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Ways of being alive by Baptiste Morizot


You are ensconced in a blanket, by a campfire.

All around you, the world is casting dark shadows and strange noises.

The moon is shining bright tonight, the stars seem so close in this Provencal sky.

And there, in this wilderness ( I swear there are places where Provence is still wild, I grew up there), you hear it.

A long, deep howl.

And in your guts and soul,

an answer arises and you howl back.

Human and wolf.

Baptiste Morizot takes us there, to that threshold where strangers may meet and talk, even if they don't speak the same language. Even if they sound unfamiliar. Jumping into the unknown, embracing the Other's alterity. Trying to decipher a new diplomacy, so that we humans can learn how to fit in the world's tapestry again.

For him, one of the major causes of our current crisis is a crisis of sensibility : we have lost our ways into this world and we don't know how to reach out toward the non-human that live in it.

"Imagine this fable: a species secedes. It declares that the ten million other species on Earth, its relatives, are "nature." Namely: not beings but things, not actors but the setting, resources at hand. One species on one side, ten million on the other, and yet one family, one world. This fiction is our heritage. Its violence has contributed to ecological upheavals. This is why we have a cultural battle to wage over the importance to be returned to the living. This book intends to throw its strength into it. By going to track the animals in the field, and the ideas we have of them in the forest of knowledge. Can we learn to feel alive, to love ourselves as alive? How can we imagine a policy of interdependence, which combines cohabitation with alterities, with the fight against what destroys the fabric of living things? It's about reconnecting: approaching the inhabitants of Earth, including humans, like ten million ways of being alive."

A pack of wolf in the Vercors mountain. A sponge sea.

How do we go back to SEEING the world ? How do we learn to fit again in this wondrous planet ? Baptiste Morizot shows us rather than speaking about it. He is there, in the mountain, following the wolves, looking at their tracks in the snow, wondering at their ability to communicate with one another. With the other species. With himself.


That may be one of the things I loved in this book : I could share the author's elation and authenticity. I could share his very earthian philosophy : I'd never thought a wolf's turd may have me thinking about heraldry or a sea sponge about my way to salt my meals !!! And for me, that's at the core of our work of enchantment !

A fearful ewe. A prairy. An angered shepherd. A lonely wolf.

How can we, as humans, forge new alliances ? How can we find people who are willing to be ambassadors ? Who know they don't belong to any of the parties, that theirs is a path of impossible conciliations, but that their presence offers new insights and new possibilities, because they are stewards of relationships. They are reinventing a new cosmopoliteness, by including adjusted regards in everything they do. They navigate through empathy, knowing it will never be perfect for everybody, but that a "less-suffering" way may emerge or a new way to see things that seemed impossible, like this wolf sitting in the middle of a curious flock, or like an alliance of wolves and shepherds against the big agro-industrial industry... For this way of coming back to, for and into the world, Baptiste Morizot has forged a beautiful name : the incandescent alloy.

So if you want to discover the wild mountains of Provence or Vercors through the lense of a philosophy teacher-tracker, Ways of being alive is a wondrous book.


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