See Part I.
In recent years, IU has been rewilding parts of its vast campus lawns. So glad! Of course I will be even happier when they turn all the rest of those lawns into permaculture gardens. I swear that every spacious college campus in this country could feed, not just its own population, but that of the entire town surrounding it. And after all, what is the important learning for the 21st century? Think about it. We need to return to the garden — and do it together, cooperatively, work and dance and sing our gratitude to dear Mother Earth — if we wish to not just survive the coming energy descent, but thrive inside our decentralized local pockets as networked within their bioregions. Here for example, we live in the region of the Ohio Valley, or closer in, Bloomington sits between the East and West branches of the White River.
For IU, rewilding means letting lawns return to prairie. And we notice, after a year or two, succession, from tiny plants to little trees. And of course, the wildlife is all for it! And so is the “Jordan River” (the creek that runs through campus), which regularly overflows in downpours, and now is cushioned by newly allowed rewilded wetlands.
Here are a few photos.
These rewilded places grew to have grasses and bushes at least six feet tall by the end of last the summer, incredibly thick and dense, much more resilient to drought conditions than cut grass. You can just imagine what the plains states must have been like before the white settlers killed off the buffalo to force the indigenous Indians either into starvation or onto “reservations. P.S. You might want to check out Wes Jackson’s work with indigenous and perennial grains at the Land Institute.
Everywhere you look features of interest grace the limestone walls.
For example, above the first floor windows on the chemistry building.
That particular wall happens to be on the gigantic building that houses most of the humanities departments which, I discovered as the page one top story in today’s local newspaper, are due for a “shortfall” in funding for next year. Are we surprised? Technology, business, engineering, bio-tech, “infomatics,” the left-brain “disciplines” that benefit capitalism are thriving — I ask: how much due to corporate and military/industrial grants to professors willing to bend their research in profit-seeking directions?
Yesterday I ran into one of those humanities professors — one who is nearing retirement — at Goodwill! Which surprised me, but maybe it shouldn’t. He was trying on light corded pants, and wanted his wife to dye them brown. She said she would. Meanwhile, he tells me he is disappointed with everything about teaching now — the students, the administration, the entire university. Yes, I respond, “All corporatized. The whole culture is corporatized.” He nods.
On top of this old IU building, there’s a little something, guess what it is! A gargoyle! P.S. Google “gargoyle and illuminati” if you want to dive down an interesting rabbit hole.
I was determined to go see the new Adam and Eve couple, dancing on the lawn, though they don’t call it that. Would they exhibit the artistry and atmosphere of the first couple in Dunn Woods? Here they are, a shot taken first from across a pond that hasn’t had its running water feature turned on yet, so is turgid with algae — and the beginnings of lotus, and croaking frogs.
Now, walking to the other side of the pond . . .
BTW: the male figures of both this and the Adam and Eve couples have very evident penises! Notice the light shining on this one. P.S. This is how an old woman talks. She says whatever she wants, propriety be damned! Of course the IU students won’t care. I have wondered why they don’t paint the penises as a prank. Or maybe they do, and they are quickly scrubbed off at dawn?
Here’s probably my most favorite statue. Of Hoagy Carmichael, who is said to have written his most famous song, “Stardust,” I think while he was a student, here at IU. Of all the hundreds of times that Shadow and I have passed by this statue, this is one of the few times it didn’t sport some kind of little tribute, usually a flower or sprig, in his left hand.
Of course I wonder how all these monumental construction efforts are being financed, when the humanities departments are running out of money. But of course universities are compartmentalized — all part of corporatization. Indeed. I’m beginning to realize that it’s not just that governments are in bed with corporations, but as Richard Alan Miller put it, giant corporations own the governments — including of course, universities, no matter how large, as relatively small scale components of such. So of course “Global and International Studies” would be a priority in this new transcorporatized world.
This little rock fall, on the “Jordan River” —
never fails to remind me of the “Subterranean Chamber” underneath the Grand Pyramid at Giza, which contains a similar chaotic arrangement. In order to get down there you have to bend way over, for a long way. Very cramped and uncomfortable. I don’t think that tunnel is more than four feet high.
Ever since I visited Egypt, I’ve wondered: What was the chaos meant to portray? And why doesn’t anybody ever talk about it?
Okay, we’re about done with our meandering tour of the IU campus in springtime. I do want to show you one profusion, that of a gigantic-leaved burdock(?) plant. They’re like that here at the Green Acres Neighborhood Garden too. Really huge and happy, these “weeds,” this year. (You might want to google “uses of burdock plant — the usual mixture of edible and medicinal.)