May 15Liked by John Clayton

Nice signs pics. And a good question about the interaction of institutions and perception. Wilderness is institutional and has boundaries. The "wild" isn't and doesn't. So, how do we bound our perception? Or allow it to be bounded? Especially when, as you point out, nature knows no boundaries?

I try to be content with the idea that all boundaries people can imagine are arbitrary anyway, that I can allow them and my perception of them to shift with purpose or even just mood, and to acknowledge and accept the natural complexity of people and our institutions. But I have a luxury that those who manage the public lands do not.

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It's funny, I drove up to Glacier National Park on a whim this morning and got caught up in road maintenance delays all along the shore of Lake Macdonald. It set me thinking on these very ideas, the concept of National Parks, what they mean and are, how road maintenance every year--which gives us access to their insides--erode some of their "wildness."

My body eases significantly when stepping into wilderness areas. I've narrowed this down to the lack of cars and fossil fuel-driven machines in general. It's partly the speed and partly the noise. And we know now, if we didn't before, that the effect of those on the rest of life is measurable, too. Those boundaries mean something, even if it's not what we initially think.

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