This blog post is about erosion as a design pattern, or about Terry Tempest Williams’s book of essays with the same name, or about the first stop at Caesar Creek State Park of my four day escape to Ohio, away from human interaction.
We typically understand erosion as decay, as an increase in entropy, and we can observe it everywhere. This is one of the themes of Erosion, Williams’s very moving book. Erosion happens not only in geological matter, but everywhere: In the laws that should protect us, in our bodies, in our mental states.
Resistance against this decay appears to be the essence of life. We lean against each other in support, until we break.
Caesar Creek State Park was a random pick for me on the way, and as such a disappointment. There is one long trail around the lake, which one cannot walk, because the bridge is under repair. What is a bridge that cannot be walked?
But, as keenly observed in Erosion, there is another function of this decay: The creation of soil, of fertile ground for new growth.This becomes heartbreakingly intense in the chapter where Williams recounts the cremation of her brother after his suicide. This book is not an easy read, even for those of us who agree with Williams’s view of things.
My return from the unwalkable bridge took me along the beach front of Caesar Creek Lake, which is not quite ready for building sand castles.
But a closer look at the debris reveals that it is composed of older debris. Fossilesque, I would call that. Sometimes erosion takes a very long time.
Read the book anyway. It will help you with your own, personal erosion.