Thursday, 8 March 2012
Happy Birthday to Gaia’s Children
It was the long expected party, with dozens of guests. Just about everyone we could think of was there, on a Thursday night too. The Texas/ Louisiana spread surpassed its legendary reputation. Chili, salsa, gumbo, queso, beer, spicy beans. You don’t find those in a Scottish restaurant, unless the chef happens to be Amber. Southern cuisine is in her blood, and she knows how to treat it well. For me, sharing the book’s birthday with friendly and supportive people was what it was about. And an opportunity to thank everyone who helped me prepare the manuscript: editors, reviewers, critics and supporters.
I can’t judge the book any more than I could judge a child who is born. It has everything right about it. I’m happy with the way it turned out, and that’s as far as I’ll go. I'm pleased that people whom I’ve never met reportedly like it. While I’m not expecting a bestseller, I hope that the book will please, inspire, provoke a thoughtful response, open a window to a new and awe-inspiring world.
Fiona Alden, Alastair Grant, Charles Ashton, Adam Archibald Charlie Roy, Rachel Ashton, Annie Ashton (All pretending to read)
It’s been a long journey since the sunny October in the French Pyrenees where I penned the opening chapters. The first seeds were kicking about much earlier. Questions about language, and how it shapes our thinking. How would we think if our thinking wasn’t wedded to language? In forming a sentence we already separate subject and object, you and I, I and the world, Catholics from Jews, Americans from the French and so on. Language fragments our world, chews it into small bites that don’t appear to relate to each other. We accept that fragmented reality as the real world when it is more likely an illusion resulting from our rational thinking --- a thinking chained by language. Is that modality of thinking inevitable? Is there another that doesn’t fragment our experience? If so, then it’s not common. Perhaps it’s experienced through meditation or an altered state of consciousness.
Those who know me have had to put up with my tirades about global warming. I’m not one for political action. I’m convinced that humanity’s devastating effect on Gaia goes back to our basic psychology, to our tendency to see ourselves as separate from our environment, and from each other. We only exploit nature without regard to her needs when we feel separate from nature. Which is where the lupans come in, showing us the way to heal the troubled Earth. Less rational than us more empathic, lacking “the ego”, they may at first appear remote to us, however they are humanity’s unrecognized alter-ego. I won’t say more here. Song of the Earth, the sequel to Gaia’s Children will answer some of those questions.
Back to the book launch and to Linella Sienkiewicz’s table. The outside temperatures aren't warm enough yet to dine al-fresco in March but within fifty years time that will change. Unfortunately no lupans showed up after the guests were gone to take away the leftovers. They haven’t been born --- not yet. This party was only their baby shower.
We all wish the lupans anticipated Happy Birthday!