Pedagogy of the Plants

Posts Tagged ‘Elqui Valley

Mexican Aster, Cosmos bipinnatus

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An elementary school rests in the background.  The kids were on a two week winter break (in July), so I roamed the grounds.

Written by Cameron Brooks

July 23, 2010 at 3:36 am

Chilean Cactus, Eulychnia acida

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Disputes between locals and mining companies are ubiquitous throughout Chile.  I took these photos in Cochiguaz fifteen days before the Copiapó mining accident.

Written by Cameron Brooks

July 23, 2010 at 2:48 am

Eucalyptus Tree, Eucalyptus globulus

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These photos were taken on the banks of the Rio Magico (Magic River), in Valle del Elqui, Peru.  According to Robert Kirshner, a professor of science at Harvard University, “Chile has as good a claim as any place to be the center of the astronomical universe.”  The Elqui Valley is the center of the earth’s gravitational force, and is said to have healing powers.  I have never seen the night sky so clear.

Pimientero de Perú, Schinus molle

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Written by Cameron Brooks

July 19, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Ghost Plant, Graptopetalum paraguayense

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These are the only ghost plant flowers I’ve ever seen.  The plant sits next to a sunny window in the lobby/reception room of the Elqui Domos, in Elqui Valley, Chile.

This planter brings to mind a quote I scribbled in a journal years ago:

The belief that violence is a reasonable and often necessary route to achieving our aims goes unquestioned in most societies. Violence is thought to be the nature of things. It’s what works. It seems inevitable-the last and often, the first resort in conflicts. This Myth of Redemptive Violence is the real myth of the modern world. It, and not Judaism or Christianity or Islam, is the dominant religion in our society.

by Walter Wink

The Myth of Redemptive Violence is a Babylonian creation story.  The “Enuma Elish” (circa 1250 BCE), is a story about two parent gods who give birth to all other gods. The children kill the father because they discover their parents’ plans to kill them all because they make too much noise. Enraged, the battle ensues between the gods and their mother. The youngest of the gods winds-up killing her.

One July, I bought this plant from a woman at a flea market outside of town my students call “La Pulga.”  The specter floated above the stoop in a hanging basket for about a year. Once I swung the door too wide, and knocked it seven feet to the ground.  After a considerable soil hemorrhage left a small hollow under the plant, I noticed an illusive wren flitting back and forth with twigs and other oddments.  The plant thrived while baby birds hatched beneath.

I met a curious mantis climbing the funbox at a local skate spot after a nose manual, then found this little guy on the porch when I got home.

Buenos dias.