Posted by: floridanature | September 18, 2010

River Summit, via Walt Whitman

THE ST. JOHNS RIVER SUMMIT is hard to fully characterize. Some great folks there, some folks who weren’t so great, and a bunch of folks there to promote agendas that were selfish–whether they were agendas driven by an affluent polluter, or by an agency that allows pollution.

Lots of folks said some neat things. But the only “presenter” who was a “Hero”–in the truest sense of the word—was the St. Johns Riverkeeper. I don’t have the courage it takes to do what he does. Thanks, Neil, from the bottom of my heart.

Am figuring this wonderful lyric from a century and a half ago might characterize a bit of the way I felt. And it doesn’t even begin to get into the Faustian trade-offs. Walt Whitman knew this stuff long before we did:

“When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer”

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding outI wander’d off by myself, In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Wow … a real life hero, Whitman, and tales of political machinations and exploitation in the service of calendar production…

    you couldn’t make this stuff up.

    Keep fighting the good fight.

  2. Great synopsis of a “meeting.” The solution to our environmental problems, I think, will come not from scientific analyses or bureaucratic meanderings, but rather from a consideration of ethics, philosophy, and, dare I say it–spirituality. We must work for the preservation of the environment, in part, because it is the environment that sustains US. “There is no separation,” as one of my favorite poets, Lew Welch, wrote.

    I keep hoping for the day when these kinds of “meetings” will include hearts as well as minds.

  3. Much enjoy your perspective on this, Lucinda. Am afraid the issues facing this complex river system will continue to go unresolved until the heart is allowed as much “status” as the intellect at the bargaining tables…

  4. Whitman. The proofs, the charts, the diagrams, the columns. To some, those were the sum of the Summit. Nice eye on this one, Bill.

    • Thanks, David. Yep, Whitman had it nailed. (And, am figuring there were as many folks in pure *denial* in his time as in ours.) For me, it’s always neat to be able to find clarity about such matters in poetry.

  5. My coder is trying to convince me to move to .
    net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on numerous
    websites for about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform.
    I have heard fantastic things about blogengine.net.
    Is there a way I can import all my wordpress content into it?

    Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

  6. My developer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP.
    I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on a variety of websites for about a year and
    am nervous about switching to another platform. I have heard great things about blogengine.
    net. Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress posts into it?
    Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

  7. Great site you’ve got here.. It’s difficult to find high-quality writing like yours
    nowadays. I truly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!
    !

  8. I actually consider this blog , “River Summit, via Walt Whitman | Florida Nature”, highly interesting not to
    mention the post ended up being a superb read. Thanks
    for your effort,Darell


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: