Photo Credit: T.C. Worley
The current moment, Ben says, “Is a time to poke at the unknown, to dialogue with the uncertain.
“This is an invitation to consider expansive possibility. Because unlike the usual routines that consume our bandwidths, this fracture is a doorway to go somewhere different.
“There is nothing keeping us from going outside. Nothing keeping us from listening to the water, rock, and trees.”
1. How does nature fit into your "new abnormal?”
Living as an artist and athlete has set me up to absorb these changes fairly seamlessly. I am always outside. Often alone or with my kids. Operating from a place of resourcefulness is part of my daily MO as a self-employed person. I'm constantly adapting and shifting to whatever is happening. Making something out of nothing. Figuring out how to continue moving forward. Nature is where I find all of my answers.
2. How has your normal changed?
It hasn’t changed as much as it has deepened. One thing I have noticed is that there are way more people finding all my secret dirt and wooded spots within the city. Sometimes I feel a little sad about this because these are places I have cultivated long and quiet relationships with, and I like knowing I can go to them for stillness. The other part of me is happy that others are learning about them
3. How does it inspire new music, poetry, riding?
We are taught that we have to look everywhere else besides wherever we presently are for meaning. The further we travel the grander the adventure. That is what we are told, but that isn’t true. Now is an incredible time to explore that inversion. The greatest adventure is here. Right now. Wherever we are. "We are here to be here," as Zhen Dao says. Now is an incredible time to explore "here."
4. Has your connection to the natural world changed?
I would call it more of a relationship than a connection, and like all relationships it is constantly evolving, deepening, shifting, unfurling, opening, closing. Right now it is in a remarkable time of opening. I have images of pushing tree roots back into the ground. Of meeting magical creatures in the woods whose eyes are made of lightning and river eddies. Who speak the language of glaciers and tornados, the true tongue of the dirt we all make our homes among and within. I have faith I am not the only one this is happening to.
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