Barry Lopez (Jan. 6, 1945 – ), US National Book Award winning essayist and author, who writes on ecology and social concerns, is one of my favorite authors. He is perhaps most well-known for his beautiful work Arctic Dreams, as well as Of Wolves and Men and River Notes: the Dance of Herons. Along with Peter Mathiessen, Gary Snyder and Terry Tempest Williams, he is considered one of the premier ‘nature-writers’ of our historical present.
This video below, is an excerpt from his lecture at Middlebury College in the Environmental Affairs department. It is a beautiful, short talk in which he spells out hope and its link to having the capacity for a different imagination, in a way that is parallel with my own thoughts on why I live in the world and why I work on this blog.
He speaks poignantly about the loss of diversity in our world, the reality of genocide, the unknown people and cultures which we do not seem to be concerned about, and the loss of imagination in our world today which we must fight. He, along with myself, have seen some people and groups in our world who work long and hard hours for a different imagination and way of being in the world than most of us are living now. This is the hope, what Barry Lopez knows exists and wants to celebrate and work toward.