After hearing Barbara talk, and witnessing the way that she seems to be operating in the world, I came away from her workshop with a heightened awareness of certain things around me. Rather than hearing her speak to animals on the other side of life, I found value in hearing her speak about the value of life forces that are non-human that oft go overlooked. Her strength seems to be in a well rooted psychoanalytic tradition that focuses on dispelling stress, and instilling calmness through a heightened awareness of your own existence.
The things that she suggested we do to connect with the dogs in the room were interesting: they could seemingly be used as an exercise to gain a better understanding of the humans around us as well, but in the context of animals and trees, her suggestions of swapping perspectives was also insightful.
After her lecture, I was watching some snowy plovers flying around my patio, looking for a place to nest in the rafters of the cantilevered roof. I watched them fly up to them, see the netting that was placed to keep them out, and then pause to think about what their next move. They would land at the foot of the glass door that separated me from them, and I watched their eyes go back and forth from the rafters to the floor, and all around the perimeter of their surrounding, trying to make logic of the situation. After they left, I sat in the spot that they sat in, and tried to make sense of the rafters and where I would see a spot that would make a fitting home. Almost all the corners that were blocked from the wind were netted off, and those more exposed that didn't seem to be good potential nest sights were left open - though no birds chose to establish themselves there. It was a good way to become aware of a space through the perspective of a species whose natural living space was interrupted through the building of the West Campus family housing. [Write Comment]