Saturday, May 1, 2010
Barry Lopez Quotes
Quotes from Bill Moyers Interview with Barry Lopez, April 30, 2010, Bill Moyers Journal.
(…) we have a way of talking about beauty as though beauty were only skin deep. But real beauty is so deep you have to move into darkness in order to understand what beauty is. (…). What you must do is build a system of civilization that is as aware of darkness as it is of beauty. I would feel on thin ice if the world were nothing but beauty.
I think hope is a space holder that word. It's not the false word, but it's just- for me, it's just holding a place for another word to turn up.
The things that make us uncomfortable in public are a person who wishes to speak of what is beautiful.
(…), we have created a world in which we marginalize that which we don't think serves us as well as it could. We've turned nature into a thing.
And we've created something in which we have excluded from our moral universe everything but us. And in fact, a lot of people have been excluded from this central White Western European dominant culture.
And what I would like to I guess encourage people to understand is that for the sake of our own convenience, we created an "other," and that other was nature. And we said, if it doesn't serve us, kill it, move it, destroy it, crush it. Make it serve us. And if it doesn't, it's no good.
Nature is the full expression of life.
I know in my tissues that I have had other teachers- one of them is the living earth itself.
I'm borrowing from an American philosopher named Paul Woodruff—(…)the virtue of reverence is rooted in the understanding that there is a world beyond human control, human invention, and human understanding.
Zeus said to Prometheus, "Okay, you stole fire. Great for you. Now your people have technology. Wonderful. But here's something you don't know. You lack two things. And if you don't take these two things that I will give you, this will be a failure. Technology, you know, fire, all your magic, it will fail completely. It will be your undoing. And the two things that you need to make it work are justice and reverence. And if you have these two things, you won't get in trouble with this third thing that you thought was the be all and the end all."
I'm not writing about nature. I'm writing about humanity. And if I have a subject, it is justice. And the rediscovery of the manifold way in which our lives can be shaped by the recovery of a sense of reverence for life.