a day of conversation about animals ...
an hour with brian turley at staple park woods, talking about squirrels eating trees, deer marking territory, and forestry conservation projects.
then to the RSPCA Animal Centre at West Hatch to meet up with Anita - we talked about their work in taking in, and re-homing animals. i want to make a short video about the pets passing through the centre for the website.
it's a truly extraordinary place of course, very sobering. the predicament of domestication looks you right in the eyes, and i was continually faced with questions about what humans want from animals. after our conversation, i filmed the rabbits, brilliant in their eating.
i used to have a rabbit as a kid: the hours spent watching Pickles eat to the end of the greens. it reminded me of the woman who i talked with on the last walk, who spoke about the sound of her sheep grazing calming her nerves. this material world, being material, consuming the live and processing it, burning it into another kind of live-ing; this circulation at the heart of my body and my world, the rabbits bodies and their world.
Anita said a nice thing: usually she is too busy with her work to stop and watch the rabbit eat a leaf from start to finish. we liked the moment of concentration, of just watching.
I sought out a dynamic quote to accompany the rabbits in their material burning, and found Annie Dillard quoting the French palientologist Teilhard de Chardin in her book For The Time Being - always a good reference for the notion of the material on fire:
“Plunge into matter” Teilhard said .... “By means of all created things, without exception, the divine assails us, penetrates us and molds us. We imagined it as distant and inaccessible, whereas we live steeped in its burning layers.” so, there you go rabbits.
"Is it a kind of dream,
Floating out on the tide,
Following the river of death downstream?
Oh, is it a dream?