Empathy

Responses to the essay Poetry-Science Gratitude Duet by Alison Hawthorne Deming and Frederick J. Swanson

Empathy

Part 5: Responses to the essay Poetry-Science Gratitude Duet by Alison Hawthorne Deming and Frederick J. Swanson

Sitting at Watershed 2

Sit in the forest for a day with no agenda. Swim naked in the creek. Sleep under the stars. The only thing that is required is that you pay attention. Take yourself out of your head: It might take a few days. Stay. Speak little, or not at all. Stay until you feel at ease with the silence. Stay until you hear the rustle of something small in the distance. Stay until you hear the creek start to speak. Stay until you see the trees as more alive than you’ve ever seen them; until the light on the water creates an infinite array of patterns that holds you riveted; until your skin begins to smell like the rocks drying in the sun; until you recognize the space that contains the stars at night. Then you will know that the forest and you are not, and never were, separate. Once this happens, it can never be undone.

Now, pay attention to the questions that you begin to ask.

Sitting at Watershed 2 in the Spring

Part 5

Responses to the essay Poetry-Science Gratitude Duet by Alison Hawthorne Deming and Frederick J. Swanson in Forest Under Story Edited by Nathaniel Brodie, Charles Goodrich and Frederick J. Swanson

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