Friday, September 19, 2008

Orion Magazine

Painting by Joy Garnett

I have not been feeling too well and have spent a good bit of the last twenty four hours in bed or curled up on the couch with a blanket, Maya, and the September/October 2008 issue of Orion Magazine.

I love this magazine because it takes a holistic approach to environmentalism by looking at social problems as well. It also includes great writing and visual arts. And, it fills me with possible solutions and hope which is not something I feel after listening to Democracy Now, for instance.

This issue includes a thoughtful essay by Terry Tempest Williams about her travels to Rwanda. I am in the middle of reading it and can say that Terry Tempest Williams has once again proved that she deserves the privilege of being one of my favorite writers. She is spiritual, mindful, respectful, and willing to walk into emotionally charged areas such as genocide.

There are so many good writers in this issue including Rebecca Solnit, Gretel Ehrlich, and Pico Iyer. I especially appreciated Pico Iyer's short response to climate change. His piece doesn't separate climate change from social issues such as the situation in Palestine. And he reminds us that transforming conflict and all forms of injustice must begin within ourselves. Here is a taste of the essay:

Our outer environment can only begin to be healed by our inner, and I’m not sure we can ever truly tend to our polluted waters, our shrinking forests, the madness we’ve loosed on the air until we begin to try to clean up the inner waters, and attend to the embattled wild spaces within us. Action without reflection is what got us into this mess in the first place, and the only answer is not action, but, first, clearer reflection. A peace treaty signed by men who are still territorial, jealous, or unquiet—Jerusalem tells me this—is not going to create any real peace at all. A commitment to the environment based only on what is outside of us forgets that the source of our problems—and solutions—is invisible, and that “nature” is a word we apply to what’s within as well as without.


MLC said...

I love Orion and read it primarily because it includes essays by Terry Tempest Williams who is in one word - brilliant.


I love her -- thank for sharing I will look for the article. I like to pride myself in having every word she has in print.

She has a new book coming out soon.


glued blue glass said...

Is her new book "Finding Beauty in a Broken World?" That is the book the Orion essay is from. I've read alot of her work as well and appreciate her very much.

elisa said...

If you still are feeling sick; get well soon.

glued blue glass said...

I'm better now. Thanks for asking, elisa.

Carol Gee said...

Margaret, thanks for this piece, written when you were not feeling well. I admire that ability. Thanks for the very hopeful references, as well as your recent Obama post. We needed that.
Glad you are better. Peace.

glued blue glass said...

Yes, I'm feeling better. And I plan to continue with the hopeful references. The consequences are just too dire.
Peace to you as well.