In my book Solo Passage: 13 Quests, 13 Questions, which is a collection of essays about my vision quest adventures, I wrote about how I would often go out on walk-abouts to search for herbs, bones, feathers, or interesting rocks.
In fact, I even drew a parallel between my behavior and that of the sneaky packrats (who obscond with things and hoard all manner of flotsom and jetsom in their nests), both of us searching, finding, and taking for our own.
Now I am reconsidering that behavior. Collecting stuff from nature is based on the premise of lusting after something. It’s as if finding the right thing out there might make me feel more happy and fulfilled.
The idea that nature is there for me to go out and try to get something for myself like physical mementos or even emotional states like peace and beauty, could be seen as a subtle form of dominance and entitlement and, if taken far enough, even a type of colonization. Stay with me for a moment while I explain. Read more