» Blog

threading the needle of curiosity - the natural world in words and images

as the days grow short, a blog begins

The Living River

Everything has a beginning. I'm not saying The Climate March was my beginning; it wasn't my first step on NYC asphalt, nor was it my first civic action, but as beginnings seem to require some location in time, it is the beginning of this blog. Beginnings can also be late. I always feel late. I think a lot of us feel late as the concentration of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere skyrockets to 400 parts per million (ppm). I've just moved to NYC. On September 21, 2014, the day before solstice, I felt no fear launching myself into NYC's concrete and congested arms along with an estimated 400,000 total strangers. THAT might be a beginning. I felt located. I knew my way around. Honestly, my first few weeks in NYC I wasn't sure. I desperately clung to Coney Island, one of my mind's eternal landscapes, and a long-time, historical-poetic inspiration to get me through the transition that I hoped I would spontaneously one day wake up to. That the New York Aquarium is located in the realm (the site of the original Dreamland) of that mental refuge plays a part at where I am today. Fortunately, I had the chance to march with people that believe that “one of the world’s most famous cities is also home to one of its great seascapes.” Philip Hoare's history lesson in The Whale will convince you of that, if the multitude of birds that consider NYC a vital migratory stop didn't already clue you in that something special is going on here.

I care about the natural world. Some might think I only care about sea otters (oh what you have yet to learn), but the evolution of the natural world and mankind's inapposite dance as part of it is fascinating. I'm a sucker for a well written tragedy. That which looms outstrips any narrative I can conjure. I do like to think about the good, some of the interesting and unexplained, but regrettably I have to think about the bad – like how the human population is contributing to climate change and that it doesn't only affect animals, it affects human health, human rights and the future ability of us to live in peace with each other. As resources grow scarce we see the worst in each other and ourselves. At The People's Climate March there was a huge sense that all of our personal, held-to-heart issues were funneling into one giant black cloud – a cloud of carbon highlighted with eternal, thousand-year, white wisps of plastic bags. A great deal has been written about this already: perspectives and stories from The Climate Train, The Climate Ribbon, coverage from unique events around the world and a multitude of interviews. For a while, I marched behind a woman wearing a DAPNet (draftanimalpower.org) shirt. I had never heard of this organization. There were hundreds of organizations I had never heard of as we swelled to take up over 80 city blocks. So maybe, if anyone saw my Sea Otter Conservation shirt, maybe they'd see one more vital piece of the puzzle as they all are and they all will be.

Founded by climate writer Bill McKibben, The Climate March was organized by 350.org. Are marches and protests the rain dances of our age, or is this the start of change? Change is where we live and have lived since our stardust left the ocean for the land. Humans effecting an anti-evolutionary change for the worst? That may have begun not too long ago. But I'm looking to share the exciting parts, the thrilling parts, the curious parts. It's a beautiful world, yesterday, today and tomorrow. I belive rain dances can work. Did I mention I'm a photographer? Yeah you're going to have to look at some photos too.