"The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is
- it's to imagine what is possible."
- bell hooks, Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations
"Life sometimes is hard. There are challenges. There are difficulties. There is pain. As a younger man I sought to avoid them and only ever caused myself more of the same. These days I choose to face life head onand I have become a comet. I arc across the sky of my life and the harder times are the friction that lets the worn and tired bits drop away. It's a good way to travel; eventually I will wear away all resistance until all there is left of me is light. I can live towards that end."- Richard Wagamese, Embers
"To write, to make art and film, to work as a journalist or an educator can be a radical act, one that blurs the lines between action and contemplation by employing ideas as tools to make the world as well as understand it.....As citizens engaged in the daily task of remaking the world, we get to choose our stories — the stories that divide and conquer or those that tie things together with possibility."- Rebecca Solnit in 'Our Storied Future' for Orion Magazine
“Acknowledging the gifts that surround us creates a sense of satisfaction, a feeling of enough- ness which is an antidote to the societal messages that drill into our spirits telling us we must have more” —Robin Wall Kimmerer (Citizen Potawatomi Nation, scientist, writer, teacher, activist) this sculpture is in my Invocations exhibit
"You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”
“Wherever forests have not been mowed down, wherever the animal is recessed in their quiet protection, wherever the earth is not bereft of four-footed life - that to the white man is an 'unbroken wilderness.'But for us there was no wilderness, nature was not dangerous but hospitable, not forbidding but friendly. Our faith sought the harmony of man with his surroundings; the other sought the dominance of surroundings.
“Our very philosophy of who we are is based on the elements of the Earth, fire being one of them,” she said. “When you believe the land is yourself, the last thing you want to do is kill it.”
Dr. Kelly Tikao, a researcher of Māori traditions at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand who is of Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Māmoe and Waitaha ancestry
"...I was turning outward and starting to take the non-human world seriously, my sense of meaning was shifting from something that was entirely about me and authored by me outward into this more collaborative, reciprocal, interdependent, exterior place that involved not just me but all of these other ways of being that I could make kinship with. And when you make kinship beyond yourself, your sense of meaning gravitates outwards into that reciprocal relationship, into that interdependence." Richard Powers in 9/28/2021 Ezra Klein interview
"I believe that work just doesn’t exist inside of the bubble of the art world; I want it to exist within the world as we live in it... I see it as a kind of moral responsibility to engage with some of the difficult aspects of the world, to make work that matters beyond its own material and formal existence and to make work that provokes questions."
Dawoud Bey (interview with NYT 2021)
“I think art is another way to try to exercise your imagination at connecting incongruous things. It’s a way to say, hey, reader, let’s work together and practice and train our imagination to connect things that you don’t readily think of as connected. And then that maybe becomes a little bit political, because I think the solution going forward is we need to have a much more planetary perspective.”
"But it feels dangerous, half buried, damaged. I love it because of all the wild places I know in England, it feels to me the wildest. It's not an untouched wilderness like a mountaintop, but a ramshackle wildness in which people and the land have conspired to strangeness." Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk
"There is a time in life when you expect the world to be always full of new things. And then comes a day when you realise that is not how it will be at all. You see that life will become a thing made of holes. Absences. Losses. Things that were there and are no longer. And you realise, too, that you have to grow around and between the gaps, though you can put your hand out to where things were and feel that tense, shining dullness of the space where the memories are."
Helen Macdonald from H is for Hawk
"Best to let the broken glass be broken glass, let it splinter into smaller pieces and dust and scatter. Let the cracks between things widen until they are no longer cracks but the new places for things. That was where they were now. The world wasn't ending: it had ended and now they were in the new place. They could not recognize it because they had never seen it before." Colson Whitehead, Zone One
"Every ecology, every community of plants and animals and soil, has its own particular kind of personality, or intelligence, which affects the people who live in it … Modern science might use different words, but it tells us exactly the same thing: the topography of a place, its geology, its weather, the flora and fauna which inhabit it alongside us – all of these aspects of a place contribute to the character and sense of identity of the people who live there." Sharon Blackie
“He cried the relief he felt at finally seeing the pattern, the way all the stories fit together—the old stories, the war stories, their stories—to become the story that was still being told. He was not crazy; he had never been crazy. He had only seen and heard the world as it always was: no boundaries, only transitions through all distances and time.” Leslie Marmon Silko
“It’s no metaphor to feel the influence of the dead in the world, just as it’s no metaphor to hear the radiocarbon chronometer, the Geiger counter amplifying the faint breathing of rock, fifty thousand years old. (Like the faint thump from behind the womb wall.) It’s no metaphor to witness the astonishing fidelity of minerals magnetized, even after hundreds of millions of years, pointing to the magnetic pole, minerals that have never forgotten magma whose cooling off has left them forever desirous. We long for place; but place itself longs. Human memory is encoded in air currents and river sediment.” Anne Michaels, Fugitive Pieces