We began working on The Flowers Are Burning in 2012. Now at the beginning of 2019, we find ourselves looking at climate changes with different eyes, feeling more sorrow at what continues to be lost. We understand we must all continue adapt to what cannot be reversed and to embrace our grief in service of protecting what we love that is still here.
Several resources, books, websites, lectures have put us in touch with a wave of people who are grappling with how to live amidst so much devastation.
The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy by Michael McCarthy was one of our first such books that explored the emotional ranges from joy and grief to rage to overwhelm to love. A "moth snowstorm" was a phenomenon that the author, and people of a certain age (us) recall from childhood when moths were so abundant they "would pack a car's headlight beams like snowflakes in a blizzard". This beautiful experience is no longer, as moth populations have plummeted. The author, an environmental journalist, asks us to consider nature as an inner emotional and spiritual resource, and to use his love of nature as a form of activism, resistance and a call to arms.
Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush is a beautifully written book about the vanishing shores due to rising sea levels. Stories from the real people whose lives are being upended as they try to adapt to a shocking, unnatural reality homes and property disappearing underwater. She coins a new term for the pain and sorrow one feels when faced with such dramatic and sweeping change: endsickness.
Collapsing Rage Into Grief....this short lecture by philospher Judith Butler on Rage and Grief speaks to us about our struggle with loss. Rage and grief are intertwined emotions, with rage covering up the grief to ward it away. She suggests that mourning our losses instead of pushing them away can change us in healing ways. If sorrow is what lies beneathe rage, then non-violence can occur if we allow rage to "collapse into grief". Could grief and sorrow show us "the steps to take to preserve what is left of what we we love?" This profound question is at the forefront of our search for how to face the world as it is today.