Everything seems to mention itself
The way people are trees of people
Connected through days as if by a force
Of some huge version of spring let out
That held us there.
-Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror 2, Paul Legault
I am sitting under a sycamore by Tinker Creek. I am really here, alive on the intricate earth under trees. But under me, directly under the weight of my body on the grass, are other creatures, just as real, for whom also this moment, this tree, is “it”… in the top inch of soil, biologists found “an average of 1,356 living creatures in each square foot… I might as well include these creatures in this moment, as best as I can. My ignoring them won’t strip them of their reality, and admitting them, one by one, into my consciousness might heighten mine, might add their dim awareness to my human consciousness, such as it is, and set up a buzz, a vibration…Hasidism has a tradition that one of man’s purposes is to assist God in the work of “hallowing” the things of Creation. By a tremendous heave of the spirit, the devout man frees the divine sparks trapped in the mute things of time; he uplifts the forms and moments of creation, bearing them aloft into the rare air and hallowing fire in which all clays must shatter and burst.
When spiders moved from the water to the land in the Early Devonian period, they started making silk to protect their bodies and their eggs. Spiders gradually started using silk for hunting purposes, first as guide lines and signal lines, then as ground or bush webs, and eventually as the aerial webs that are familiar today
“Coccia views vegetative life not as an inert chemical dream from which we humans have woken up, but as the continuing basis of our ability to reason. The seed is a form of reason because, like the DNA it contains, it carries with it the potential for analysis and a plan of action. The root is a form of reason because it is analogous to the brain. Moving from Platonic, through the medieval, and then to contemporary ideas that guide research on plant intelligence, Coccia finally wants us to imagine roots providing networked subterranean communication, analogous to a nervous system. This allows the Earth to receive information about the cosmos—an image that echoes Daoist ideas of the planet as a living being.
More surprisingly, Coccia posits the flower as the most exemplary form of reason. Giving a strangely practical definition for someone with a philosophical bent, he describes reason as the ability to form matter. In this context the flower becomes an emblem of a side of reason that is neglected in modern rational thought: its role as attractor. The flower, which is able to communicate with “insects, dogs, humans,” represents a type of thought that invests “in the sphere of appearances . . . in order to put different beings in touch with one another.” ”