Being fully alive as humans

book cover of Being alive by Tim Ingold

I got caught in the rain at PCEI today. Drenched. Came home, dried off, drank tea, and happily picked up where I left off reading a book that keeps me coming back for more: Being Alive by Tim Ingold.

He’s an anthropologist, who writes about what it means to be—and how to be—fully human, which is to say, connected to the natural world. In his chapter “Landscape or Weather-World,” for instance, he writes of how wind and water, everything we see around us, is perpetually moving, evolving. Including humans. We form and reform ourselves because of our movements in time.

To his way of thinking, being alive is not about being alive in a place, but to be continually on the move. “My contention is that wayfaring is the fundamental mode by which living beings inhabit the earth. Every such being has, accordingly, to be imagined as the line of its own movement or – more realistically – as a bundle of lines.”

Lines! He’s also got a book on Lines: A Brief History. Just ordered. All his talk about lines has me wiggling with inspiration!