This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Alaina Hanchey, is from Facing Aridity by Diana Woodcock, released by Wayfarer Books in 2021.
How to Feel Small
If you’ll envision vibrant flowers of flowing tentacles—sea anemones, predatory faunae— blooming on the seafloor, if you’ll reckon the 4.5 billion years it’s taken such a sensitive biosphere to evolve, you’ll feel small. I believe if you’ll read of giant algae blooms and oil slicks visible from space, of climate change and violent silent conflicts, of capitalist globalization and third-world slave labor, one-third of the world’s people impoverished, malnourished while one-third of food produced worldwide is never consumed, human subjectivity as endangered (due to mass media’s homogenization) as disappearing rare species, it will indeed—if you have a heart— cause you to grieve. But then, if you’ll envision Arctic poppies unfolding their crumpled petals in the frigid wind, Gentoo penguins preening and carousing all for the sake of a mate, I’ll bet you’ll decide heaven can wait— this side of it though perilous too marvelous, mysterious, to voluntarily vacate.
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