My head is a muddle of excited reactions to the books I’ve been reading recently to still my fears of the climate emergency and to redirect energy to positive ends. Jason Hickel, Antonio Damasio, Jeremy Lent, Fritjof Capra, George Monbiot, Eric Holthaus. That’s where I’ve been. It’s a crash course in planetary survival. I’m not a scientist but the clarity of the systems theory writers in particular feels curiously energising and useful.
It feels like getting my feet properly on the ground.
So I wanted a blog to explore this stuff in a purposeful way but also to put this new (for me) questioning alongside the literary fiction and poetry that have always been a source of nourishment and simple pleasure.
I don’t believe there is escapism in reading, not even if you’ve picked up a many-times-read children’s book for the comfort of it. You may read to get away from a troubling thought—and reading really is a great release—but frequently the old preoccupations are waiting for you in the story in a transmuted form. What the fictional world does is to give enough good forgetfulness and distance from yourself for the ‘stuff’ to emerge with a cleaner energy.
There you are then: my dual purpose is to rely both on the precision of the climate scientists and the leaps of creative forgetfulness you get with stories and poetry. No contradiction there at all!