Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More


Big Land Big Sky

Jamestown, Tuolumne County, California, USA

March 26, 2006



This essay, Big Land Big Sky, is the one hundredth and fiftieth in this Conversations For Transformation internet series.

It is also the companion piece to Vast.

I am indebted to Marta and Stephen Weinstein who inspired this conversation.




I'm walking. There is walking. The body moves automatically. The legs know exactly where to plant the feet to tread. The arms know exactly which way to splay the hands to balance. I'm just sitting here on this observation deck watching the scenery change and go by.

It's so huge, so vast  I can't see the furthest edge of this land. Between me and its borders are not merely hills but mountains and mountains. There's not merely streams but rather miles and miles  of river waterfront and beaches. There's not merely trees but rather forests and forests. Above me there's not merely stars but rather galaxies and galaxies  clear through the smog free and city light free sky.

Who am I  in relation to this vastness? Who am I that this vastness can be? What is the context I am that this magnificence  shows up in?

Land is land. Sky is sky. Why then is this particular land, this particular sky any different?

Looking, I eventually realize what makes this land, this sky different. It's a possibility I'll call stewardship. This isn't public land. This isn't a national park. This is someone's home. People sought out this place, fell in love with it and bought it, took responsibility for it - for managing it, for caring for it. They're committed that eventually, when they pass it on to future generations, it will be in a better condition than they found it in.

In doing all that, in taking all that on, that's how they bring forth for me the possibility I'm calling stewardship.

The big  I see is secondarily the big  of the land. Secondarily it's the big  of the sky. Primarily it's the big  of stewardship. Looking at this land, at this sky not  presencing the possibility of stewardship, I'm amazed. Looking at this land, at this sky presencing the possibility of stewardship, I'm rocked to the core. I'm touched deeply. I'm moved ... so  moved ... I'm literally moved to tears. I smile with being here, on my big land, under my big sky, happily through drenched cheeks.




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