Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

from the March 18, 2012 Newsletter issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort beside Chichén Itzá Ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO


Sometimes vivid statements arise where they're not expected, in random moments and places, in exotic languages with unimagined inflections, full of meanings of the kind it hadn't occurred to you to wonder if such meanings might even exist. To receive such a communication, first you must notice that it is being offered. You pause, look and listen, and let the sense come, wash through you, and leave you buzzing with perception, though you'll never be able to articulate the sense of what was conveyed, or why the matter was brought up in the first place.

For example, the other morning as I piddled about the hut I looked over and saw what's shown at the top of this page.

Succinctly and with flair and passion, something was being said in the language of unfurling Elephant Ear leaf-veins, in terms of shadows, curves and visual textures. If I let my mind go flat, it was just three things going to the right; but if I expansively space-timed myself, it was green life struggling outward, again and again penetrating lifeless shadow. Or, playfully, three yellow-green tones one after the other trailing off within a matrix of leaf-veinlet violin flutterings.

And, of what good are such moments, and this kind of thinking? For one thing, they remind us how silly it is to question the value of something we could never define or explain, or even think about without prompting, but whose good message leaves us buzzing with delight and insight.