The sun has moved north (using a Ptolemaic explanation) and so sunrises and sunsets can be seen from my window. As we move toward the rainy season (Arthur is moving around in the Atlantic already—sixth year in a row there's been a named storm in May!), sunrises, sunsets and the sky generally become more fascinating—more clouds, lightning, and winds bending trees—more excitement than the dull, dull, repeatable days of the dry season.
And the days move on . . .
N. Scott Momaday:
"I am interested in the way that a man looks at a given landscape and takes possession of it in his blood and brain. For this happens, I am certain, in the ordinary motion of life. None of us lives apart from the land entirely; such an isolation is unimaginable. We have sooner or later to come to terms with the world around us—and I mean especially the physical world, not only as it is revealed to us immediately through our senses, but also as it is perceived more truly in the long turn of seasons and of years. And we must come to moral terms . . . And particularly here and now is that true. We Americans need now more than ever before—and indeed more than we know—to imagine who and what we are with respect to the earth and sky. I am talking about an act of imagination, essentially, and the concept of an American land ethic."
Florida is "opening up," but here in my community we are reminded not to go out unless really essential. Every day turns into an imitation of the one before and the one before that and . . . Still, so far, no one is ill from COVID-19 here. And the days have been lovely, though very dry. Hope all of you remain well.
"I was brought up to believe that humans are objective, disinterested observers of a fixed external reality and that we should behave as such. But this point of view is not science; it is ideology . . .
Because the fact is, many of us do have these senses; we do see something in the wild world that we need. We do feel awe; we do see something magical or even holy in waterfalls and cloud formations and herds of ibex. These experiences are real, and they are not going away. If we have a sense that there is something higher than our reason can explain to be found in the woods and the fields, and if this is the real reason our hearts break when the woods and fields are bulldozed in the name of economics, then this sense, like our ability to love or to experience beauty or ugliness, is entirely 'subjective'. But it is also entirely real." (Italics added.)
The other day I watched "2001" again; I forgot how funny it can be. Kubrick's satire is accurate and prophetic. But that of course means it is frightening too—we never seem to learn anything. It has been obvious to many for a long time (I was teaching this back when I was in graduate school in the 70s) that technological "fixes" for the problems that technology has produced don't really fix anything; they just compound the problems. What is needed is not new and scarier technology but as Rilke put it, "you must change your life." That is, we must change ourselves. But the likelihood of that happening doesn't seem very great.
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