Thursday, April 23, 2015

Another Dark Love

This is the second study in The Warning Song of the Arctic set loose by Dahr Jamail's article, "The Methane Monster Roars." It's a small watercolor, 4.5 x 7", called Methane Boils. It shows one of the places in the arctic where methane pools are bubbling through the melting permafrost.

One aspect of climate challenge that I feel strongly and haven't learned to navigate, is avoiding so much darkness that we seal a bad fate, while facing the darkness that must be brought to light and love if we're to transform ourselves and our habits. There must be light, there must be love, and there must be unwavering truth. 

Weeks earlier I attended a lecture by Naomi Klein, which inspired a lot of beautiful energy, hope, and the following poem:

another dark love

the climate is changing. seasons
rearranging. the specter of venus haunts
hydrocarbon dreams. no one believes
the disaster of 4-6 ° centigrade, the apocalypse
of a few drowned cities.

we all know how much worse.
the savviest liberal is hardly more realistic 
than the bible capitalist.
we scurry like denial ants, each with our
destined grain of sand.

& yet the breath of earth stirs us.
the winds of trees penetrate the gossamer
of unending connection. engineer to grub
to crab grass to salmon to bread mold to 
melting icicle to water rounded stone.

there is a voice singing inside every.
there is a hearing within the vast deafness.
aberrant cells in the sweet earth body,
we bend & shudder to some collective immune
response that calls us back, calls us.

greed is not the inner nature of any human being,
nor any kind of being. shark & wolverine
& kudzu vine are more complex, ambiguous.
even the corporate ceo fracking us to hell
is a patchwork story with unpredictable twists.

the sun doesn’t feel so warm now as threatening.
what happened to double hung windows & a thousand
clever passive devices lost to witless technology?
screw the supply side. whittle the demand to
so little even a chickadee is cradled.

she is calling, she is calling. maple winds &
supersized hurricane waves become symphonic. 
someday the dance teacher will no longer strike
the iridescent wings of a wandering fly. the oil magnate
will protect tars sands flora with his life.

all the things we have to have
become a joke, obscene but easily forgotten.
to touch lichen growing on bark brings us to our knees,
worshipping & awed. glaciers can grow again,
only one venus circling our sun.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Warning Song of the Arctic

In January, Dahr Jamail published an article in Truthout: "The Methane Monster Roars." Over decades of creating art to benefit our relationship with nature, I've become quite alarmed about climate disintegration, and was aware of the threat of methane being released as the Arctic sea bed and permafrost are melting. Nonetheless, the way he wrote this article grabbed me by the soul.

He began by observing ferns in Olympic National Park: "the delicate geometry of frost-covered ferns. White crystalline structures seemed to grow from the green leaves, encasing them in a frozen frame of temporary beauty." From there he moves into grave concerns and a terrifying array of scientific data. I vigorously recommend this article.

Immediately I turned my pencils and brushes northward. What can I paint to keep this pivotal land and water frozen? There is no immediate answer. There is the beginning of a journey of exploration. Pictured is the small watercolor, "Frosted Ferns," 7.8 x 5.3", that was my first step. Many others have followed, and I intend to post them here regularly.

I'm looking for allies: artists, scientists, grievers, healers. I see no ordinary way to prevent the disaster that's hurtling toward us. So please, let's invent an extraordinary way.