Why stories are subversive
The mystery of storytelling

On the power of beauty

Poets Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner and Aka Niviâna

Rise: From One Island to Another is an extraordinary film project featuring two poets -- Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner from the Marshall Islands (between Hawaii and the Philippines) and Aka Niviâna from Kalaallit Nunaat, Greenland -- using their words to link their homelands, each on the front line of climate change.

Please go here to watch this stunning little film, so rich with the beauty of the language of "sacred rage" that it makes my heart beat fast.

Then go here to learn more about the making of Rise: the ethos, the poem, and the journey.

Just yesterday I read an interview with the great American writer Terry Tempest Williams discussing the power of beauty in a changing world: grounding us, healing us, giving us the courage to keep fighting for our planet.

Black bear (artist unknown)"What I love," she says, "is that, in spite of everything, beauty holds us, in whatever form we seek it. Last week, I was so depressed; I cannot believe what is happening in this country. I’ve been in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem for the last month and the state of Wyoming is now opening permits so that if grizzly bears get outside Yellowstone National Park or Grand Teton National Park, they can be shot. We tried to organize, buy out the permits, 'shoot them with a camera, not a gun.' All this is political, right? And I thought, stop, too much noise. Too much rage. And I went into the park and drove through Willow Flats. On the edge of the Snake River, I saw the willows move. And there in the clearing emerges this immense being -- a grizzly bear. And I thought, first and foremost, above all politics, here is beauty on four legs. I just wept. My heart calmed, my eyes opened, and I found a compassion that I had lost. I went out and sat by the river, and all of a sudden there were millions of caddis flies, about the size of your little finger, a constellation dancing on the surface of the Snake River. Grizzly bears eat caddis flies, and I thought, here, now, this is beauty, this is the strategy for survival. The earth, the world, bears: on some level I truly believe they will survive us. I have to believe in those moments of beauty that take us to a place of transcendence where anything is possible. We have to hold on to that."

I couldn't agree more.

Terry Tempest Williams

I highly recommend Terry Tempest William's new book, pictured above...and all of her previous work. She inspires me constantly.

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