Bob Weeden’s new book, Small Forays Into Big Spaces, is ready to launch on Wednesday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. in the Salt Spring library’s program room.
Retiring to Salt Spring Island after a career practising and teaching environmental conservation in Alaska, Weeden farmed, helped in community projects and began reading broadly about our world. No surprise: his books and his conversations proved to him that everything is connected. “Start with a feather, end with a universe,” he says.
Weeden said Small Forays began with his scribbled comments on book margins. They were variously critical, praising, humorous or puzzled, but always delighted to find bigger patterns among facts and ideas. For Weeden, one notion stands out: that our cherished premise that human affairs are separable from nature, and dominant, is both silly and dangerous.
The book’s subtitle, Eavesdropping At Conversations Between Nature and Culture hints at its form, a journal of his explorations from 2008 to 2023. It develops broad themes: the everyday miracles in woods and meadows, the critical failures of industrial capitalism, our human prehistory (“When I grow up I’d like to be an archaeologist”), existence as seen by science and religion, and our blind substitution of profit for love of nature and of ourselves.