Under the spell of the forest

An acoustic ecologist listens to the white pine and imitates her song. "Why don't you listen for yourself?"

Yesterday I watched a beautiful documentary about the intelligence of the forest. The blueprint for our brain was designed in the forest; the neural networks in our brain closely resemble the information exchange between the root systems of trees. Fungal networks allow trees to communicate and share resources. It is argued that the forest designed the building blocks for intelligence long before we came around.

The way we treat what little we have left of old growth forest is beyond my understanding. Pictures of European settlers triumphantly cutting down ancient trees in American forests make me feel sick and filled with shame. I have been breaking down recently. The pain of how our species is causing the sixth mass extinction is beyond words. I find it hard to fully let it in and weep until I am spent.

In the documentary, an acoustic ecologist listens to the white pine and imitates her song. His life work is recording the language of the forest. The director asks what the forest has to tell us. He laughs. “Why don’t you listen for yourself?”

April 10, 2020 Add Comment

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