Jay Griffiths, author of “Wild: An Elemental Journey”
In the video, “Ferociously Tender”, Jay Griffiths says, “For too long, our society has deemed culture to be opposite to nature,” (14.40). In fact, “the word ‘culture’ derives from ‘cultus’ which speaks of the rituals around the cultivation of plants … Culture in embedded in nature.”
Griffiths travelled many lands in writing “Wild”. In Papua New Guinea, she experienced the people making up the song-line as they went. In Australia, “People can travel across country they’ve never been before, provided they know the song.” [Mon Andrews adds that the songs change with the seasons.] In the Amazon, the song-lines are “a guide to the wind … each plant has its own song … to use that plant you you must learn the song,” (21.50). “A guide, a map,” she says, “not a landscape, but a map … a practical wisdom, also a psychological wisdom.”
Here’s a far flung dream. Imagine, as more people, of more lands, connect through Social Media: sharing more and more stories, music, dance, art; here now, in our homes and gatherings; growing the knowing we are all in this together; through culture re-member cultus; tune into the song-lines of all the lands, as a collective consciousness.