Friday, June 26, 2015

Somewhere, over the rainbow...

After two of the decisions this week from SCOTUS, I can almost expect resolution of the current Greek financial crisis and the emergence of a legally-binding, scientifically valid GHG agreement in the upcoming Paris talks. It's almost enough to restore my belief in magic, which I think we need more of in this day and age.

what's over the rainbow?
what's over the rainbow?
Photo by J. Harrington

There's an interesting generational difference in our house in response to the events mentioned above. I'm an only slightly rehabilitated former hippie -- unreconstructed environmentalist who's currently reading Ed Abbey's Monkey Wrench Gang, supposedly the model or inspiration for Earth First! On the other hand, the Daughter Person (DP) and the SIL (Son-In-Law) are millennials. This morning, as I was complaining about the fact that social justice issues, such as equality in marriage, seem to be getting much more support these days than environmental issues, such as Anthropogenic Climate Disruption which, I admit, doesn't roll off the tongue quite like "gay marriage." In reply, the DP noted that "her generation" is much more in tune with social justice movements than with the environmental movement.

foundations of the biosphere: water, plants, air
foundations of the biosphere: water, plants, air
Photo by J. Harrington

That really caught my attention, since I had, earlier this week, read a decades old statement by Peter Berg that "you may have noticed that in just the last ten years, that most major ecologically oriented organizations have begun to fit the notion of a biogeographic region into their programs." [The Biosphere and the Bioregion, page 65]. He elsewhere notes that environmental organizations had become seen as "Against" more than "For." I've been more than a little frustrated for a number of years at a lack of success getting environmental organizations to broaden their focus from preservation and protection to a more inclusive one of actively supporting environmentally beneficial development or redevelopment. (We've noted a number of times here that creating great cities is, we think, one of the best ways to protect wilderness. Think also about mining in northern Minnesota.) So, I'm starting to sense that convergence among social justice, environmental justice, environmental protection, sustainable development and restorative development may lead to the big tent we need to be truly successful. I hope I'm right about it and that convergence develops deep tap roots which help produce beautiful blossoms and fruits for years to come. It wouldn't be the first time that the DP and I have actually agreed about something that took us (me) a while to realize. This all seems further to validate John Muir's observation, silk-screened onto one of my t-shirts and serving as my long-standing email signature block, that "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe."   I think I hear Satchmo's gravel-voice crooning "What a wonderful world" as I wrap this up for today.      

Poem [“This poem is not addressed to you”]

By Donald Justice 

This poem is not addressed to you.
You may come into it briefly,
But no one will find you here, no one.
You will have changed before the poem will.

Even while you sit there, unmovable,
You have begun to vanish. And it does not matter.
The poem will go on without you.
It has the spurious glamor of certain voids.

It is not sad, really, only empty.
Once perhaps it was sad, no one knows why.
It prefers to remember nothing.
Nostalgias were peeled from it long ago.

Your type of beauty has no place here.
Night is the sky over this poem.
It is too black for stars.
And do not look for any illumination.

You neither can nor should understand what it means.
Listen, it comes without guitar,
Neither in rags nor any purple fashion.
And there is nothing in it to comfort you.

Close your eyes, yawn. It will be over soon.
You will forget the poem, but not before
It has forgotten you. And it does not matter.
It has been most beautiful in its erasures.

O bleached mirrors! Oceans of the drowned!
Nor is one silence equal to another.
And it does not matter what you think.
This poem is not addressed to you.

Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.