For years I've heard that saying of Muir's echo in my mind. Only occasionally would the question creep in--yes, but why? Why does a wild forest take us into the universe more surely than the open sea? Or even more than a vast metropolis teaming with all sorts and types of people?
This month in Orion the critic and novelist John Berger takes a crack at that implicit question in an essay called Between Forests. His essay, which takes the forest photographs of Czech photographer Jitka Hanzlová as a point of departure, is unfortunately not posted, but just a glance at one of Hanzlová's mysterious photographs from her Forest series gets across Berger's essential point, which is that they have been taken "from the inside" of the forest. He writes:
[Audience, by Jitka Hanzlová]