“We cannot conceive of a world without “nature” even as we deny its power and try to curtail its effects with our rising and falling cultures. The notion that natural order is expressed by instability and flux rather than by respectably predictable systems has been challenged on the grounds that it might unleash more immoral human behavior, not to mention the psychologically discomfiting notion that nothing is certain. Others argue that acknowledgment of constant transformation will increase human respect for nature’s complexity, that unpredictable change is not necessarily arbitrary. All of us wonder which concept might prove most beneficent in the world’s environmental crises, since all of us resist some aspects of our cultures and consent to others. The moral aspect of this discussion is made clear by Wendell Berry, one the most consistently inspiring writers on the specificity of American place, who nails us as accomplices in everything that happens around us, perceiving “the ecological crisis is a crisis of character – that is, of culture…. Our culture and our place are images of each other and inseparable from each other, and so neither can be better than the other.”

Lucy Lippard, The Lure of the Local: Senses of Place in a Multicentered Society


Thea’s Park, Tacoma, WA, 2016