Dig: gravity; the power of the earth to capture and hold objects in place; when taken on actively by people, it is the process of harnessing this power (both by excavation and by mounding.) In the process, the hidden powers of the earth are revealed (the power of stillness or the power of concentration, in such substances as gold or diamonds, for example), while at the same time the power of the earth to hold objects in place is transferred to the mound created by the excavation. Thus, through the act of digging, the earth (a dig) is divided into two complementary forces: the latent power of receiving created by making a hole in the earth’s gravity (a ditch), and the latent power of holding back, created by physically moving earth from its place of rest (a dig) into the sky, which becomes a dike. Dikes are effective, because they are used to hold back water that falls from the sky; the placement of their stilling energy in the sky allows them to still that falling action and channel it through a ditch. In 20th century slang, the original active power of dig was reborn in the meaning of  “to be attracted to,” and was used in such phrases as “I really dig you,” or “I dig this music.” It is just this meaning that is at the root of the power of gravity, which is the power of attraction (and revelation) that lies behind the act of digging, which when actively employed lifts earth out of its state of rest and piles it up at its side in an elevated form, to unite the force of work with the earth to create a working piece of the earth called an earth work. This power of excavation remains potent today in the verb “to grub”, as in “he is a money-grubbing shyster,” as well as in the insect larval form called a “grub”, which fits the channels (graves) it grubs out in wood or earth. A specific form of a groove is a grave, which is a dig that is reversed to return a human body to the earth, where, fittingly, the act of digging is only stilled once it has been eaten by grubs.

 watercressA Drainage Ditch Colonized by Water Cress, Okanagan Landing, British Columbia


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  1. Pingback: Drag – The Green Earth Dictionary

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