, as best I can. My ignoring them won't strip them of their reality, and admitting them, one by one, into my consciousness might heighten mine...

"James" said...

It makes a whole lot of sense.