Future Home of the Living God: A Masterpiece

Louise Erdrich’s Future Home of the Living God is a masterpiece of contemporary  American literature. After 16 novels, books of poetry, and memoir, and nominations for the Pulitzer, and winner of the National Book Award, this novel is a culmination of her storytelling, use of language, and imagination.

I’ve read and studied Erdrich’s works for at least 15 years, eagerly awaiting each new novel. Some have exceeded my expectations, others have not but are still excellent reads. But this one, THIS is an achievement — not just for her as a writer and artist — but for our times.

The writing is beautiful and flows with such ease, concise yet vivid description, that reading is seamless. The plot moves with tremendous pace and at times I was so full of suspense that I had to put my hand over the next sentence to keep myself from jumping ahead. As a woman with a daughter and sisters, and nieces, I was drawn to the main character, Cedar, who writes a diary for her unborn child — a record of a time when all that people assumed would never change was upended overnight.

If you are a woman of child-bearing age or a woman concerned about protection of women’s rights, if you are a a man who values women, a person of faith, or a citizen who wishes to understand this age, this time on earth, then you need to read this book. The earth is changing, we are changing.

In the dystopian tale, so prescient for today, she manages to still uplift the reader. She is a weaver of legend, personal destinies, and her own cultural perspective. Louise Erdrich manages to show us there is still hope, still good to be cherished and brought forward in all of us. Yet, Erdrich bravely portrays a potential future that threatens all we hold as good and right in human behavior, and the fate of the earth.

Hildegard of Bingen, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, scripture from the Bible, and Ojibwe elders all find voice in this story.

Find it at Birchbark Books, Erdrich’s independent book store; Indie Bound, or other online book vendors. Read the New York Times book review.

A Bountiful Land

Painting by Heather Hufton

For our national Thanksgiving holiday, I want share what I am learning about Kentucky farms, farmers, and the New Agrarians.

There are many young farming families starting new ways of farming that build the soil communities for richer top soil, healthier produce, and (whether they may know it or not) solving global warming by their practices.

With no till or low till farming, crop rotation, and companion planting, more carbon ends up in the soil. That improves nutritional value of the food but also takes carbon out of the air. A new movement is slowly happening around the world — The New Agrarians. You can get a true idea of what it is by visiting The Land Institute website and listening to their videos. You can learn about Perennial Farming — planting seed varieties that do not need to be replanted from year to year. This is the true revolution that is under research in the U.S. and Africa. It is the front end of the next revolution in farming! Its promise also gives us one of our best win-win strategies for a sustainable way of life.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING ALL!

COP 23: No Nation Should Be Allowed to Exit

COP 23 November 7, 2017

Jim Hansen addresses Making the Carbon Majors Pay for Climate Action:

In this short but profound address, Dr. Hansen calls out the U.S. and China, the two largest emitters of CO2, to fund critical climate action (carbon draw-down). The scientific and ethical basis of this action is described.

Hansen states: No nation should be allowed to exit.  

  • The U.S. is historically the largest and longest polluter;
  • Countries are already dealing with the impacts of climate change;
  • Since actions by a few affect all, and since life on earth hangs in the balance, no nation should be allowed to exit from its responsibility.

Hansen warns: The loss of island nations and coastal cities across the planet may already be locked in: green house gas (GHS) forcings are accelerating, not slowing.

From the Pachamama Alliance, listen to another cultural perspective about protecting the health of the planet for future and present generations of human beings:

Paean for the Earth: COP 23

Watch video presentations on solutions to climate change.  Be sure to listen to the report on soil sequestration of carbon as an important mitigation of [CO2] in the atmosphere. The two speakers describe the key role of agricultural practices, and how new management of soil not only will capture new carbon and invigorate microbial communities in the deep soil structure, but also provide new income and greater food security:

https://unfccc.cloud.streamworld.de/embed/dr-johannes-lehmann-soil-organic-carbon-sequestrat

Teenage friends spending time togetherHere again the critical voices of young people speaking to us adults about protecting their futures in the decisions we make today.

Monday, November 6: Young People’s Burden :

https://unfccc.cloud.streamworld.de/embed/james-hansen-young-peoples-burden-averting-climate

This is also the general COP 23 LIVE Broadcast link.