As a Kent Island artist-in-residence, Sylvia wrote a poetry collection in which she explored her evolving personal relationship with the non-human world. One of the questions she sought to answer through her writing was how can humans develop a positive relationship with the nonhuman world?
Sylvia found she had grown to perceive her relationship with the environment as inherently negative. As a human being, she could only expect to harm the non-human world. Her sense of environmental ethics was therefore a half-hearted effort to reduce this harm whenever the opportunity arose. x
But by failing to imagine a world in which humans interact positively and sustainably with other life, Sylvia says we exacerbate the modern spiral into ecological doom. Correcting this spiral will take a profound shift in the human understanding of their own capabilities, as well as a serious effort to rebuild our relationship with the environment.