Big climbing day. After a grueling (and gorgeous) morning, I took a rest near Bennett Pass, ate a bunch of bananas, apples and nut butter, and found a spot to plant. For this waystation, I had the wacky idea of trying to capture the sound of the signpost. So I connected the magnetic geophone mic to the metal and gave it a listen (sound on). I was intrigued by the vibrations going through this seemingly inert object. This pole was taking on the weight of the cars through the asphalt, bending with the sway of the wind, and perhaps making a few vibrations of its own.
Renown Indian scientist Jagdish Chandra Bose was known for showing the lifeways of plants through his experiments. He also took a step further and found a kind of consciousness in metals. As documented in his book Response in the living and non-living, he recorded the vibrations of tin and found that the metal’s responses to different stimuli (mechanical, thermal, chemical) had similarities to how cells respond to the same stimuli. Listening to this pole’s vibrations, the supposed divisions between life and non-life, between inert objects and animate beings, feels a bit more porous to me. Milkweed, join the living here at Bennett Pass — with the rocks, the signposts, the mountains!