Small Talk with a Grape Vine: Presence and the Sensuous Depth of Being
Book chapter, 2018
This paper's point of departure is the thinking of American philosopher David Abram pointing to how our body places us in in a common, intersubjective field of experience and enters into relations with other presences. Without sensuous experience there would be nothing to know, he states in his The Spell of the Sensuous, Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World - establishing the fact that we do not perceive the world as a detached (body) subject from outside the world, but from within. This idea was earlier developed by Maurice Merleau-Ponty, who depicts our carnal echo to the world. This very radical idea elucidated within the phenomenological tradition gives voice to a world experienced from our situation within it. Here the emphasis is on how this thinking can lead us to call for a silent conversation with things by a bodily "I" in the world. We may ask ourselves: Is it first when we bend our back and point our nose to the soil in the act of cultivating the land that a silent listening can begin? Will this teach us a more resilient way of living?