Coming east we left the animals
pelican beaver osprey muskrat and snake
their hair and skin and feathers
their eyes in the dark: red and green.
Your finger drawing my mouth.
Blessed are they who remember
that what they now have they once longed for.
A day a year ago last summer
God filled me with himself, like gold, inside,
deeper inside than marrow.
This close to God this close to you:
walking into the river at Wolf with
the animals. The snake’s
green skin, lit from inside. Our second life.
Jean Valentine, “The River at Wolf,” The River at Wolf (Alice James Books, 1992)
Artist/sculptor Javier Marín
"A great silence is spreading over the natural world even as the sound of man is becoming deafening. Little by little the vast orchestra of life, the chorus of the natural world, is in the process of being quietened. There has been a massive decrease in the density and diversity of key vocal creatures, both large and small. The sense of desolation extends beyond mere silence."
Musician and naturalist Bernie Krause in his book, ‘The Great Animal Orchestra’ as quoted in here by John Vidal.
We want to believe that we can change the world, and change it right now! But we don’t always want to put the work in, the long and necessary and very disciplined work, to do it in a way that will stick. That’s the danger, to me. I worry that people, all excited by the transformative power of storytelling, won’t take the time to understand how those superbly transformative stories develop. The kinds of stories we’re talking about are filled with archetypal images and tropes that have been growing for hundreds and sometimes thousands of years. The idea that you can sit down in a workshop one day and write a new story that has that kind of transformative power just doesn’t make any sense to me. Which doesn’t at all mean that people should stop trying, or stop writing stories! Stories are life. But we need to approach the process with reverence. As an apprenticeship. Stories are magical. They have to be seduced, cajoled. Stories are the basic constituents of the world – at least, of the way we perceive the world and our place in it. They deserve to be treated with respect.