Our species has travelled a long and twisty road to get to where we are today. From hunter-gatherers to farmers and fishers, to city-builders, machine-makers, and space travelers, we’ve survived by adapting to our changing world.
Not too long ago, fearing the Dark Forest and the Big Bad Shark was necessary for our survival. But when we learned more, we came to a new viewpoint: The lion, the wolf, the shark aren’t evil. They are just predators, as God made them. They are predators, like we are.
“The basis of our fear is our lack of understanding.” Lisa Mondy, Shark bite survivor
It’s an evolutionary step – from fear to understanding. If we really are the smartest animal on the planet, then we can see the whole context. The wolf hunts to eat, and keeps the tundra rodents from over-populating. Considering the predator for their role in the ecosystem doesn’t mean there’s no danger. It means we have a fuller understanding.
In the video, the surfers and divers are all survivors of shark attacks. Yet they have come together to advocate for these predators, who are disappearing at an alarming rate. Because of myth and misunderstanding.
Don’t Fear the Fin. Support your world’s oceans, as if your life depended on it. It does.
We’ve heard about multiple hazards threatening the well-being of our ocean, from a profusion of plastic junk to rising temperatures to excess CO2 – but what have you done about it? No, this is not your typical tree-hugger guilt trip! I want to amaze you with the creativity and cross-cultural genius of this particular project:
The Crochet Coral Reef
Margaret Wertheim is a physicist and writer who has, among other things, noted that the underlying mathematical description of the growth patterns of coral -their hyperbolic geometry -was best described through the rhythm and pattern of crochet.
This realization led to a collaborative project to create coral reefs in crochet by needle artists around the globe, a unique method for using art to bring attention to the corals.
It’s difficult to confront the serious threat of coral bleaching, without the sense of helplessness that can cause us to throw up our hands and cry “I recycle! what do you want ME to do about it, give up my CAR?!”
When Margaret and her twin Christine started the project in 2005, they joked about the reefs disappearing. Today, NOA scientist are warning about record level coral die-off. These tiny brainless creatures build cities that can be seen from space.
When I listened to Margaret in a recent episode of the On Being podcast, I was struck by her gift for crossing connections among science, art and spirituality, something that is clearly dear to my heart here at Art, Spirit, Nature.
On the beach at ebb tide, in this moment of darkness, there is no moon and no fanfare. Look into the wet sand as the wave retreats. In the starlight, watch the water drain from around each tiny grain as the sea runs back into herself. Notice the stars reflected in the wet sand, a light you would never see at a brighter time.
What else might I not be seeing?
What other lights are within me?
photo credit: ‘The beach at Tjørnuvík, Faroe Islands’ cc 2008. by Hans Juul Hansen