Southern Nantahala Wilderness, 2006:
I left the campfire. I had to walk back to my tent, which was just a quarter mile up the trail. The darkness was thick, impenetrable. My eyes were open but I couldn’t see. I kept walking, feeling as though I would trip over a rock or a branch at any second. I carved my way through the blackness.
Slowly my eyes began to adjust. Patches of moonlight on the ground appeared, and then tree silhouettes with their skinny arms raised high.
Dimness. I stood there bundled in my many layers of sweaters, looking at the soft light surrounding me. Everything seemed to reflect the sky. Nighttime had a special type of luminosity. The fallen leaves on the ground glowed faintly, revealing a sheen that the moonlight was gentle enough to make visible. I wanted to soak in the light, to somehow experience it more wholeheartedly. To acknowledge it as the sun’s reflections on the earth made me aware of my true location in space.
This was a simple but potent moment – a reminder that I am a part of a larger natural system. I want to explore what it’s like to be in nature, and the way it can affect us psychologically. How does it feel to be in a specific location in the universe? How can we understand the feeling of awe or wonder that is generated by nature? Science alone cannot answer those questions, but art can make an attempt to. I seek to find an understanding of myself in the surrounding natural world, even though I know that there are no definitive answer