To Write: As If the Planet Were Dying
It’s no secret. Heck, I have no secrets. I’ve blogged my heart out, my guts, my hopes and fears here, more or less–mostly less lately–for almost a dozen years.
It’s no secret that I’ve lost a sense of audience, of purpose and of that muse that once wooed me every morning as if my wordsÂ before the day began could change the world that day in some small way.
Still, I’m not dead yet. I’ve not stopped emoting or caring or noticing. I’ve just grown numb to the call to voice what I understand as the common good. There are so many who don’t want it–so very many and so very strident and angry–who don’t care that the world is dying–that it makes one want to just be silent and left alone. And yet…
It is the work of the moment, and this call to writers finds in me a raw nerve.
That there is an ember of fire in the belly is a matter I need to consider. Then, the so-what. How about you?
From 7 Ways to Write to the Future by Kathleen Dean Moore & Scott Slovic / Orion Magazine online September 09, 2013, excerpts restructured, forgive me, Kathleen and Scott…
We here issue a call to writers, who have been given the gift of powerful voices that can change the world.
For the sake of all the plants and animals on the planet, for the sake of intergenerational justice, for the sake of children, we call on writers to set aside their ordinary work and step up to do the work of the moment–which is to stop the reckless and profligate fossil-fuel economy that is causing climate chaos.
Annie Dillard advised. “What would you say to a dying person that would not enrage by its triviality?” Now we must write as if the planet were dying. What would you say to a planet in a spasm of extinction? What would you say to those who are paying the costs of climate change in the currency of death?
Surely in a world dangerously slipping away, we need courageously and honestly to ask again the questions every author asks: Who is my audience–now, today, in this world? What is my purpose?
Write to the future. Try to explain how we could allow the devastation of the world, how we could leave those who follow us only an impoverished, stripped, and dangerously unstable time. Ask their forgiveness. This is the literature of prayer. Is it possible to write on your knees, weeping?