Saturday, June 6, 2015

Polar Song

Polar Song

The 5th in my Arctic series is Polar Song, a watercolor, 8.5 x 11", completed in April. Like all sentient beings, polar bears have their own songs. This bear is singing a plea for her survival, the survival of her kind, the survival of her beautiful world. I have expressed it in the poetic form, tetractys: 5 lines, the first with 1 syllable, the second with 2, the third with 3, the fourth with 4, and the last with 10 syllables.

queen of cold
she sings, she pleads—
defeat progress for sanctity of life

I've begun to talk with scientists and others about the journey from the mess we're in to a viable way of understanding our world and our role. Lauren, a fluvial geomorphologist, told me of a trip to the Firth River in the Yukon, nearly 10 years ago. Even then "soil was hemorrhaging" out of the melting permafrost. Shuli, a strategy consultant, has studied how flood-devastated communities find a viable future amid chaos, as well as how they ignore hard choices. 

To avert climate catastrophe, fundamental changes to our economy and beliefs about knowledge are required. Some very unusual alliances need to emerge. Progress must be defeated in a way that tastes like a win. I hope Lauren, Shuli, I, polar bear spirit, and artistic process are all part of the healing.