How To Be An Explorer Of The World
1. Always Be LOOKING (notice the ground beneath your feet).
2. Consider Everything Alive & Animate.
3. EVERYTHING Is Interesting. Look Closer.
4. Alter Your Course Often.
5. Observe For Long Durations (and short ones).
6. Notice The Stories Going On Around You.
7. Notice PATTERNS. Make CONNECTIONS.
8. DOCUMENT Your Findings (field notes) In A Variety Of Ways.
9. Incorporate Indeterminacy.
10. Observe Movement.
11. Create a Personal DIALOGUE With Your Environment. Talk to it.
12. Trace Things Back to Their ORIGINS.
13. Use ALL of the Senses In Your Investigations.
~ Keri Smith, How to Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum
Image Credit: LuftFlotte Steampunk
/ Photo by bfick /
Tracking is like hunting, except instead of an animal, we are hunting guidance and wisdom. When a hunter tracks a deer, he observes its movements in order to capture and kill the deer. When we track a sign – a deer showing up unexpectedly in our backyard – we move into a deeper relationship with the deer. We recognize that the deer brought us a gift — a message. Tracking asks us to merge with the natural world, and to listen with all of our senses.
Tracking requires a stillness of mind and a willingness to enter dreamtime, a more fluid perceptual state. In dreamtime, we see beyond the material world to experience the energy of a thing; we are aware that material objects exude energy, character, and personality. This task is easier in the natural world. We recognize a happy river by its clear bubbly waters. We feel good in its presence.
In urban settings, our senses are overloaded with stimuli to the extent that our senses are dulled, numbed, and imprecise. We have trouble making energetic distinctions. With practice, we can retrain our senses to feel again. When we are in material-world sensory mode, we will see five different chairs with various colors and shapes in a room as interesting, but we may not be able to discern anything unusual between them. In dreamtime, we are able to discern each chair’s history and personality. Is it a happy chair, depressed chair, or agitated chair? Your senses will tell the difference. Read more