When Women Were Birds
Bearing Witness

An Unspoken Hunger

The morning place.

From "The Politics of Place," an interview with Terry Tempest Williams conducted by Scott London (on the Insight & Outlook radio show):

London: You've said that your connection to the natural world is also your connection to yourself. Do you think that's true for everybody?

Williams: We're animals. I think we forget that. I think there is an ancient archetypal memory that still exists within us. If we deny that, what is the cost?  So I do think it's what binds us as human beings. I wonder, what is it to be human? Especially now that we're so urban. How do we remember our connection with place? What is the umbilical cord that roots us to that primal, instinctive, erotic place? Every time I walk to the edge of this continent and feel the sand beneath my feet, feel the seafoam move up my body, I think, Ah, yes, evolution. You know, it's there, we just forget....

Faery light.

...I worry that we we are a people in a process of great transition and we are forgetting what we are connected to. We are losing our frame of reference. Pelicans pass by and we hardly know who they are, we don't know their stories. Again, at what price?

I think it's leading us to a place of inconsolable loneliness. It's what I mean by "an unspoken hunger." It's a hunger than cannot be quelled by material things. It's a hunger that cannot be quelled by constant denial. I think that the only thing that can bring us into a place of fullness is being out in the land with other.

Then we remember where the source of our power lies.

Into the light.The full interview can be read in A Voice in the Wilderness: Conversations with Terry Tempest Williams, edited by Michael Austin (USU Press, 2006).