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The Sun Interview

By Fire And Water

An Interview With Michael Meade

All this violence is a fire screaming for the water of human attention. I don’t think we’re going to be able to keep going unless we deal with it. To me the two big events of the last two years are the fires in L.A. and the flooding of the Mississippi River. I think they are strangely related.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

The Grace Of Great Things

Reclaiming The Sacred In Knowing, Teaching, And Learning

Community goes far beyond our face-to-face relationship with each other as human beings. In education especially, community connects us with what Rilke called “the grace of great things.” We are, in reality, in community with the genes and ecosystems of biology, the great questions of philosophy and theology, the archetypes of literature, the artifacts of anthropology, the materials of engineering, the logic of systems and management, the shapes and colors of art, the patterns of history, the elusive idea of justice under the law — we are in community with all these great things. Great teaching is about knowing and feeling that community, and then drawing your students into it.

Fiction

Inventing Wyoming

Everything we take from the earth, every drop of rain and every blade of grass, every bit of flower and fruit, the sinew and muscle of the animals we kill, we borrow these things for a brief time and we will pay them back. The records are kept from the beginning of time.

The Sun Interview

Not On Any Map

Jack Turner On Our Lost Intimacy With The Natural World

One of my essays starts: “My cabin is located next to a stream that runs through a meadow, but it is not on any map.” It’s not on a map because the places I’ve lived and loved are labeled with my own names: Where Rio chases her stick. Rio’s favorite pool. Where Rio ran into the bear. It’s a private mapping, a personal geography projected onto the land. It requires a long time living in one place and studying its plants and animals. If you follow them and their lives, you gain a deeper sense of home.

The Sun Interview

Nature-Deficit Disorder?

Richard Louv Asks Whether We’re Raising Our Children Under House Arrest

So though our fears and restrictions arise from the best intentions, we have to ask what effect they are having on the health of children, and on the earth itself. Environmentalists and conservationists, almost to a person, had some transcendent experience in nature when they were kids. If we take that opportunity away from today’s kids, who will be the future stewards of the earth?

The Sun Interview

The Good Hunter

David Petersen On The Ethics Of Killing Animals For Food

My point is that, in our culture, in order to even entertain the idea of an ethical predator, the observer must approach the subject with an open mind. Ethical hunting is predicated on dignity and respect: Dignity in our private thoughts and public words as well as in our actions afield when, as hunter Aldo Leopold pointed out, nobody is watching us. And respect, not only for the animals we hunt, their habitats, and the greater natural world, but also for ourselves as hunters and human animals. Carry those two blessed burdens in your heart, and you will do no moral wrong as a predator.

The Sun Interview

Down The Garden Path

How Ten Thousand Years Of Agriculture Has Failed Us — An Interview With Daniel Quinn

Famine doesn’t occur among hunter-gatherers, because they don’t sit there and starve: they go wherever the food is, as all animals do. One reason why famine and agriculture are connected is that, when crops fail, practitioners of totalitarian agriculture stay put and starve, because there isn’t anywhere else for them to go. If you look at famines throughout history, you’ll find that almost every one is connected to crop failure.

The Sun Interview

Uniting The Opposites

An Interview With M.C. Richards

I think that as we become more creative, we move toward a concern with social justice and compassion. That’s the natural movement. We come, maybe through times of loneliness, toward experiencing the reality of another person. As we create, you might say, we are created. We move toward a deepened awareness of reality. Outwardly, we move toward social justice; inwardly we move toward compassion.

The Sun Interview

Down To Business

Paul Hawken On Reshaping The Economy

I don’t believe you can train anybody, especially people in business. You can only present and embody ideas. I try to help people understand the idea that valuing and conserving our stock of natural capital can lead to astonishing breakthroughs in processes, products, and design. Again, people move toward possibility. Once they see that we can actually improve the quality of life for everyone on earth by using radically less “life,” they get excited.

The Sun Interview

Thinking Outside The Classroom

An Interview With Zenobia Barlow

Many children who weren’t excelling in the classroom have suddenly become academic superstars, because they have aptitudes — kinesthetic, spatial, musical, interpersonal — that tend to emerge more successfully outside the classroom. When you give kids rich and varied contexts, they rise to a level of excellence you might not have anticipated.

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