windandwater: The purest treasure mortal times afford Is…

Friday, April 12th, 2019

windandwater:

The purest treasure mortal times afford

Is spotless reputation: that away,

Men are but gilded loam or painted clay. 

–William Shakespeare, King Richard II, I.1.183-185

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/184149898208.

windandwater: Yet one word more–grief boundeth where it…

Monday, April 8th, 2019

windandwater:

Yet one word more–grief boundeth where it falls,

Not with the empty hollowness, but weight.
I take my leave before I have begun,

For sorrow ends not when it seemeth done.

–William Shakespeare, Richard II, 1.2.271-274

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/184054487000.

“We are not very good at telling stories about a hundred people doing things or considering that the…”

Friday, April 5th, 2019

“We are not very good at telling stories about a hundred people doing things or considering that the qualities that matter in saving a valley or changing the world are mostly not physical courage and violent clashes but the ability to coordinate and inspire and connect with lots of other people and create stories about what could be and how we get there.”

Rebecca Solnit: When the Hero is the Problem

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/183980938000.

lies: (From a comment on this.) My own response has evolved….

Friday, March 22nd, 2019

lies:

(From a comment on this.)

My own response has evolved. There’s the initial shock of learning how actually bad things are going to be, and it’s only human to react strongly and emotionally to that, especially as a parent.

But it’s important to realize, too, that life will go on. Many people’s grandkids who would otherwise have lived will probably either die or never be born because of climate change; many others will have lives that will be deeply unpleasant. But people will still be here. We’re a weedy species. Like cockroaches and starlings, we won’t vanish. An almost unthinkable number of other species probably will, but humans — at least some humans — will remain. They’ll still fall in love, share special moments, tell stories, laugh… Your grandkids probably have as good a shot at that as anyone’s. So there’s that.

Also, after the Sixth Great Extinction has run its course, a few million years from now, there will be a new flowering of species radiating their way into the vacant niches. And through all that, the silverfish probably won’t even notice, except for there having been a brief and unexplained hiccup of warmth and moisture and starchy book bindings, now passed.

For me it comes down to a choice between despair and hope. Tolkien wrote that “by 1918 all but one of my close friends were dead.” It haunted him, and he spent his life crafting a story to dramatize what he thought about how a person should respond to knowledge like that. Look at Denethor’s actions after he looks in the Palantir, versus Aragorn’s. Or look at Frodo and Sam, and their responses to Galadriel’s Mirror.

That Guardian piece I linked to isn’t giving you Lovelock’s views directly; like the Mirror of Galadriel, The Guardian is dangerous as a guide of deeds. We need to know what’s coming in order to prepare ourselves and to counter those who would mislead. But we also need to appreciate that if things are going downhill the way they appear to be, we should recognize and honor what we have today. I think that’s the point Lovelock was trying to make in that interview, though I’m not sure his interviewer really understood.

If a version of me had lived in the 1840s, and I could go back in time and talk to him, what would I tell him? Would I show him pictures of the carnage of the Civil War? Or tell him uplifting stories about the beginning of the end of slavery? Talk about the bombing of Hiroshima? Or about the landings on the Moon? What would I want him to know about the future? And if he knew what was coming, how would I want him to respond?

I think I’d want him to go bird-watching. I’d want him to walk through the forest listening for the call of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker. I’d want him to watch Carolina Parakeets at play, or stand beneath a flock of Passenger Pigeons so huge it blocked out the sun.

Everything dies. Individuals, societies, species: all of us are coming to an end. One day life itself will come to an end. It can be comforting to imagine otherwise, but that’s a fantasy.

Climate scientists and magazine writers (and programmers) aren’t necessarily the best people to advise you on how to process that knowledge. I think poets are a better source. So I re-read Tolkien. Also, thanks to despairoftranslators, I’ve been reading Owls and Other Fantasies by Mary Oliver. God, I love that book.

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/183645220062.

lies: Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness Every year…

Thursday, March 21st, 2019

lies:

Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness

Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends
into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing, as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don’t say
it’s easy, but
what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?
So let us go on

though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.

— Mary Oliver, from A Thousand Mornings

Photo by Kelly Gardner, Mississippi valley mayfly emergence, July 20, 2014.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/183624796880.

lies: “I’m increasingly attracted by the idea that there can be at least small pockets where life…

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

lies:

“I’m increasingly attracted by the idea that there can be at least small pockets where life and character and beauty and meaning continue. If I could help protect one of those from destruction, maybe that would be enough. Maybe it would be more than most people do.”

paulkingsnorth from “It’s the End of the World As We Know It… And He Feels Fine.”

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/183603118755.

heavydirtysoul-24:

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

heavydirtysoul-24:

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/183580913876.

impossibilityart: a little autobiographical piece about the…

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

impossibilityart:

a little autobiographical piece about the internet

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/183260632440.

humanlighthouse: outpastthemoat: honestly i think most girls these days feel this deep restless…

Friday, March 1st, 2019

humanlighthouse:

outpastthemoat:

honestly i think most girls these days feel this deep restless emptiness inside them because no one has access to a field or meadow anymore. you can’t run out of the kitchen with a scarf around your head until you find the nearest empty pasture with hay blowing gently in the wind and just lay in the grass for a long time and listen to the wind until whatever is terrible and hard has passed and you remember that you are made of earth and you will be earth again and then you pick a handful of queen anne’s lace and walk home. girls don’t have empty fields to run to anymore and somewhere deep inside they know that they are missing something vital, and they spend their lives looking for it.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/183135866024.

I don’t have a lot to offer in these moments, but I do have this: Anyone in touch with their…

Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

I don’t have a lot to offer in these moments, but I do have this: Anyone in touch with their heart, and their head, bursts out weeping sometimes.

Elizabeth Sawin, https://twitter.com/bethsawin/status/1100219696333369345

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/183066974536.

I know you’re doing your bestI think you’re doing just fine

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

I know you’re doing your best
I think you’re doing just fine

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/182932692079.

Video

Friday, February 8th, 2019

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/182652103051.

I think I figured out why I was falling into a deep well of wtf lately.The county-year-list thing…

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

I think I figured out why I was falling into a deep well of wtf lately.

The county-year-list thing ended, which was fine; I was ready to not be so obsessive. I had a bunch of followup work to do in connection with the CBC compiling anyway, and the multi-year process of updating our local general plan to deal with sea level rise has been entering the phase where it goes from boringly slow to blindingly fast as the magician misdirects my attention and surprise! it’s a bunny! and I’m like, wait; we don’t NEED a bunny, we need a bear on a unicycle but the magician is like haha too late! better luck next time!

And there’s also, you know, my job. So I had plenty to do.

But in the meantime the usual (unusual) hijinks were going on in terms of US politics, and when I’m suddenly not getting up at 4 a.m. half the mornings to get in a couple of hours’ birdwatching in the far corners of the county I was paying more attention to my twitter feed, and it turns out my selection of politics-obsessed twitter follows, which worked fine when I was dipping in and out while attending to local avian matters, was WAY TOO MUCH AWFUL when consumed as a steady diet uninterrupted by birds.

So: Twitter follows trimmed down. And I’ve gotten on top of the CBC compiling and the SLR planning, so that’s cool. I’m going to prescribe myself just a little more birdwatching. And we’ll see how it goes.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/182600432520.

lies: for ever, it seems (by request for welovewebseries)

Saturday, February 2nd, 2019

lies:

for ever, it seems

(by request for welovewebseries)

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/182519510641.

lies:But all the clocks in the city   Began to whirr and…

Saturday, February 2nd, 2019

lies:

But all the clocks in the city
   Began to whirr and chime:
‘O let not Time deceive you,
   You cannot conquer Time.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/182493848832.

I Didn’t Write This

Friday, February 1st, 2019

despairoftranslators:

So much loving Yulin Kuang’s “I Didn’t Write This” series of short films. It’s a gorgeously simple idea, that reel of cinematic art unfolding alongside and in conversation with a literary work, like a peek into someone else’s dreams. Or like your own dreams, when you fall asleep with a favorite book on your chest.

So: here are my poem suggestions. I’ve fallen in love with the work of Mary Oliver, whose work so often gives me the strange upside-down feeling of being recognized by someone I’ve never met. There’s a quiet, attentive beauty to her work that I think would blend well with Yulin’s warm, funny, careful director’s eye.

STARLINGS IN WINTER

Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
and instantly

they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,

dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
that opens,
becomes for a moment fragmented,

then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can’t imagine

how they do it
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,

this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.
Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,

even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;

I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard, I want

to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.

THE MESSENGER

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/182469559256.

Twitter (which for me is mostly US politics twitter, because I intentionally segregated my social…

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

Twitter (which for me is mostly US politics twitter, because I intentionally segregated my social media into (politics) | (uplift|landscapes|droll webseries|birds|pretty dresses) in November 2016, is making me super sad lately.

Why you have to be that way, @jbc99 twitter?

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/182418796263.

i-find-the-beauty-in-chaos: osointricate: How about we vote in a law that puts a cap on how long a…

Friday, January 25th, 2019

i-find-the-beauty-in-chaos:

osointricate:

How about we vote in a law that puts a cap on how long a government shut down can happen… say 20 days… before the president has to agree to a budget solution or else the 21st day congress begins the process of impreachment because civilian jobs and salaries and livelihoods are not a bargaining tool for the president to abuse is order to get their way

If you aren’t serving the people then you aren’t doing the job of the presidency and you need to be replaced

AMEN

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/182290617148.

violentwavesofemotion: Mary Oliver reciting her poem “Wild…

Friday, January 18th, 2019

violentwavesofemotion:

Mary Oliver reciting her poem “Wild Geese,” published in Selected Poems

You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/182105987337.

moonemojii: When someone lies to you but you already know the truth

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

moonemojii:

When someone lies to you but you already know the truth

image

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/180820725732.