In Ursula Le Guin’s book, Left Hand of Darkness, she asks this question. If one lives on a planet without flight, would one be inspired to seek to fly? On earth we see birds, bats, and insects fly, and we want that too, and so we fly, but if we didn’t see it, would we be inspired to create it for ourselves?
In Lyall Watson’s book, A Natural History of the Wind, I read that, “If like pit vipers that hunt their prey by detecting body heat, we had the capacity to use infrared light, there would be no darkness for us. Even on the blackest nights, every object would be visible, lit by a radiance as great as that provided by a full moon, but with a weird difference. There would be no shadows on the ground, because Earth itself would be the principal source of light.”
I enjoy these darkening days. What would life be like without the shifting patterns of dark and light? Does this exchange allow us to understand a range of viewpoints so that we integrate unity within the lengthening and shortening days and rays?
Bioneers is happening in San Rafael right now. Though I’m not attending, I receive a recap of each day. This came last night.
“Today, the second day of the 2019 Bioneers Conference, was dually concentrated on climate solutions and justifiable climate despair (among many, many other ideas discussed throughout the day). Bioneers reminded us that we live in a moment of great unknowing as we face a climate future that’s unlike anything humanity has previously faced. But now is the time to harness our bravery, as Valarie Kaur observed by poignantly comparing the future we face to giving birth:
“What if the darkness in our world right now is not the darkness of the tomb but the darkness of the womb? What if our America is not dead but a country still waiting to be born? What if all of our ancestors who pushed through the fire before us, who survived genocide and colonization and slavery and assault, are standing behind us now whispering in our ears ‘You are brave’? What if this is our time of great transition?”
These words wave through me. Yes!
Yes, of course, we are brave, and this is our time of great transition. Yes, and let’s not attack each other but instead build the vision where each of us shares our wisdom in the fullness of knowing the light that requires the dark to rise. Our roots and stems are strong and we are ready for harvest.
Tacitus, a historian in ancient Rome, wrote that, “Crime, once exposed, has no refuge but in audacity.” We’re seeing that now and we can counteract with connection and compassion. We come together, and honoring all, we survive and thrive.