Cultivating ecosophy: a dialog with the contemporary vision fast company by Charles Carlin

 Preamble

This story begins in the Inyo mountains, an ancient range that rises up out of California’s Owens valley, marking the beginning of the seemingly endless undulations of basins and moun- tain ranges that extend all the way to the Colorado Plateau and Utah’s Wasatch Range, hundreds of miles to the east. The basins are covered in sage. As the ranges rise up, the sage gives way to pinyon-juniper forest, then white pine and bristlecones at the highest elevations. Basin, range, repeat.

Writer Mary Austin called this place the land of lost borders, a name she learned from Paiute friends. She wrote, it is a place ‘where the boundary of soul and sense is as faint as a trail in a sand-storm ... where the names mean something’ (Austin 1987, 3). For the Paiute who lived prior to white colonization, lost borders referred to how territorial boundaries between groups grew fuzzy in the desert, determined more by access to ephemeral water sources than hard territorial demarcations. Austin added another layer of psychic significance to the name as she chronicled the lives of white miners and settlers along with Paiute people adapting to life under colonization. (Read full article)

We do not go into the desert to escape

people but to learn how to find them:
we do not leave them in order to have

nothing more to do with them,
but to find out the way
to do them the most good.

Thomas Merton-