Monday, November 21, 2016

Seeking words to help us see


I work with words. One could say that a lot of what I do with my day is work with words.

I write. I write for this website. I write for a CNC Facebook page. I write as a writer – essays, poems, I’m trying to finish a book, my third, and I give talks, do PowerPoint presentations, go to meetings, speak in communities. And I read – voraciously.

Words are my work tools. It’s one of the ways I work for New Creation - on its behalf, in the hopes of it.

And so I found company and some consolation in these words on a Nov 9 Facebook post in the aftermath of the Trump victory from a writer whom I much admire, Terry Tempest Williams, because the tools had failed me and I was having a very hard time writing at all:
It is morning, and I am mourning.
And the river is before me.
I am a writer without words who is struggling to find them.

I stood with Lake Michigan before me, a glacial lake left here when the ice finally retreated after a long Ice Age. It represents for me all that has gone wrong with our human industrial age – it is polluted, invasive species have destroyed its original ecosystem, it is in demand and threatened by future demand as humans drain aquifers around the nation, toxic algae appears each year, and some beaches pose health risks from e.coli.

And the lake represents for me all that makes this work important to me, all that makes this special place worth saving – its beauty, the way the water changes color with the sky or the direction of the wind, from deep blues to slate gray, sometimes blending with the fog that roles in at certain times of the year disappearing the horizon, the days of calm when the mallard and merganser ducks, the coots, and the geese float lazily on the surface and the days when a gale blows in and it becomes a wild animal crashing on our shores.

Monday, November 7, 2016

On the night before the election

I've been trying to find some words to share on this night before the election and they keep failing me. So I will just type and see what comes...

What will be settled if one or the other, Trump or Clinton, wins? Nothing, really, if we are talking about emerging from the collapse of the political culture and the demise of the two-party system as representing engines of change in one direction or the other. What we can expect, no matter who wins, is a fairly ungovernable nation. It's been bad for years now, but I think it's about to get worse. If anyone thinks we go from this chaos, ugliness, and slime-slinging to cooperation, compromise, or dealing with the fundamental crises of the planet, well, the reality check will come soon, methinks.