on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Silence and Solitude: A Wilderness Dialogue

Kerry Gordon

Kerry Gordon

Kerry Gordon is an enthusiastic amateur photographer with a passion for philosophical reflection and, with his wife Philippa, canoeing in the remote backcountry of what is known as the Canadian Shield. His time in the natural world helps inform his everyday life, working from his home base in T'karonto (Toronto), where, as a psychotherapist, he helps people to connect more deeply and consciously in all their relationships.

It is being said that we are entering a new age. No longer simply the product of evolutionary transformation, we human beings are now driving it. Not surprisingly, we have named this new age after ourselves – The Anthropocene. This new age marks the ascension of human will through the things we build and the garbage we leave behind.

Wilderness, the wild places of the world, are shrinking. We come to them now like tourists visiting an exotic zoo. We prize them for what they have to offer us – beauty, recreation, healing medicines and a retreat from the narcissistic wasteland we have made for ourselves. But the true value of these wild places is not in what they have to offer us. They are of value because they are life itself. Not something apart from us but something of which we are apart.

These photographs are the result of two, month-long journeys paddling the remote Berens and Bloodvein Rivers that flow down through Northeastern Manitoba into Lake Winnipeg. During the course of these journeys, my wife and I, just the two of us travelling alone, felt ourselves shedding our skins of civilized certainty and entering into a deep wilderness dialogue. We slowly awoke to ancient memory – we were once wild too. We arose with the sun and moved with the unfolding cycle of the day. We entered a dialogue that was both listening and revealing, receiving and giving, as the “I” so carefully nurtured and prized, slowly dissolved. We remembered who we really were and were welcomed home.

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