In the midst of ecological catastrophe, indigenous persecution, and the attempted mechanization of the living world, the beauty of the earth remains defiantly vibrant. The voice of the world still speaks in tongues of wind and water, feather and flame, whether we listen or not. Alternately lyric and scientific, critical and moving, Kessler examines the relationships between nature and language, colonial and native cultures, and extinction and memory, and in doing so presents a unique vision of our place in an ancient, fragile living world.
"Ben Kessler is that rarest and most precious of writers, one whose every word is formed and informed by a profound love of the natural world, one whose loyalty is undeniably with the world that is our and everyone else's only home. And he's a hell of a writer. Please read this book, and then put the book away and go outside, transformed." - Derrick Jensen, author of "The Myth of Human Supremacy"
"'The entire ancient earth thinks prodigiously / and the murmur of its great trees grows.' Rilke's lines kept nudging me as I pored over this manuscript. By the time I reached the end, I had the eerie sense that Kessler, a recovering biologist, was somehow channeling Thoreau ('Shall I not have intelligence with the earth?'), Loren Eiseley ('I was water and the unspeakable alchemies that gestate and take shape in water.') and the towering, brilliant indignation of Edward Abbey. I don't normally hold with resurrections, but I'm making an exception with Ben Kessler. Abbey is back." - Calvin Luther Martin, author of "The Way of the Human Being"
BEN KESSLER is or was a schoolteacher, field biologist, gardener, activist, painter, and nurseryman. He lives in a little hollow in the Blue Ridge Mountains of central Virginia.