[Entering Trollfjorden on a rainy, misty day]
How does living with constant fear affect us? Change Us? Scientists tell us that climate change has irrevocably changed our planet. What about our species, our hard-wiring, our DNA? How has living with the fear of climate change irrevocably changed human beings? That seems to be the question my next book will address. (This could definitely change. Stay tuned.) A related question: How does the trauma experienced by a people—slavery, the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide—get passed down from generation to generation? There’s good data, good research to support that such trauma is, indeed, experienced by later generations. What does this inchoate fear feel like?
In the face of All That, is this poem waaay too facile?
“West Wind #2
You are young. So you know everything. You leap
into the boat and begin rowing. But listen to me.
Without fanfare, without embarrassment, without
any doubt, I talk directly to your soul. Listen to me.
Lift the oars from the water, let your arms rest, and
your heart, and heart’s little intelligence, and listen to
me. There is life without love. It is not worth a bent
penny, or a scuffed shoe. It is not worth the body of a
dead dog nine days unburied. When you hear, a mile
away and still out of sight, the churn of the water
as it begins to swirl and roil, fretting around the
sharp rocks – when you hear that unmistakable
pounding – when you feel the mist on your mouth
and sense ahead the embattlement, the long falls
plunging and steaming – then row, row for your life
― Mary Oliver, West Wind