Night Countries

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Above is the film Undercity of two fellows touring the no man's lands of New York, below is the start of The Night Country by Loren Eiseley:
In the waste fields strung with barbed wire where the thistles grow over hidden mine fields there exists a curious freedom.  Between the guns of the deployed powers, between the march of patrols and policing dogs there is an uncultivated strip of land from which law and man himself have retreated. Along this uneasy border the old life of the wild has come back into its own. Weeds grow and animals slip about in the night where no man dares to hunt them. A thin uncertain line fringes the edge of oppression. The freedom it contains is fit only for birds and floating thistledown or a wandering fox. Nevertheless there must be men who look upon it with envy.
The imagination can grasp this faint underscoring of freedom but there are few who realize that precisely similar lines run in delicate tracery along every civilized road in the West, or that these hedges of thorn apple and osage orange are the last refuge of wild life between the cultivated fields of civilization. It takes a refugee at heart, a wistful glancer over fences, to sense this one dimensional world, but it is there. I can attest to it for I myself am such a fugitive...