Carl Safina Quotes

Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Categories: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
In a universe devoid of life, any life at all would be immensely meaningful. We ARE that meaning. 'And what we see, 'says the poet Mary Oliver, 'is the world that cannot cherish us, but which we cherish.' As though life itself is the great, universal, unrequited love of all time. But there is even more to this. Deep mystery. We are the universe aware of itself. We let the miracle get lost in distractions. On a planet so rich with living companions, much of humanity sentences itself to solitary confinement. Late at night, I used to lie in my boat listening to radio calls from ships to families ashore. There was only one conversation, and it boils down to, 'I love you and I miss you: come home safe.' Connections make us individuals. Ironic, isn't it? The more connected, the more unique our life becomes...

-Carl Safina


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And finally I saw that the very land itself had risen, that the sunbaked land had taken form as something vast and alive, and was in motion. The land walked as multitudes, their strides so utterly of the earth that they seemed the source of the very dust. The cloud they raised engulfed us, seeped into every pore, coated our teeth, seeped into our minds. Both flesh and metaphor. That big. And you could see their heads, like warriors' shields. Their great breaths, gushing in and out, resonant in the halls of their lungs. The skin as they moved, wrinkled with time and wear, batiked with the walk of ages, as if they lived within the creased maps of the lives they've traveled. Travelers across landscapes, and through timescapes. The skin moving like swishing corduroy, textured and rough but sensitive to the slightest touch. The grind of their cobblestone molars as, sheaf by sheaf and mouthful by mouthful, they acquire the world. All the while uttering the contented purring of mounds of memories. Their rumbles rolling through the air like distant thunder approaching, vibrating through the undulating ground and the roots of trees, rallying families and friends from the hills and rivers, sending among themselves greetings and recognitions and news of where they have been; sending to us a sign of something coming. A mind moves a mountainous mass of muscle and bone, the brown eyes light a landscape, and one elephant rumbles in. See her squared brow, trace the tracks of snake-size blood vessels. Heralded by her own trumpet, applauded by her own clapping ears, she strikes us as timeless and a bit sublime, aware and deliberative, peaceful and nurturing and deadly dangerous as needs arise. Wise only within the confines of her capabilities, like us. Vulnerable. As we all are. 'Delicate and mighty, awesome and enchanted, ' wrote Peter Matthiessen of them in The Tree Where Man Was Born, 'commanding the silence ordinarily reserved for mountain peaks, great fires, and the sea.' Silence. Watch. Simply listen. They will not speak to us, but to each other they say much. Some of it, we hear. The rest is beyond words.

Carl Safina
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