“I do not cherish the beasts, I enter their flesh.”
I do not want to understand the snake. I want to be the snake. And by this desire, perhaps even this act, I do not want to cease to be. I cling to my ego. I simply want to glide like a boat on the water into this other organism because I know that we share a common life and yet have different cultures. They are not like me but we are like each other.
I listen and I hear the beasts and plants must be cherished because they may be of some utility to humans. I listen and I hear they must be cherished because they are part of a web of life and this web is the safety net for humans. I cannot abide this talk.
It is blood for me.
I do not cherish the beasts, I enter their flesh. I do not guard the forest, I vanish into the deep wood. . . .
The snake’s state of grace is not a performance but a life. We struggle for style, they are born a style . . . I do not think snakes make art. I think they live art. . . . It is impossible to think of neurosis in a snake. They live in a great amphitheatre of sensations, we live in a stale closet of concerns.
– Charles Bowden, Some of the Dead Are Still Breathing: Living in the Future