When we think of nature as paradise, we envision our ideal first home, the Garden of Eden, in all of its natural loveliness. For many people, this world is lost to earth and only to be found “up there,” in heaven. To such believers, the idea that earth itself is chock full of divinity constitutes heresy.
Once I suspended my descriptions of ideal communities every couple of chapters to insert thoroughly bad goings on, I found the alternation from good to evil and evil to good created a satisfactory narrative rhythm. Rising suspense and an awful event followed by better times before the cycle repeated itself not only made for a better read but was also philosophically satisfying. That’s the way life goes, after all – the way it challenges our mettle.
Review of Sharman Apt Russell, Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World
I started keeping bird lists in 1947 when my school’s Audubon Club suggested we list birds and describe their behavior. This was New York City, and I had lots of fun observing pigeons and English sparrows. Then, one wondrous day. we were taken to Central Park to see the spring migration. Tanagers and goldfinch, hermit thrush and grosbeaks and warblers of every kind tumbled all around us. I was hooked for life.
Do you remember games you played when you were a child? I looked forward to recess so much that I couldn’t sit still for those awful last ten minutes in class, wriggling in my seat and going mad with anticipation. The need to run and jump, getting every muscle into motion, made me feel like I was going to explode.
Ever since the summer when I was nine years old and my family lived on a boat moored in a New England harbor, I have loved small boats. We had great big Elco cruiser, but in order to play with my friends I rowed our little dinghy ashore. Nowadays I am utterly content to ply a stout little kayak up and down the Betsie, a narrow, winding river in northwest Michigan.
Welcome to my new blog! I will be posting every week about the themes, folklore details, games and dances, environmental philosophy, and early modern history that I adapt in my Eco-fiction novels series, Infinite Games.
Have you, like me, longed for a utopian community where we live together in amity, following laws we work out for ourselves and valuing each other for our contribution to common good? I have yearned for a world like that all my life – have you too?