forest,

an apical biome maximizing density and diversity — a maxed-out evosystem, “heyday of the complexity churn.” Learn from the forests to, eventually, teach and serve them: centuries of gardening and guided evolution, from the big trees onwards, make the now-standing growths diverser than ever in natural history; “the redeemer of space,” idealized forest “prototypes everything we build and do,” is an almost demetaphorized metaphor for text with its interliving perspectives — or for culture in general. ■    Flight made Earths forests three-dimensional, traversable and hangable at any level from the treetops' windy light to the damp, dark, quiet depths — and down into the microscopic archeology of teeming soil. Arboreal mist establishes a hierarchy of “distances that matter”: how far or close something appears through the woods is just how reachable it is for an intakeful, open-eyed traveler uninterested in shortcuts; even before flight, “forest-walk days” were the best human-scale metric: “let the trees restore” your sense of distance numbed by the empty boundlessness in which infinities twinkle teasingly close but an actual closeness is awkward and reasonless. The two opposing but equally fundamental urges we dive into the woods to satisfy: to roam freely and unconfinedly — and to remain, all the time, cozily walled, inside the rock, invitedly local (“a world of here” in each mossy patch); complexity meaningifies the closed-but-open forestscape just as it does in a densely lived city (contrast e.g. featureless fog that also walls you off but only to becloud, irritate).

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