From This Wounded Forest

Suprabha Seshan is a spokeswoman for the Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary and all its inhabitants. She is terrified by the relentless destruction of natural systems. And has written this dispatch from a wounded forest

I wrote this one night at 3:00 a.m. I’d been awakened by the sounds of the forest, and a powerful dream. A question arose: if I had only one chance to write something what would it be?


The peg this piece hangs on is the notion of human supremacy.


Elephants in my forest are revolting, as are fungi, and plants, and the great planetary winds, and everyone else still wild and free, as are the indigenous people in the forests of central India, adivasis. Anyone with half a brain, who is half alive, can hear the unmistakable roar of life, including, the cells in our own bodies.


She identifies a mistaken notion of intelligence as a driver behind the destructive relationship between humans and the living environment they are part of:

Animals and plants in my forest home offer the sweetest response to questions of: where and what is intelligence?


Intelligence, they say, flows from the personal to the personal, it is known, experienced and lived through the personal, and enacted through the personal. It goes from this elephant, to that tree, to that  bird, to that valley, to that river, to this land, to this sea.


It is deeply  personal to each of my white blood cells, to each of the trillions of  bacteria in every gut, to every vein in every body, every enzyme in every gut, every tree in every forest, and every star in every galaxy. Intelligence, they say, in fact, requires the personal, the beloved, and the rooted. It requires you and me. The last thing we need to do, in this last hour, is prove or measure or debate it or put dollar values on it, or bottle it up for posterity. Just listen to your body.


Before I die, and more importantly, before the forests are vanquished, I believe we are required to engage directly with the truly intelligent members of the universe, those who have figured out how life supports life, and how death supports life, how death doesn’t lead to immiserated oceans, and toxified air, and collapsed forests, and extirpated tigers, and devastated humans; and how intelligence and life are to each other how the wave is to a particle, or a river to water molecules, or blood to every cell.


And I believe that love, beauty, real life, and a vibrant planet are born from this, wholly.

for the whole dispatch visit: Scribd

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