I have been going though the lessons in the MOOC I chose, “Innovative Poetry of Cascadia”. It has been very interesting and really has turned out to be what I was hoping for. I am not necessarily a poetry aficionado, but the personal comments on the boards by many of the participants in class have been revealing. Primarily what I have seen are postings expressing a deep connection to the geographical region. This connection is more than simple geography or occupying space; some of these people have seemed to immerse themselves into the mystery of Cascadia, developing an identity almost that transcends just physical locale. It is as if they have opened themselves up in a spiritual fashion to what they see and feel is the Spirit of the mountains, the rivers, and the ocean. It reminds me very much of the stories I heard as a child of my own Native American heritage, and even the feeling of myself and others who engaged in the surfing sub-culture on the Southern California beaches.
Note: The photograph on the left is a view of part of the Cascadia Region of Western Canada and Northwestern US. The photograph on the right is a simple house built of natural materials for birds or small animals. It represents the desire of the inhabitants of this region to care for all forms of life in as unobtrusive a manner as possible.