Spoor: the mark of a spurn, or rejection (made by a spur, or heel), upon a landscape; a mirror image left by anything fleeing in the face of attention that reads its trace as if it were still there. The sense of the word is of a creature or force that is one with that following it, and retreats automatically in proportion to the energy of its attention, such as of deer fleeing before hunters at the speed at which hunters follow the deer. A mark left by mere travelling, or trekking, is called a trace, or a track. The difference is one of the intent of the viewer. In the image below, the animal footprints and the layers of volcanic ash are spoors, if the viewer considers the landscape to be alive (with intention) in space and time, and tracks and traces if the viewer considers them to be inert records of a continuously passing, individual present.

P1310982Spoors, Traces and Tracks in the Painted Hills of the John Day River


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