Like a Forest

The first time I visited Muir Woods on Mount Tamalpais near San Francisco, I was absolutely taken not just by the sheer size of the trees, but by the order of the surroundings. While iterative processes are commonplace these days, we still need to have a general idea where we're headed and what structures are meaningful in how things relate to one another. Perhaps being especially mindful of order in our surroundings, our creations, and the way we express our ideas is a way to calm the ebb and flow inherent to iteration. I think sometimes we compartmentalize our lives and separate our technical or creative minds from the mode that perceives balance in nature, a relaxing hike, or maybe a paddle on a calm lake. But isn't it true that the same sensibilities deep within that bring us peace through these activities help us to be more focused and dedicated in our productive endeavors?

Maybe rather than keeping these quests for peace separate from our everyday being, we can find ways to integrate them into our everyday, even if we can't literally step outside the office or studio directly into the wilderness. I guess we all have it in us, if you look at the art on the wall, hear the tunes we listen to, or taste the fish tacos over lunch. Everyone yearns for those little bits of beyond, nature, the intangible.

Sidenote: Pando appears to be dying. We'd better make sure we understand why. If it is simply happening naturally, 80,000 years is impressive.

The order of the forest is not even as impressive as its resilience. If you haven't heard of Pando, it is a grove of quaking aspen trees in Utah's Fishlake National Forest. It's also 80,000 years old and effectively a single massive organism, which makes it one of the oldest living things on the planet. It's wild to think of something so permanent in a time that is often so ephemeral and immediate! We creative types usually aim to make something that lasts whether it be an audio production, system of technology, or what have you. Maybe reflecting on the stability of the outdoors can help us do this better.

And for the locals: we've got some pretty nice forests in Minnesota too.