Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Derrick Stacey Denholm, Ground Truthing

The forests of BC's North Coast are ancient beings, historically unceded Storied Lands, cathedrals, mycelium, and an extreme recycling facility:
In Prince Rupert, I once found a Boletus eludis mushroom fruiting from a smashed computer monitor that had been thrown off a roadside and become hidden within mouldering leaves under a glade of cottonwoods. Here on the North Coast, covering everything, there is both the hypersense and the hyperreality of almost everything everywhere evergreen. (p.23)
Derrick Stacey Denholm, you get the impression, has seen a lot in his time as a timber cruiser and wandering poet, all of which feeds into his fascinating Ground Truthing: Reimagining the Indigenous Rainforests of BC's North Coast. I've long had a habit of reading quickly, linearly, in pursuit of The Point Of The Text, and that's just not a profitable approach with Ground Truthing. Instead, I had to keep thinking about the angles, the details, the perspectives that diverge from the straight-line approach I'd normally take. (This is also the approach recommended by Rob Budde in his characteristically thoughtful review of the book.) In managing to read this way, I found rewards here that I hadn't expected, and certainly wouldn't have found if I'd read like the cartoon academic I usually am.