A friend (who happens to be an accomplished artist) posted this on Facebook. Having been a writer and photographer all my adult life, i can attest to the fact that Vonnegut is spot on. The act of creating is powerful. Creating art does far more than make life bearable. It provides a joy that is soul deep.
I am willing to bet I use far more paper than the average citizen…it’s part of the perils of being a life-long writer. Recognizing that fact, I want to go on record that I would be overjoyed to use only paper made from hemp.
Doesn’t it behoove all of us to do whatever possible to help conserve our precious natural resources? Use more hemp and let the trees do what they do best…like keeping us alive.
“Writing is always a political act, but I expect that will become even more explicit in light of the Trump administration-to-be’s well-documented animosity toward the academy and journalistic practice. Now, more than ever, writing and art is critical for its capacity to educate, transport, and forge bridges of empathy. But we are beyond business-as-usual, and art alone is not enough to induce the mass cultural and political change this country now needs. Writers must now use any public voice we have to push that change forward and be on the front lines in protecting and amplifying the voices of vulnerable populations. Elie Wiesel said it best, I think: ‘Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim … Sometimes we must interfere.’”
As I continue to grapple with the present reality I am encouraged knowing that we have the power to speak out and make our voices heard. We have an awesome responsibility, a moral responsibility, to make sure we “forge bridges of empathy” with those most vulnerable under the new leadership of our country.
As I wrote in an earlier post this week, “Those of us who live in love have to take sides. We have to speak out against every hate crime we see, and we must, likewise, take every opportunity to prevent hate crimes from occurring. Silence on this issue is not an option.”
I was hoping to spend this week writing. Such, however, is not to be the case. Once again, events beyond my control seem to be transpiring against me.
In my younger days I would have been railing against fate and venting my frustration on anyone close enough to hear me. Maturity, or at least advanced age, has mellowed me. I am no less frustrated, but now a long sigh is about all the venting I have energy for at this point.
The writing is important, but being with my family, especially in times of stress and trouble, is far more important. To everything there is a season according to Solomon. And for now it’s definitely the time to be with those loved ones whose need is immediate.
The time for writing will come. For now, however, I will just go with the flow. So now it’s time to leave Snake Mountain and head back up to be with my daughter and her family in Virginia. The writing can wait. My daughter and grandchildren come first.
Like Edward Abbey wrote in his introduction to THE JOURNEY HOME, “I am not a naturalist. I never was and never will be a naturalist.” But, Like Abbey I am a deep and passionate lover of nature. My most intense joy is being immersed in nature in any of its myriad of guises.
Right now I am again soaking up the solitude and splendor that is my small slice of Snake Mountain. PreSpring is here. The snow is gone. And if the bright sunshine hasn’t actually knocked the chill from the air, it has revealed that it won’t be long before those loveliest shades of green will be covering the mountain from the ridges down to the creek.
I have been waiting to get up here since before the new year kicked off. Actually, I’ve been here several times, but never for more than a couple or three days. And I will admit it…I’m greedy when it comes to Snake Mountain. Two or three days is just not enough time to soak up the beauty of this place.
Even though it probably doesn’t sound like it, I am here working. My next book, STOP HUNGER NOW: Ending Hunger in Our Lifetime is due out in early December. That’s a short timeline. But, that doesn’t keep me from soaking up the richness and beauty which surrounds me as I write.
I’ve been able to get over a thousand words into the machine this morning, so now it’s time for a little reward. My walking stick is by the door so for me it mean’s it’s time to grab the camera and head down toward the creek. Besides, I need the exercise to stay sharp.