I was lucky enough to visit Walden Pond on a trip to the USA over ten years ago now, in a time when travelling overseas seemed a normal thing that one might aspire to. It was a pilgrimage of place, to the place that inspired Thoreau in his life and writing.
You can read a bit more about that trip on my earlier post HERE
I was reminded of all this by this short film I came across, just called Walden, a Ewers Brothers Production with input from Ken Burns and narrated by Robert Redford. I enjoyed it on a rainy late winter morning. You might too.
I was interested in an article by Paul Cliff in the most recent THYLAZINE, about Les Murray’s relationship with the land, and introducing (for me) the concept of Bioregionalism, a term I found connected with some of my own thinking about art and landscape and earlier reading I’d done such as WALDEN and NATURAL HISTORY OF SELBORNE. Bioregionalism is defined as:
The bioregional perspective has political, economic and social dimensions which value: regional and communal scale; conservation, self — sufficiency and cooperation; decentralisation and complementarity; and symbiosis and organic evolution. A bioregional approach can be viewed under four heads: Scale (endorsing life at the level of region and community — as opposed to the ‘Industrial Scientific’ paradigm of state and nation/world); Economy (valuing conservation, stability, self-sufficiency, and cooperation — as opposed to exploitation, change/progress, the world economy and competition); Polity (favouring decentralisation, complementarity and diversity — as opposed to centralisation, hierarchy and uniformity); and Society (working via symbiosis, evolution, division — as opposed to polarisation, growth/violence and monoculture) 3.
Another, simpler definition of the bioregionalist approach comes from a current American web site 4. This defines bioregionalism as:
a fancy name for living a rooted life. Sometimes called ‘living in place’, bioregionalism means you are aware of the ecology, economy and culture of the place where you live, and are committed to making choices that enhance them.