Monday, January 17, 2011
Territories of hope
Today I came across the best piece of writing I've read throughout the devastating floods in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria - and let's not forget the Gascoyne region of West Australia before Christmas - and it was written not in relation to our apocalypse, but on a world scale that pertains to all of us.
Rebecca Solnit is the author of many essays and books, including her 2009 volume A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise In Disaster, written amid the rubble of Hurricane Katrina and examining human bravery in the face of natural disasters.
With respect to the quality journalists who unfortunately number among the minority, forget the garbage that's been spewing ad nauseum from the mouths of hack reporters on our commercial TV stations since the rivers broke their banks.
Read this instead.
In her piece for the website TomDispatch, Solnit talks about her hopes for humanity in 2011 and it illustrates beautifully what we're seeing in our communities during and in the aftermath of the floodtide.
A couple of excerpts:
'When I studied disasters past, what amazed me was not just that people behaved so beautifully, but that, in doing so, they found such joy. It seems that something in their natures, starved in ordinary times, was fed by the opportunity, under the worst of conditions, to be generous, brave, idealistic, and connected; and when this appetite was fulfilled, the joy shone out, even amid the ruins.'
'....These individuals and organisations are putting together the proof that not only is another world possible, but it's been here all along...'
Go on, read it through to the end.