Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Raft of The Medusa

Inspired by the newspaper blackout poems of Austin Kleon who writes poetry "by redacting newspaper articles with a permanent marker," I have set about redacting my Peterson's Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore into poems in the time between now and World Oceans Day on June 8. 

As writing coaches like Natalie Goldberg say, give yourself permission. I'm giving myself permission. 

Meanwhile, I'm researching ocean #citizenscience projects (and so should you, the sea needs you! and me!). In my wading around I waded into Julian Barnes' Catastrophe into Art a spectacular art history essay on the famous French Romantic painting of a shipwreck. 

[Here's the link to Barnes' Keeping One Eye Open: Essays on Art. "Writers," he says, "envy other forms." I nodded my head. So true, Julian, so true.]

The moment in this painting is not the moment of rescue, Barnes says.

It is the moment hours before when the men saw a ship on the horizon, like a white butterfly, and they thought it was sailing toward them, certainly it was moving closer, AND SO THEY GOT OUT ALL THEIR TATTERED LINENS, FRENCH FLAGS AND HANDKERCHIEFS to hail it,

but it was sailing away.

Consider this your reminder to read about the new-to-us coral reef at the mouth of the Amazon River where they said no coral could grow.

In science, as in all things, you can be certain, and be wrong.

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