Volume 10, Issue 1, Spring 2013
East Asian and Comparative Approaches to the Environment
Sensing the Wind
The Timely Music of Nature’s Memory
According to the Zhuangzi, listening to the music of nature draws the self into the silence required to experience things in their self-arising spontaneity. How does this happen? This essay answers by way of the Yue Ji (Record of Music), where it is said that great music embodies the timeliness of nature. Using both texts, I develop timeliness as the opportune moment, temporal natality, and nature’s memory. Listening to the timely music of nature is shown to be an act of ecological perception that, by releasing time in favor of timeliness, reveals our aesthetic accordance with nature’s own becoming.