Abram on the Sound of Ice

All things can hear and understand our speaking, for all things are capable of speech. Even the crackling sounds made by the new ice on the lakes are a kind of earthly utterance, laden with meaning:

In the falltime you’ll hear the lakes make loud, crackling noises after they freeze. It means they’re asking for snow to cover them up, to protect them from the cold… (A Koyukon elder, quoted in Nelson, Make Prayers to the Raven, p. 26.)

David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World, p. 151.


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