Thursday, February 16, 2023

February 16, 2023: "... joyous, heady discussion ..." / Reruns: February 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16, 2007

On Valentine's Day, I took a walk in the woods of Whatcom Falls Park.  Lately I've been choosing the counter-clockwise loop walk which takes me about an hour.  On Valentine's Day, something prompted me to walk in the clockwise direction.  On my way back up the north side of Whatcom Creek, something else caused me to pause and look down at the creek from a spot that I don't often look down when I am walking in a counter-clockwise direction.  Directly below me, there was a Great Blue Heron standing on a large boulder that jutted out into the creek.  I've only seen a Great Blue Heron in Whatcom Falls Park twice before, once standing in its nest and the other time flying over the large stone bridge built as a WPA project next to Whatcom Falls itself.  

When I mentioned this to my first cousin who lives here in Bellingham, she said, "That was R greeting you for Valentine's Day."  Of course, I was moved to tears.  

Earlier that day I saw my first spring flower and later in the day I saw a pair of Bald Eagles land in one of the cottonwood trees near the shore of Lake Whatcom.  

I remember the Valentine's Day in 2002 when R called from California and left a phone message saying,  "Will you be my Valentine today?"


 “The body remembers, the bones remember, the joints remember, even the little finger remembers. Memory is lodged in pictures and feelings in the cells themselves. Like a sponge filled with water, anywhere the flesh is pressed, wrung, even touched lightly, a memory may flow out in a stream.” ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes - Women Who Run with the Wolves


Earlier this year, I listened to the edited version of this interview.  There is so much more in the unedited versions of the On Being interviews.  I am fortunate to have the time to listen to them while doing my yoga practice.


Novelist Marilynne Robinson and physicist Marcelo Gleiser are both passionate about the majesty of science — and they share a caution about what they call our modern “piety” towards science. They connect thrilling dots among the current discoveries about the cosmos and the new territory of understanding our own minds. We brought them together for a joyous, heady discussion of “the mystery we are.”


Marilynne Robinson:

Yeah. But you don’t know who’s in control and you have the feeling that there is some sort of intrinsic control emerging. In the sense, for example, that if you’re creating a character and you ask him to do the wrong thing, use the wrong language, or leave when the conversation isn’t over, he refuses. And I’m sure that when you’re doing something like that you just, you take a wrong turn and it tells you it’s a wrong turn in some way.


Marcelo Gleiser:

Absolutely. You know you’re going wrong. You completely do. And that’s what’s hard about science and about fiction writing is that sometimes you’re forced to go where you don’t want to go because otherwise you are violating a certain law. And it’s just horrifying, right, because you really want to prove something, but you can’t, because it’s wrong. And you really believe in it, but that’s not good enough, right? And that’s sort of the ruthless aspect of science in a sense that — I don’t know, maybe as fiction you have a little more freedom than we do in that sense.

(from On Being transcript of interview of Marilynne Robinson and Marcelo Gleiser)


Now for the reruns:


NewRobin13 said...

That was such a lovely Valentine's Day greeting from R. Sweet, loving, and perfect.

Sabine said...

I never had any ideas about Valentine's day before I came to Ireland where I was told that it was a thing from the US. So, it has passed me/us by ever since but I like the lovely thoughts it brings you.

This is my favourite performance by Lisa O'Neill, she is singing on the back of a cattle truck at a country fair and everything is just the way it always is on a country market day. I like the way she is introduced (Lisa is from the County Cavan) and the way people are called to give her "a bit of ciúin" (silence, listening) and the way people just let the song's story unfold while they watch or talk.

The song itself is well known all over Ireland, my mother in law would sing it to my daughter when she was small toddler:

37paddington said...

"That was R greeting you for Valentine's Day." I love that your cousin helped you see that. The tears were because you knew it was true. And what a breathtaking series of artworks! How I would love them all lined up together on a gallery wall, or better yet, on my wall! You truly have a wonderful gift.