In the natural world, that which is most 'earthy' to me is rocks and soil.
It was the treeless mountains in central Otago New Zealand that first gave me the sense of the earths body.
Each mountain range with its shadows and contours like a sleeping giant,
like the flanks of the earth mother.
Lying body to body, flat on the earth, is as connecting and soothing
as a full body hug with a human being.
When I was born I was placed naked on my mothers chest.
Body to body.
Welcome to earth.
During the Nothing IS Immediate project with @tonyspencerarts and @christinedoddart I have been experiencing the impossibility of isolating one element from another. Always they appear in relationship with one another becoming something alive in the interaction between the two or more. Today I wanted to mention the association of rock with time. These seemingly inert unmoving objects are shaped, weathered and formed through time. When I was very little I lived near a solitary mountain in Victoria Australia and the closer you got to the top the more you found yourself walking on giant plates of granite. The sheer scale and smoothness of those rock formations increased the feeling of walking upon history, upon layers of time and stories, connecting with the feet to the shifting permanence of the place. A sense of place. A standing place. A place to stand.
The photo below shows me having one of the most pleasurable experiences of my life. Walking under the earth. The ground was so boggy that I sunk into the mud with every step, the earth hugged my legs, and softened by water it allowed me to move freely but also immersed in its under layers. I felt like I was walking underground for my feet were, underneath. Added to which I have never smelt mud so clean and sweet. The black bag I’m holding is a small collection of mud I’m taking home just for the joy of it. The soil is what we grow from, that grows in it sustains us. Healthy topsoil takes something like 100 years to form, because it is not just earth but also air and other things I can’t remember to name.