“When we know the name of something, it brings us closer to the ground. It takes the blur out of our mind; it connects us to the earth. If I walk down the street and see “dogwood,” and “forsythia,” I feel more friendly toward the environment. I am noticing what is around me and can name it. It makes me more awake.” Natalie Goldberg Writing Down the Bones
I came back around to the quote recently and it reminded me of my own ways. When I moved to the woods, I took to identifying what was before me – trees, birds, bugs, flowers. This was my attempt to wrap my head around the wilderness that now surrounded me, as if to cordially introduce myself to this land, to offer a genial handshake. I hoped, in turn, that a friendship might blossom. It got me wondering if it is man’s nature to name everything. To want everything to have a name – fire, death, god. Or is it the writer’s nature to put word to object, to grope wildly for a phrase to describe a thing, an emotion, an experience? I think it is a little of both.