Tuesday, February 19, 2013

colors of nature / part 1 response


After reading the introduction to this book, I had a vague expectation of what the contents would be like. Well– technically I guess my understanding of the introduction was influenced by “earthbound” and “Tarsenna’s Defiance Garden” because I read those first. In any case, I felt like the introduction should serve as my key (like key on a map) for the rest of the book– like the main components and ideas covered were all presented in this intro and that as I went along with the reading I would recognize themes that were hinted at and now expanded upon. Don’t know if this makes sense. I have a weird headache right now. Basically I read the intro and it made me think this anthology (is that what this is? Is that the right word?) was all about certain things. But after finishing Part 1, it seems like it’s about a lot of things, more than just the difference between white and non-white people’s relationship with nature, or respect for the earth, or seeing nature as either one with or separate from oneself, or the way [white] people colonize everything and give names and narratives to things that already have names and narratives in order to feel comfortable and secure in their surroundings. Basically I now see that there are going to be some common themes in a few of these stories but that those themes do not necessarily define every piece in the collection. So far the one that has stuck out to me as being “different” in this way is the Fred Arroyo piece. The descriptions of hard labor and the rest and contentment that accompanied it resonated with my own experiences, which surprised me because I had not been expecting to be able to relate to these stories because I am white and as the introduction suggests, the purpose of this volume is to document specifically non-white experience. “Working in a region of lost names” reminded me of the two summers I worked at the Kroger by my mom’s house, where I spent most of my time sweating in the parking lot tending to flowers and customers and pallets and 40lb. bags of soil that I surely would never have attempted to lift or become good at lifting if I had not worked at Kroger those two summers. These were my first two college summers and I appreciated not being in school more than I ever had during high school summers. Unlike the school year, during which I felt like a prisoner to coursework that goes on and on, you go to class and then you go home and you have to do work there too, you can’t fall behind or else you’re screwed, semesters are cumulative and even if you had a good streak of doing all the readings for a few weeks it can all be negated by getting mono or just not caring anymore. I hate that school becomes my life. Work, on the other hand, is in this way at least, separate from life– you go to work, and do your work, and then you come home and not only do you not have to do more work, you don’t even have to THINK about work! I realize this isn’t the case with all professions, or any profession, because this was simply a job, Kroger Floral clerk, and that’s why I loved it. My work was all physical labor, and at the end of the day I was satisfyingly exhausted. I never felt like my mind was idle or atrophying from lack of stimulation. On the contrary, being bored was the greatest thing ever! It led me to what actually interested me and most importantly was the complete opposite of what I did during the school year. Anyway, I am now off topic and am just talking about myself. Signing off–

No comments:

Post a Comment