Conservation in Verse

Conservation in Verse
Conservation in Verse

Jun 17 2019 | 00:41:04

Episode 2 June 17, 2019 00:41:04

Hosted By

Miranda Perrone

Show Notes

Recently, co-hosted Conservation in Verse: Authors, Artists, and Activists on Protecting the Landscapes We Love with Friends of the Columbia Gorge. We hope you’ll enjoy listening to poets Kim Stafford and Jane Hirshfield, as well as hearing a panel discussion including artist Ka’ila Farrell-Smith and Friends of Columbia Gorge executive director Kevin Gorman.

Additionally, listen to eight more poems read by Jane Hirshfield at the Conservation in Verse event: “French Horn,” “Page,” “Global Warming,” “Today Another Universe,” “A Cedary Fragrance,” “Cataclysm,” “Let Them Not Say,” and “Tree”:

Additional information about topics discussed in this podcast can be found at:

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Welcome to soundscapes a podcast. In this episode, we'd like to invite you to join an event we co-hosted with Friends of the Columbia Gorge at this year's AW WP Conference. The topic of the evening was authors, artists, and activists on protecting the landscapes we love. We listened to readings by award-winning poet Jane Hirschfield, an Oregon poet laureate Kim Stafford before being joined by Kaia Pharrell Smith and Kevin Gorman for a moderated panel and q and a session Terrain dot org's, editor-in-Chief Simmons Bunton kicks off the event. Speaker 2 00:00:34 Hi there. My name is Simmons Bunton. I am the editor-in-chief of and it is my pleasure to welcome you to Conservation Inverse, a partnership with Friends of the Columbia River Gorge. I wanna say a few words about So is the world's first place-based online journal. Somebody this evening asked if you guys are everywhere, why are you called Terrain? There is a poem by ar amons that is called Terrain. And I want to just read a small snippet of that ar Amons writes, the soul is a region without definite boundaries. It is not certain a prairie can exhaust it or arrange in close it. And you know, I think that's why we're here this evening to both discover the soul of place through beautiful and inspiring poetry and to charge, or perhaps for many of us recharge our own souls and our ongoing work to protect the landscapes we love literature and art and activism, art together essential to getting us there. And I think we'll learn a lot more about that this evening. Speaker 0 00:01:43 Here's Kim Stafford, a poet who encourages writing as a contribution to community and democracy, sharing some of his work. Speaker 1 00:01:52 Every chance I get, any place I fit in a cleft of grit in ravine or pit by ancient wit my husk, I split. I am the seed. I fell to the ground without a sound by rainfall, drowned by sunlight, found by wonder, crowned through luck. Profound. I am the seed after fiery thief. After bout of grief, though life is brief, I sprout relief with tiny leaf beyond belief. I am the seed. I am the seed. Small as a bead, tell me your need, your hunger. I'll feed any trouble you're in. I will begin for I am the seed up. I rise to seek the prize from all that dies small and wise before your eyes. Speaker 1 00:03:01 I am the seed. Well, to me the seed is everything. It's human possibility. It's a little raindrop wanting to be a river. It's a little child wanting to grow up and save the world. That sense of growing, of being too small to be noticed and then taking over <laugh>. That's what we want to do. Okay, so, um, my wife said a very wise thing One day she said, you know, every day you open the paper and you become aware of something that's been destroyed, ruined, killed, made extinct. You know, debased, what if every day you created something to talk back to all that darkness? It wouldn't have to be a big thing to be an important thing. So, you know, I've been thinking the news, the news is important, but it's incomplete. It needs to be made into a poem. And so I have this new genre, the non-fiction poem, you know, that starts with something verbatim outta the news, which is often a terrible thing, a terrible thing. Speaker 1 00:04:09 And then there's part two. There has to be part two. So this is from a truly terrifying article about how birds die. How birds die. And his two parts, wild birds teach us. Part one, how birds die. This is the non-fiction part. Get caught by a kitty cat. 2.4 billion collateral damage of industry, 700 million. Hit a window, 600 million hit a car, 214 million get poisoned. 72 million hit a power line. 25 million get electrocuted. 5 million hit a turbine. 234,000. Get blinded by city lights and stray search in vain for star lights. Guide. Get out of sync with climate change. Depart too early. Arrive too late. Land in a lake of arsenic. Get your wings fouled in oil. Eat plastic, eat foil, eat lead shot, eat lead shot and get a seizure. Eat poisoned insects and carry their doom. Lose your acre of breeding ground. And so circle the parking lot that was a marsh. Speaker 1 00:05:28 Circle and circle. Cry and cry. Be a snowy owl in the era of Harry Potter. Caged by a reader expected to prophesy. Be the wild pet of 7 billion Mammals with hands be the last of your kind singing and singing. Part two, how wild birds live. Fence. Wire a throne for singing and singing thorns in the blackberry thicket jewels of safety. A vegan lot rife with a chance. Mix heaven wing bars of crimson mustard boss kin vo, a fat worm, a ripe seed, a caught beetle. Enough twig feet on a twig after a thousand miles rest, bill tucked under the wing spiral home, cast off thread and thistle down snug nest. A silence into which to put a few watery notes. Duet, breeding season, egg season, fledgling season destiny wings in the mist, riding gliding, leaving no trace heart surge song from inside beau's custodian, a short, intense, breathless life. Grace. Speaker 1 00:07:09 So your optional homework record Part one, compose. Part two compose. Part two. So this is a poem I wrote for you this morning in my daily writing practice. I've been listening to this, uh, talk by Elizabeth Gilbert. And she talked about how beauty is so redundant, it's so overdone in the natural world. Flowers are more beautiful than they have to be. You know, the shimmer on water. Does it really have to be that beautiful? But it is. You know, here's this abundance. So I just, I had this phrase in my mind. Redundant beauty, redundant beauty. Every willow leaf aching into green from its crimson stem offers another lovely imperfection among these millions along the roundstone bank, dressing clear streams that are built of rain seeds, all of like mind flowing. So the water knife may cut through mountains and whittle sand pebbles. The ants rays into their glittering pyramid studded with blue flowers so microscopic, they bring me stunned to my knees to whisper. Speaker 1 00:08:20 Holy, holy, holy. Why this propagate redundancy of beauties everywhere I turn the old leaf gone to lace the first sprout, small as a comma, the seed hurls toward the sky. Bird song, rain glisten, snail whl, butterfly unfurling her spiral tongue. It must be a kind of merciless democracy of beauties voting for our attention. Every child open mouthed in wonder, do not see this is to die a little. Do not hear, not touch is to be terrorized. Do not defend is to be complicit with sorrow, with fear in betrayal of earth. I say send your pleasure, hungry forth to be stunned by every leaf from the crimson wand of willow aching green. Speaker 1 00:09:38 And to finish up, I'm the warmup band for Jane is something I had a little help with. Um, Abraham Lincoln. And I wrote this piece, um, because I read that, you know, when he was troubled by the state of the world, there was this big sycamore tree outside the white house and he would climb up into the tree to think. And what's someone like that leading the ship of state? Uh, so this is called a Ben I, and you'll, you may see how he helped me forest score. And seven years from now, our descendants will inherit on this continent an older earth conceived in diversity and dedicated to the recognition that all creatures live as one. Now we are engaged in a great struggle testing whether this creation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met in a great community for that struggle. Speaker 1 00:10:50 We have come to dedicate a portion of our grief as a final resting place for those creatures who gave their lives departing from this creation. It is fitting and proper that we should do this in a larger sense. We cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this creation. The desperate creatures, neglected children, vibrant cultures and local ways of being, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract the whole earth. Will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what we now choose to do. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated to the unfinished work which they who struggled and lost here have thus far so painfully clarified. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the Drake task remaining before us, that these tattered beauties, we take increased devotion to the cause for which they lost their last full measure of living witness and of song that we hear highly resolved. That these shall not be joined by an endless parade of others, long in splendor, suddenly gone that this whole earth will have a new birth in welcome to its own. And that reconciliation of all creatures by all creatures, for all creatures shall not perish from the earth. Thank you, Speaker 0 00:12:38 Jane Harfield took the stage next. Jane's work expresses long-standing interest in science and environment and explores poetry as an instrument for investigation and a mode of perception. Speaker 3 00:12:51 I know for me, one of the difficult things in my own life in wanting to add one tiny decibel to the general clamor for change in certain directions is, um, one often feels useless. We do it anyhow, but we feel what, you know, how can this possibly, and so this poem has in the back of its mind, uh, the idea of, remember when we all first heard about the butterfly effect? So that was in the back of my mind when I wrote this. It has the modest title changing everything. I was walking again in the woods, a yellow light was sifting. All I saw willfully with a cold heart. I took a stick, lifted it to the opposite side of the path there I said to myself, that's done now brushing one hand against the other to clean them of the tiny fragments of bark. Speaker 3 00:14:01 So this next poem is a much more recent poem and more overtly activist. It was written on the fifth day of the current administration. That was the day many of you will remember that the White House took all information about climate change off their website and ordered every scientist who was feder federally funded to stop talking about their work in public unless it was properly vetted. One team of scientists in the Badlands began tweeting facts and they were having to do it on their private accounts. So I wrote this poem by the end of that day when the news came out and I sent it to a couple, couple of friends, scientists, and they sent it to friends and they sent it to friends. And not that many months later, I was reading it on the Washington Mall at the first march for science to something like 50,000 people, which is not anything I ever expected to see in this life. Speaker 3 00:15:11 On the fifth day, on the fifth day, the scientists who studied the rivers were forbidden to speak or to study the rivers. The scientists who studied the air were told not to speak of the air. And the ones who worked for the farmers were silenced. And the ones who worked for the bees, someone from deep in the Badlands began posting facts. The facts were told not to speak and were taken away. The facts surprised to be taken were silent now. It was only the rivers that spoke of the rivers and only the wind that spoke of the bees. While the un pausing factual buds of the fruit, trees continued to move toward their fruit, the silence spoke loudly of silence. And the rivers kept speaking of rivers of boulders and air bound to gravity, airless and tongue less. The untested rivers kept speaking bus drivers, shelf stalkers. Code writers, machinists, accountants, lab techs, cellists kept speaking. They spoke the fifth day of silence. Speaker 3 00:16:33 So my sense is that the things we love to work for the most are the things which matter more than we do. And so I wanted to bring in a poem tonight that touches on those moments when the very self vanishes before and inside of experiences of the large. Um, and you know, we all have such moments, I believe. I don't think there's a human being on earth who hasn't at some point. And even when it is the slenderest of memories, I think that experience continues to sustain us as we go forward. Um, they change the scales of existence three times. My life has opened three times. My life has opened once into darkness and rain once into what the body carries at all times within it. And starts to remember each time it enters the act of love once to the fire that holds. All these three. Were not different. You will recognize what I am saying or you will not. But outside my window, all day, a maple has stepped from her leaves. Like a woman in love with winter dropping the colored silks. Neither are we different in what we know. There is a door, it opens, then it is closed. But a slip of light stays like a scrap of unreadable paper left on the floor or the one red leaf, the snow releases in March. Speaker 3 00:18:26 Thinking about the activism aspect of our program, I have done something for the first two years after the inauguration. I took some action every day, you know, usually feeling it was futile. And then after two years I took a little break and now I'm starting up again. But it is easy when we engage in these things to feel certainty and surety and that we're on the side of the right. And I have long felt that one of the most frightening forces in human lives and cultures is certainty. Because when people are really certain is when they will do the most terrible things. And so I am a great believer in self skepticism and doubt and uncertainty and questioning. So this is a poem that speaks about that against certainty. There is something out in the dark that wants to correct us each time. I think this, it answers that answers hard in the heart. Grammar's, strictness. If I then say that it too is taken away between certainty and the real and ancient en entity. When the cat waits in the path hedge, no cell of her body is not waiting. This is how she is able so completely to disappear. I would like to enter the silence portion as she does to live amid the great vanishing as a cat must live one shadow fully at ease inside. Another Speaker 0 00:20:24 Big thanks to Kim Stafford and Jane Hirschfield for sharing their poetry with us. We now welcome Kaia Farrell Smith and Kevin Gorman to the stage for a moderated panel discussion. Kae Farel Smith is a contemporary Klamath modoc visual artist who focuses on channeling research through a creative flow of experimentation and artistic playfulness, rooted in indigenous aesthetics and abstract formalism. She's a co-director for Signal Fire Artist residency program, which brings artists into natural areas to inspire their art and help them to advocate for these places. Kevin Gorman is the executive director of Friends of Columbia River Gorge and also heads its Land Trust. Speaker 5 00:21:04 Now that we have our full panel convened, I'd like to toss out to, to all of you, but especially Kevin and Kayla who are, are just joining us, can we all be a seed for regeneration, for growth for action? How can art for those of you consider yourselves artists? And for many of us who don't that help save us. Speaker 0 00:21:27 Here's Kae Ferrell Smith. Speaker 6 00:21:30 I work at an artist residency Signal Fire. Um, I've also worked with, uh, groups called Journeys in Creativity, which is an art camp for native youth age 15 to 19. I've mentored and taught with that camp and I've done a lot of mentorship and work with youth through Caldera artist camps and, uh, a lot of other programs. And so I actually think, yes, we, um, and at Single Fire, part of our mission statement is that we are agents of change. And I think really, um, having opportunities for people to learn how to express themselves and communicate with one another through creative practices and creative making is incredibly important. And it's a part of a healing process as, as well as an educational, uh, educational model. So a part of my teaching philosophy has always been about an intergenerational teaching model. And so I've taught in classes, I've taught classes up at Portland State University in the Indigenous Nations studies. Speaker 6 00:22:21 And so when I I I put together this curriculum called Decolonizing through Contemporary Indigenous Art and really looking at like decolonizing, uh, practice and theory and how do we put that into action. And so when, you know, through my research and study and, um, just working as a, as a living, you know, working artist, I've met a, I just, I'm so impressed with the contemporary indigenous artists, their practices and how they're putting that theory into practice. And whether that's through, let's say basket weavers or birch bark biting, you know, you're connected. These indigenous artists are connected to land, they're connected to place, and that the materials and protecting the materials and the harvest is so vitally important. And so with basket weavers, you know, you have to go out into the land and you need to have healthy waterways to harvest tule and to harvest cattail. Speaker 6 00:23:09 And, um, you, you're very intimate. And when you harvest those materials and how you, you know, app, you know how that is now applicable to a creative practice. And so, you know, whether it's through just, you know, expression through drawing, mark making, um, sitting and ma weaving baskets together, you know, a lot of these indigenous, um, teaching models and art models are rooted in community and it's rooted in not just an individual practice, but we have to learn from one another and we can, um, begin that healing in that way. And so really my practice after I got outta grad school was going back to the traditional indigenous arts and learning, learning to study basket weaving, carving, harvest. And then I've been a, I mean, I think I, my dad always had this joke, when did you get out? And everybody has like a different answer for it. <laugh>, Speaker 6 00:23:56 The one guy would be like, oh, three weeks ago <laugh>. Or like, my partner was like 24 years ago, like when we had met when he came out <laugh>, birth <laugh>. Um, so, you know, I really had that experience of like, when did you get out? Like that is, it's just a really important, um, way of like framing your mentality. And let's get outta this, just individualism this, um, I just made a piece called rugged individualism and like we need to like be talking to one another and building, you know, relationships and then that's the root of it. And we don't need to be artists, but we can start just to communicate. Speaker 5 00:24:29 So whether artists or not, you would say if to serve as a seed, you have to look to the roots in a way. Speaker 6 00:24:34 Definitely, Speaker 5 00:24:35 Yes. For you, Kevin, how do you see the, the usefulness of art for the goals that you have of friends of Oregon and the conservation movement in general? Speaker 7 00:24:44 You know, we've talked a lot about beauty tonight. One of the words in addition to beauty that we talk about a lot is wonder, because beauty is sort of what you see out there, but wonder is how you feel. And as we try to move people and move their hearts and their heads, art as much as anything helps move that along, whether it's photography, whether it's the written word, et cetera. And I was thinking a little bit, going back to the seed comment, I was thinking about what that means when I think about our organization. And you know, many people come to our organization because they wanna know about certain hikes. They wanna know certain things, and it's kind of what they want. And at some point where there's a selfish reason why you're doing this, I wanna save this for myself. And at some point it turns and it stops being about, well I want this. Speaker 7 00:25:41 But you're seeing that there's a higher thing and there's a higher purpose to go out there and really protect this. And you need to protect it for future generations. You need to protect it because frankly, it's just the right thing to do. And to me, that's when the seed takes off. I think our society keeps the seed as dormant as possible, and even a lot of our recreation culture keeps the seed as dormant as possible. And it takes something in some ways the recreation and such as the fertilizer, but it doesn't quite get the sea going. And once the sea turns, all of a sudden it becomes activism and it becomes doing something for a higher purpose beyond yourself and your favorite hiking spot, et cetera. Speaker 5 00:26:23 That, that notion of purpose reminds me of the piece you read Kim, and, and that reconfiguring of the Gettysburg address that's really, really magnificent. And it also reminds me of something I read in a little research, uh, on you, Jane, where you had written to be an activist on behalf of the non-human world requires a decentering of our human lives as the most important thing, a perspective about the importance of our own stories in the larger realms of existence. And I'm seeing a little connection between you seeing the, the selflessness of purpose that comes once one enters into these issues or just into these places more fully. Would you call this an intersectionality of the natural world? And is that a concept that you think is worth promoting? Speaker 3 00:27:11 Gosh, a word that comes more naturally to my tongue is interconnection. And that all things are interconnected inextricably. I mean, one of the themes we've heard tonight, we heard the seed theme, we've heard a relationship theme. And I love that you brought up wonder. Awe is a word that I think by definition a must be extremely rare in our lives because it wouldn't be so awesome if it were quotidian and daily. And yet, art for me is one of the technologies we have developed to rinse our eyes of narrow and ego centered seeing. And so in many ways, rather than intersectionality has such a precisely political meaning now that I think of it as a very human word. And what I hear you asking me about is something that is beyond our human realms and names, perhaps I'm a word person. And what I want most in the world is to be struck dumb by awe. Speaker 3 00:28:20 And my job is to express what comes through my life and my psyche and my tongue. And yet I am happiest in the moments when I don't feel like I have any of them. I have a whole string of poems in my last book and in my next book with titles that begin my, you know, my this, my that, my that. And they're all about not my, they're all about the fluidity of the boundary between self and other. And I think that's the basic of ethics. It's the basic of do unto, unto others as you would have done unto you. It is the basics of treating the land with respect. It is the basics of honoring the ancestors, the elders, our neighbors, is to understand that our skin isn't so solid. It isn't solid at all. Speaker 5 00:29:10 These notions of fluidity and interconnectedness. Is this at the heart of something I have seen? You have have spoken and written about the term eco poetic. Speaker 3 00:29:20 I love the fact that the etymology of ecology and eco is home. A Chinese Daoist woman poet Wan Chi wrote a beautiful poem in which she described everywhere the wind carries me as home. And I think if we feel home in everything, our eyes land on every surface our feet walk on, we will treat it the way it deserves to be treated. So sure eco poetics, the poetics of our own household. Speaker 5 00:29:55 Do you see art as a conduit between nature and politics? Should it serve as that or should it not? Speaker 1 00:30:03 Well, I'm thinking of something. The English writer, Robert McFarland said that, and this has sort of become my guidance system, a landscape that has not been evocatively described becomes easier to destroy. So to, with words, make a landscape visible, make it have a vote, make it be part of a democracy of lives, I think is the, the wor work of the artist to foreground the place. And I'm struck, as I'm hearing Jane talk about being struck dumb. I'm remembering in Bhutan seeing a prayer put onto a prayer flag. And the idea is then the wind carries the prayer to all sentient beings. But then as the the flag begins to fray and the words are literally sent out into the world, they become the dust of the landscape. It's as if the words then become, the land friend of mine said, we have two things. We have, uh, vote and we have a voice. And the vote is very important, but it's finite. It's can, can be counted, but the voice can grow, can sing, can speak in different languages of understanding. So I think each of us is called to use the vote of our voice to advocate and testify for places. Speaker 5 00:31:25 So, uh, here you both talking to some degree about art as a sort of translation interpretation of nature for maybe a the natured modern audience. Would you agree that it can serve as that? And I I also wonder if, if we take places not just as topography or geography as the physical thing, but the culture that has been there, that's such a, a concept could, could apply to what you're trying to do with your work. Yeah, Speaker 6 00:31:57 A single fire. We work like our, our mission and our goal is to bring artists and activists out into these incredible places. And so we lead backpacking trips, we go camping, we go hiking, we do month long trips with students. We have alternative outdoor educational models. And the whole idea is that if we bring these people out with these creative agitators or agents of change, that they will then become advocates for those places. So for me personally, I'm indigenous to this place, to this land lived here my whole life. I've gone camping. But as an artist and creative, it wasn't really until I had that experience with single fire that it really changed my life. And it was the curriculum and the content that the organization put together. And so we curate readers for every single trip. Our guides work very closely together to design different games and different curatorial practices out in, in the places that we visit. Speaker 6 00:32:48 We, we have writers and um, we have artists of all different filmmakers, experimental filmmakers. So the, the work that comes out, not necessarily directly, but is inspired by these places is just, it's very, very powerful. And the camaraderie that's built the community and the network that is built, I think the power is that we talk also, it's not rec creation, if you're talking about words, it's, it's of everything. It's that interconnectedness. Um, which of course is inherent indigenous philosophy and epistemology. And so that I'm working on ways to share that with participants. And I design an all indigenous backpacking trip. It's really about getting indigenous people who are trapped in either reservation or urban settings due to settler colonialism and having to be able to survive yet trapped in the urban jungle. And so signifier, we're also bringing people back out and reconnecting them to their ancestral homelands. Speaker 6 00:33:39 There's the political too. I mean, when I say political, I mean we're fighting a pipeline right now in southern Oregon. Jordan Cove, it's a natural frat gas, natural gas pipeline, but it's all methane. It's, um, and Jordan Cove, the export terminal in COOs Bay would be the largest greenhouse gas emitter in the state of Oregon. So we're all talking about climate chaos. I don't even call it climate change. Climate chaos, climate disaster. This is the worst thing for our state, for the Pacific Northwest. 10 million a month is what we're fighting in propaganda. This pipeline would be going under 485 waterways in southern Oregon. The Klamath, the Rogue, the Umpqua, and the COOs Rivers. And then the export terminal in COOs Bay would be the largest greenhouse gas mitter in the state of Oregon. It would also be a fire bomb in its tsunami zone, and they would have to dredge the bay to be able to bring these big vessels in. That is the size of three football field. Threatening that amount of waterways in southern Oregon is insane. So come visit Signal Fires website. There's also a website called no lng and Rogue Climate is another great place to get information on how to become active. Speaker 5 00:34:41 There's some activism for you. Speaker 6 00:34:50 Thank you. Speaker 0 00:34:52 Now it's time for some questions from the audience. Speaker 5 00:34:55 So if people couldn't hear it is the daily practice of art and the ideology of it something that these folks wanna speak to, if there is a division between those? Speaker 1 00:35:04 I have a, a phrase, a number of us have been using the phrase speak beauty to power, to engage those deciding things like a pipeline with a song, with humor, with a story, with, uh, family tradition rather than bullet points or manifestos seek relationship. And just a phrase, speak beauty to power helps me. Speaker 7 00:35:26 Yeah, I would echo that. A few days ago I had to go down to Salem and speak before the ways and means subcommittee of natural resources about the Columbia River Gorge Commission budget. And I had a few minutes to speak and as I did and as others had been speaking, the co-chair could barely keep her eyes open. Everybody on this panel were just incredibly bored. And afterwards I thought I should have just sang a show tune. You know, I should have just done something. But that's the thing. I think I would've been much better off to grab one of these two's poetry and just deliver it and just wake them up. I'm always trying to think about how art can intersect. And that was a great example where I stepped into it and just simply played their game and was no more for the better as a result of it. And I think that's the thing. I think we have to be creatively humorously congenially, creatively disruptive. That was a good lesson for me this past week. It's just, it's the same old song and dance, and if you deliver that to them, you can't expect anything to change. Speaker 5 00:36:36 I happen to, to watch a, a documentary about, um, 19th century abolitionists recently, and in which they talked about the, the huge sea change in the abolition movement from Harriet Beretto writing Uncle Tom's cabins that all of the, the broadside the appeals to moral dissuasion, to, to try to meet the issue around the, the goodness of America's Christian souls didn't work. That it was a direct appeal, an engagement with emotion that changed thousands upon thousands of people's view of of that issue. And maybe, maybe silence bring in some sense somewhat more s scientific and rational was, was that piece. But perhaps we need something that's a little, uh, uh, artwork that's a little bit more, um, directly engaging over our emotions. Speaker 6 00:37:33 Personally learned a lot going out to Standing Rock and working in the art tent, um, and really getting to learn like how, how do we create where, where does that beauty come in and where does the language come in? Do a lot of the creative part too, but the political part, you need both. You need to have the facts and need be able to speak and deliver the facts and the reality of what we're gonna face if we stay silent, which is therefore complicit Speaker 0 00:37:54 Time for another question from the audience. Speaker 5 00:37:57 So that question not about being struck down, but about being awoken to rage, passion perhaps instead of wander. Speaker 3 00:38:05 You know, it's an impossible question because one could just list an encyclopedia worth of books and influences. Forgive me, I'm going to take my half second and make a different point. The thought which has been in my mind is part of our jobs as artists activists is every great change of consciousness and awareness has happened. When something invisible becomes visible and something unheard enters into the realm of voices. And so I want to touch for a moment on the other side of our overt activism and speak for the interior life, the imaginative exploration, the thing that you don't know whether it's going to have any effect in the world or not. For example, sitting down in meditation is not an overt activism, and yet it is a taproot from which a different way of being in the world can come. I've been thinking of the way light extends on both sides of the visible spectrum past what we can see. There are sounds so low, we can't even feel them rumbling under our feet, but they change the world also. So I just want to feel a kind of broadening of our definitions of what is art's work? What is activism? Surely any increase of awareness and compassion and permeability to one another that already is activism. And we don't know what will change another human being. We don't know what will change us. Speaker 1 00:39:53 Your question. A book didn't come to mind, but a moment came to mind when I was out at Warm Springs one time for the root feast and the people, my people had sent to the desert feasted me for hours, music, dancing, drumming speeches, and then this bounty of food. And I was so shame, I was so humble. I went, I'd asking, can I contribute? Is there a way I can give back? And no one would make eye contact with me. And finally an old woman looked at me and she said, you want to contribute? Yes. Where can I do that? You will find a way <laugh>. That was it for me. And I think each of us has to answer that question with our lives. You will find a way. Speaker 0 00:40:42 That's the end of our event conversation in verse authors, artists and activists on protecting the landscapes we love. Thanks for listening and for whatever ways you've found to contribute, we'd love to hear from you and hope you join us for another episode of Soundscapes. Until then, here's to understanding that our skin isn't so solid. After all.

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