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Toward an Urban Practice of the Wild

Toward an Urban Practice of the Wild

(p.177) 18 Toward an Urban Practice of the Wild
John Tallmadge
University of Chicago Press

This chapter describes how the author’s ideas about nature and culture, formed by wilderness adventure, were transformed by moving to Cincinnati and starting a family. As his kids helped him slow down and look closely, he began finding wildness everywhere. Thinking of wilderness in terms of time rather than space drew him to Gary Snyder’s concept of “practicing the wild” and Thomas Berry’s view of nature as emergent process. The old growth forest of Caldwell Preserve and the reclaimed Fernald nuclear site offer inspiring examples. He concludes that sustainability must be pursued and enacted in the places where we live and work. He imagines an urban practice of the wild based on five disciplines: mindfulness, attentiveness, husbandry, pilgrimage, and witness.

Keywords:   Caldwell Preserve, wildness practice, Cincinnati, Fernald nuclear site, Thomas Berry, Gary Snyder, practicing the wild

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