Chant du monde boréal
Sandshifter, 60N.
Where it all makes sense.



Through Chronicles from Arcania, I shall attempt to share walks with you, this poetics from 60N, where I feel at one with our Earth, my sense of place so maritime.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

adrift in the world... at home down to earth

 Listening carefully to Kenneth White's interviews on the links below is like collecting stones we find on our way during our life journey.
So many rocks across the world... 

Adrift and yet attached to a tongue of sand, we feel the connection with one shared place, primal source of being and living, eyes wide open to earth movements.
It is a time of letting loose our senses, not only sight but hearing, smelling and touching... Then we can start and collect earth songs, moments, emotions, just like pebbles or various shells. 
It feels just like a "communion" with our inner self; harmony within our world and universe. It is not trivial at all as an exercise, it just feels natural.

And then we drift away from the shore and realise we find erratics on our way, much bigger stones, like left alone by a mother who's had enough... Hmmm, in ancient times, folk imagined trolls and giants playing with them - massive boulder throwing contests. Folklore was woven this way and still feels very much part of local culture(s). So much have they been locked up in that bubble called superstition. 

Today we're at crossroads. Freed from dogmas and ignorance, we have a much better understanding of our world and yet we are led in living in another type of bubble - what I once described as the artificial world in a previous blog entry ("Captain Nemo's Still My Hero"). If we allow ourselves to drift again, we may opt for a more challenging life and find ourselves as erratics... But then again, what businessmen or politicians consider non-profitable remains priceless to the intellectual nomad: being, breathing and feeling in harmony with Mother Earth. 

So much industrial, economic and  technological progress has been achieved the vast majority of folk now live behind artificial walls, disconnected from their inner spirit and that of their surroundings. Some attempt to re-create a microcosm of wildlerness within the boundaries of an urban garden (and yes, I once did this as well!) though very few of us dare to tear down the wall and venture to a brand new shore. We have to work hard to find our place within a strange community; adapt our ways, customs & form of speech and make ourselves acceptable... Whatever size of that community, It's very daunting; it sometimes feels like sailing against the wind... Yet what better way to enrich ourselves as human beings - embracing more than one culture makes one feel so much more complete. Ha! A radical change towards material wealth rekindles the way we value life on Earth.
Kenneth White speaks of rocks he's collected along the many paths he's  walked on the planet and defines himself as materialistic owning them. To him, they feel like gem stones.
I adhere to this philosophy, I too collect stones on the way. What is financial wealth when man starves himself of simple down to earth pleasures?

And will leave you with a short piece on this rocky topic & with Kenneth White's recordings.

The Erratics

Don’t ask boulders what they’re thinking,
watching the world from the roadside –
they’re just like us,
antisocial, lone, unwanted,
grey as graphite among heathrush;
bare to gales, grief, gulls & guano,
scatterlings ditched by accident…
plugged and bulldozed against their will
by ice that thawed, deserted them
on a waste hill –
like a mother who stopped to cope,
ran out of steam,
displaced her load in random fields,
fossilised tears in the matrix.

Take a close look.

Ignorance ignites derision,
we’re not lepers or heretics –
just out of place,
driven by dreams, running away from erosion.
            Our bedrock’s full of erratics,
                        dead on moraines, sick, terminal.

 © Nat Hall

Note on the two video links: The father of geopoetics is a true francophone and francophile, a European intellectual nomad!


  1. Very thought provoking post, really got me thinking about how folklore perhaps helped to tether us to the natural world. We do tend to live lives so divorced from nature these days.

  2. Oh, I shan't deny the place and importance of folklore in cultures :) It filled a gap... and acted as a parapet against a certain form of ignorance... It certainly "tethered" past generations to the natural world AND still feeds man's imagination, hence being part of a poetics. Folklore is very much part of the world's fabric and story tellers are in great demand!