Thursday, November 15, 2007
On the journey home from the West Coast last month I met an interesting fellow traveler and we struck up conversation about sustainability and the future. In the course of conversation I gave him an article Dana Meadows had written that I had carried in my bag all the way from Vermont to California and then to Oregon. I wasn't sure I'd ever hear from him again, but recently, I received this email:
I just finished my first read through of Dana Meadows article. It was great. What can one say – “she gets it” and has a simple and powerful way of communicating. This led me to your website which is also inspiring and the discovery that she died at 59. Sounds like a soul that had burned very bright.
I agree, about the soul burning bright, and imagine that those of you reading these words who knew Dana Meadows would agree as well.
But we are all burning, aren't we? Literally. We are flames, our cells burning oxygen with every breath. We take the world into ourselves with every mouthful of food and every sip of water, transforming carrot sticks and peanut butter into movement and sound, into violence or poetry.
I wish we taught our children this truth, that they are moving flowing rivers, never, not even for an instant, stagnant, and never, ever separate from the ocean or from the clouds, or from the dark and secret life of the soil.
I wish our leaders knew it. I wish they all knew and acted as though they knew that, as Buckminster Fuller once said, we are not nouns, but verbs. (" I live on Earth at present, and I don't know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing — a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process — an integral function of the universe.")
That is my image for the day - people as flames. The delegates at the United Nations, my seven-year old at her math assignment, the people – soldiers, insurgents, mothers, babies – on the ground in Iraq.
All of us, burning bright.