Sunday, January 22

Tug at Nature

This year I'm happy to be participating in a collaboration called The Sustainable Souls Project organized by Tina Walker. Each month participating artists will address sustainability issues and promote awareness through art projects based on a theme.

This month's theme is "Planet Earth. We are all connected," which immediately reminded me of a quote I'd heard attributed to naturalist John Muir: 

"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world." 

Turns out, that isn't exactly what John said.  Rather, in his book, My First Summer In the Sierra, Muir wrote: 

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."

Even that wasn't the original quote though. According to Stephen Fox, in his book, John Muir and His Legacy, the original version of this quote - written in Muir's journal in 1869 - was a bit wordier. It went like this:

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find that it is bound fast by a thousand invisible cords that cannot be broken,  to everything in the universe."

I put the misquote on the cover of this 3" by 4" soldered book because, well, I like it better. And I wrote Muir's edited quote on the inside. 

I stitched around ecoprinted leaf prints on the signature wrappers in the book, leaving loose threads that might be "tugged" or "picked."

Whichever version, the message remains the same: We are all connected.