Hiking in Marin. Full sun. Deep shade. Fallen redwoods stripped of bark still glowing orange after three years of graffiti. Danah Boyd laments the lack of full-heat intellectual love affairs in her life.
We talk about what makes it work, that moment of magic synergy. We talk about Andrea Dworkin's death and the great theory-head activists we know and love who still somehow don't relate the universal to the particular with the creative fury that Danah embodies herself. What is it that separates dull theory, dead theology, reason, tautology, from the fire-and-ice magic netting and unnetting the particular?
She talks about creeds and organizations that deaden. I talk about "natural theology" and the 16th century eye wandeirng over the landscape, seizing on each plant and leaf and flower as at once symbol of god, fragment of natural order, and direction to the internal.
(Read more: Drayton's Nature's Government (2000) is a very beautiful overview of different ways of seeing the landscape, from the symbolic to the economic and political, as they changed in this crucial period of early modernism)