‘“to thaw” is to ungive‘
“There are experiences of landscape that will always resist articulation, and of which words offer only a distant echo. Nature will not name itself. Granite doesn’t self-identify as igneous. Light has no grammar. Language is always late for its subject.” Robert Macfarlane in the Guardian today, as exact as ever. I read him & I think, “No contest.” I’ve no idea what I mean by that, except that at his best he somehow obviates the collision–the war–between prose and things: even when, as here, he’s confronting it, admitting it (both admitting to it and inviting it in). This is everything you want from an essayist and landscape writer. I can’t wait to read Landmarks.
It’s not been an area I’ve read much in for some time but this essay has made me determined to seek out Landmarks and other works of his. Thank you for pointing it out, Mike.
Thank you for turning me onto Macfarlane back in 2012. The Old Ways is one of my favorites. I return to it often to remind myself what jealousy feels like.