I am no ecological Pollyana. I have borne, and will continue to bear, feelings of wholehearted melancholy over the ecological state of the earth. How could I not? How could anyone not? But I am unwilling to become a hand-wringing nihilist, as some environmental ‘realists’ seem to believe is the more mature posture. Instead, I choose to dwell, as Emily Dickinson famously suggested, in possibility, where we cannot predict what will happen but we make space for it, whatever it is, and realize that our participation has value. This is grown-up optimism, where our bondedness with the rest of creation, a sense of profound interaction, and a belief in our shared ingenuity give meaning to our lives and actions on behalf of the more-than-human world.
I am now convinced that we have recently become possessed of experimental evidence of the discrete or grained nature of matter, which the atomic hypothesis sought in vain for hundreds and thousands of years. The isolation and counting of gaseous ions, on the one hand, which have crowned with success the long and brilliant researches of J.J. Thomson, and, on the other, agreement of the Brownian movement with the requirements of the kinetic hypothesis, established by many investigators and most conclusively by J. Perrin, justify the most cautious scientist in now speaking of the experimental proof of the atomic nature of matter, The atomic hypothesis is thus raised to the position of a scientifically well-founded theory, and can claim a place in a text-book intended for use as an introduction to the present state of our knowledge of General Chemistry.
Nay, 'twill be this hour ere I have done weeping. All the kind of the Launces have this very fault. I have received my proportion, like the prodigious son, and am going with Sir Proteus to the Imperial's court. I think Crab, my dog, be the sourest-natured dog that lives. My mother weeping, my father wailing, my sister crying, our maid howling, our cat wringing her hands, and all our house in a great perplexity, yet did not this cruel-hearted cur shed one tear. He is a stone, a very pebble stone, and has no more pity in him than a dog. A Jew would have wept to have seen our parting. Why, my grandam, having no eyes, look you, wept herself blind at my parting. Nay, I'll show you the manner of it. This shoe is my father. No, this left shoe is my father. No, no, this left shoe is my mother. Nay, that cannot be so neither. Yes, it is so, it is so -- it hath the worser sole. This shoe with the hole in it is my mother, and this my father. A vengeance on't! There 'tis. Now, sir, this staff is my sister, for, look you, she is as white as a lily and as small as a wand. This hat is Nan, our maid. I am the dog. No, the dog is himself, and I am the dog -- O, the dog is me, and I am myself. Ay, so, so. Now come I to my father: 'Father, your blessing.' Now should not the shoe speak a word for weeping. Now should I kiss my father -- well, he weeps on. Now come I to my mother. O, that she could speak now like a wood woman! Well, I kiss her -- why, there 'tis: here's my mother's breath up and down. Now come I to my sister; mark the moan she makes. Now the dog all this while sheds not a tear nor speaks a word!
I am an advocate of freedom for women. Options and the power to choose among them are crucial to our human dignity. And I am wholeheartedly an advocate of women’s human dignity. But we must understand that a scope of a women’s choice is confined to the kitchen. Beyond the kitchen’s door she must not attempt to exercise choice. Within the kitchen, however, she has a whole feast of choices[…]”. No one would mistake such a thinker for an advocate of women’s freedom. Anyone would point out that there is a whole world beyond the kitchen and that freedom is essentially about exercising choice about defining and creating one’s place in the world as a whole. The key point about Kant, to draw the analogy crudely, is that he prohibits knowledge of anything outside our skulls. The gives reasons lots to do withing the skull, and he does advocate a well-organized and tidy mind, but this hardly makes him a champion of reason… Kant did not take all of the steps down to postmodernism, but he did take the decisive one. Of the five major features of Enlightenment reason - objectivity, competence, autonomy, universality, and being an individual faculty - Kant rejected objectivity.
Faced with an ecological crisis whose roots lie in this disengagement, in the separation of human agency and social responsibility from the sphere of our direct involvement with the non-human environment, it surely behoves us to reverse this order of priority. I began with the point that while both humans and animals have histories of their mutual relations, only humans narrate such histories. But to construct a narrative, one must already dwell in the world and, in the dwelling, enter into relationships with its constituents, both human and non-human. I am suggesting that we rewrite the history of human-animal relations, taking this condition of active engagement, of being-in-the-world, as our starting point. We might speak of it as a history of human concern with animals, insofar as this notion conveys a caring, attentive regard, a 'being with'. And I am suggesting that those of us who are 'with' animals in their day-to-day lives, most notably hunters and herdsmen, can offer us some of the best possible indications of how we might proceed.
Sorry, but I have to be who I am. Everyone else is taken... So be your self! Speak your truth - if there are people around you who tempt you with non-existence blast through that and give them the full glory of who you are. Do not withhold yourself from the world. Do not piss on the incandescent gift of your existence. Do not drown yourself in the petty fog and dustiness of other people's ancient superstitions, unbeliefs, aggressions, culture and crap! No! Be a flare! We were born that way. Born perfectly happy being inconvenient to our parents. We shit, piss, cry, wake up at night, throw up on their shoulders, scream... We are, in essence, in our humanity, perfectly comfortable with inconveniencing others. That's how we're born, how we grow and develop. I choose to inconvenience the irrational.
When you say to yourself, 'I am going to have a pleasant visit or a pleasant journey,' you are literally sending elements and forces ahead of your body that will arrange things to make your visit or journey pleasant....Our thoughts, or in other words, our state of mind, is ever at work 'fixing up' things good or bad in advance.
When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: if you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren't pessimistic, you don't understand the data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren't optimistic, you haven't got a pulse.
I am no friend of probability theory, I have hated it from the first moment when our dear friend Max Born gave it birth. For it could be seen how easy and simple it made everything, in principle, everything ironed and the true problems concealed. Everybody must jump on the bandwagon [Ausweg]. And actually not a year passed before it became an official credo, and it still is.
I am made to think, not for the first time, that in my writing I have plunged ahead-head-on, heedlessly one might say-or 'fearlessly'- into my own future: this time of utter raw anguished loss. Though I may have had, since adolescence, a kind of intellectual/literary precocity, I had not experienced much;nor would I experience much until I was well into middle age-the illnesses and deaths of my parents, this unexpected death of my husband. We play at paste till qualified for pearl says Emily Dickinson. Playing at paste is much of our early lives. And then, with the violence of a door slammed shut by wind rushing through a house, life catches up with us.
I am suggesting here that organisms have a built-I capability of adapting to their environment. I am suggesting that to the extent that evolution occurs, it occurs at the level of the organism. This suggestion differs sharply from the thesis of the NDT, which holds that evolution occurs only at the level of the population. Organisms contain within themselves the information that enables them to develop a phenotype adaptive to a variety of environments. The adaptation can occur by a change in the genome through a genetic change triggered by the environment, or it can occur without any genetic change.
Truly I have looked into the very heart of darkness, and refused to yield to its paralyzing influence, but in spirit I am one of those who walk the morning. What if all dark, discouraging moods of the human mind come across my way as thick as the dry leaves of autumn? Other feet have traveled that road before me, and I know the desert leads to god as surely as the green, refreshing fields, and orchards.
I have hopein who I am becoming.I have belief in every scar and disgraceful wordI have ever spokenor been toldbecause it is still teaching meand I have hope in who I am becoming.They say it takes 756 days to run to someone you loveand they also say that the only romance worth fighting foris the one with yourselfand I know by nowthat they say a lot of things,people talking everywherewithout saying a word,but if it took me all those years to learn myselfor teach myselfhow to look into the mirrorwithout breaking itI know for a fact that it was a fight worth fighting.I stood up for my own head and so did my heartand we are coming to terms with ourselves.Shaking hands, saying ”let’s make this workfor we have places to goand people to seeand we will need each other”So I have hopein who I am becoming.It’s Julyand I have hope in who I am becoming.
I am pessimistic about the human race because it is too ingenious for its own good. Our approach to nature is to beat it into submission. We would stand a better chance of survival if we accommodated ourselves to this planet and viewed it appreciatively, instead of skeptically and dictatorially.