VISIONS OF HOPE, WAYS OF SEEING A poet’s holistic view of Nature, social justice and the world can inspire us
There’s an expansive and internationalist feel to Resurgence & Ecologist in this issue. Our writers range widely across subjects and continents, with passion and commitment.
Passion, certainly, in Philip Pullman’s account of the new ways of seeing he discovered in the work of William Blake: “Sometimes we find a poet, a painter or a musician who functions like a key that unlocks a part of ourselves we never knew was there... Something awakes that was asleep, doors open that were closed, lights come on in all the windows of a palace inside us whose existence we never suspected.”
Blake, of course, was a radical visionary, capable of combining acute artistic sensibility with a vigorous sense of politics, justice and a sense of wonder at the natural world – holistic views that we hope resonate through Resurgence & Ecologist. So in this issue, Aditya Chakrabortty reports on the fight for housing justice in Britain; Vandana Shiva writes movingly on the plight of Indian farmers struggling in the face of powerful industrial and economic forces, and Michael McCarthy argues that we must rediscover joy in Nature if we are to reverse at least some of the damage we are doing to our shared environment.
Elsewhere in this issue, Heathcote Williams’ account of the extraordinary life of Badshah Khan, the Muslim hero of nonviolence and reconciliation, is a welcome counter to religious stereotyping. In Japan, our own Satish Kumar meets Keibo Oiwa, an academic activist who has helped fashion a movement to reconnect a sometimes febrile society with more lasting, sustainable values. And in a moving account of her own journey from almost unthinkable loss to forgiveness, Scarlett Lewis tells of coming to terms with her son’s death in a mass shooting.
I began my account of this issue’s contents with Philip Pullman and his life-affirming encounter with the words and images of William Blake. Fitting, then, that our arts coverage – no less than our other features – echoes Blake’s holistic vision of the world. The artist Richard Long talks of his inspiration in Nature, Ian Skelly finds health and harmony in the music of J.S. Bach, and Peter Abbs reminds us of the poetic vision of Walt Whitman. There’s much more, too: we hope it adds up to some inspiring reading.
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