They are the canaries in the waters of the world and the trigger point species to re-organize our life on earth. As fish go, so will our waters and ultimately life on earth for humans.
|USDA map of where contaminants are killing fish in the continental USA|
Friday, December 20, 2013, I decided to run away from my home in New York City, to Vinalhaven Island, Maine, also my home. What prompted my flight were two events:
1. I was imminently completing the final draft of my PhD dissertation, subsequently sent to my supervisors December 22. It is about how attention to fish must be the trigger point guiding restoration work.
2. My cat died Monday, December 16. As a person deeply grounded in my relationships with animal Others, this was a small but devastating loss of a companion of twenty years. Cats. Fish. Same story of loss.
|Lilith December 15, 2013|
Lilith in the Summer Garden August 2013
I left on the bus up the coast Monday December 23, for a 14 hour trek North, anticipating ten-days of a blank mind punctuated by white snow and some ice. My goal was to empty my mind of all content. My only social anticipation was the possible opportunity to sing with the local church choir, where I usually sing every Sunday when I'm home on the island.
The bus was late leaving Boston and late by thirty minutes arriving in Rockland, the mainland town where we catch the ferry to the island. The thirty minute delay meant we missed the last (4:30 PM) ferry of the day, had to take another ferry to a neighbor island and then a skiff back to Vinalhaven in icy rain, before catching a ride and driving another 45 min. home. As I type today, we have come to the end of another icy rain storm here, the end of which was a scant dusting of snow.
And then, this past Friday, I was invited to contribute work to an exhibition that is a conversation with the past and the future of women in art.
Meanwhile, other artist friends are keeping me posted about the on-going effects of the Fukushima disaster on the earth's oceans:
This video was then contested by my colleague, the artist Erica Feilder with another series of links:
Complexity of Ocean Currents
Wind Map of the US
Animated map of nuclear explosions
Article Addressing 28 fallacies about the Fukushima
Air Currents Around the Globe
This past year gave me lots to think about concerning how the pieces of our planetary life fit together. Work on my PhD dissertation has been an opportunity to reflect in depth on ideas and research on what is affecting life on earth today. The story of fish from Gulf to Gulf, Fish Story, was the story of our relationship to the world's waters. How we depend upon the sea and inland waters where fish live, even as we poison and destroy life there, is about our disassociation from the consequences of short-sightedness. This vacation has reminded me that none of us can turn away much longer, even on vacation. My take away is that the universe is telling me that there's no turning away from knowledge, even on vacation. There's only going forward together, with the fish. And perhaps that's the hopeful part for the New Year: there are more of us now. There is a fragile basis for hope for the fish ... and us.