Reluctance of the Verb

The allusion here is to the secret life of plants and the roots/routes of tree talk.

On trees communicating with each other see

An analogy between the human world of relations and trees in the city] concludes “Boxed In” by Mónica de la Torre.

Concrete blocks these social beings’ access to fungal networks,
prevents their roots from interconnecting.
Are you a reluctant loner like the specimens that surround us here today?
I hope you understand I don’t mean to ruin the relationship.

Mónica de la Torre
“Boxed In”
The Paris Review

Reading these concluding lines, I stumble, the “concrete blocks” are first read as a noun in apposition to “social beings” – the two appear equivalent until the word “access” retroactively triggers the verb “blocks”. The line is experienced as a loop. And the eye glances back up to the beginning of the poem “Heads up, false friends use familiarity as camouflage.”

Concrete blocks are the separators. The trees are the separated.

This meditation leads one to recall another approach to situations of separation and immersion…

Coccia proposes drawing a very similar lesson from the plant world: that life, by its very nature, means an immersion in and mixing with the outer world. “Imagine being made of the same substance as the world that surrounds you; being of the same nature as music—a series of vibrations of the air, like a jellyfish, which is no more than a thickening of water.” As we act on the world and it acts on us, both are changed. Thus, the very idea of an environment that is separate from the self “should be rejected,” Coccia argues, because just as the world is an environment for living beings, so “the living being is an environment for the world.”

Rachel Riederer review of Emanuele Coccia’s book, The Life of Plants in The Nation

forest see tree
tree seed forest

And so for day 2575

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