William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Environment’

A Letter to the Girls

The great naturalist, Edward O. Wilson, has died. But the world has not lost him, as the common phrase goes. He lives on his books, in his colleagues, and in the countless people he has influenced and taught. He lives on in the environment and ecosystems he helped and is still helping to save. It is not necessary to meet and know someone personally to benefit from his or her […]

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Feathers and Dust

When once we see everything is a flower — from wayward child to walnut shell, changing sky to ancient, mottled hand — we understand that no measurement or value can express the shimmering grace of this world. Life is so fine and so rare, it cannot be fathomed by means of comparison, or appreciated on such narrow, limiting terms. Just as there is profound strength in the whole, the individual […]

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No Thinker to Think, No Doer to Do

I try to learn something every day. The subjects vary from the natural environment, to diet, exercise, and health from ancient and modern perspectives, to human behavior and the mechanics of habit and addiction, to sleep, dreams, and memory, and to other things seemingly related or unrelated that suggest themselves along the way, and which seem to shed light on this existence. That this does little to allay my general […]

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Treble and Bass

Shall I spend what remains of my precious time merely agreeing or disagreeing with everyone I meet and with every piece of information that comes my way? Would this not keep me in a state of perpetual opinion, sure I am right, and therefore willfully blind? Or shall I work to remain open, and tremble and sway with life as it passes through me and around me, like the trees? […]

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Destruction and Joy

Finished early this morning: The Diversity of Life, by Edward O. Wilson. The leaves are changing in the canyon. Yesterday morning, all through our three-and-a-half-mile walk from North Falls to Winter Falls, to Twin Falls, and then back to North Falls and on to Upper North Falls, the canopy was dripping from the previous night’s rain. In fact, it was raining, but the rain itself was being absorbed well above […]

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My Trust, My Hand

Cedar, juniper, green maple, red maple, pine. Arborvitae, crape myrtle, rhododendron, barberry, apricot. Blueberry, grape, fig, birch, fir. Grasses. Such, in varying numbers, constitute the perennials on this relatively average-sized suburban lot. Hosta, fern, moss. Lilac. Ivy. Rose. To arrive at a complete list, one would need to comb the area with notebook in hand, to look carefully, see calmly, patiently, making it the work of a lifetime, his own […]

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The Page and the Moon

The rising sliver of the waning moon is good company. So is a blank page. I have seen many of the latter dawn and fade over the years, very nearly one each day — fade into print, into scratch, swirl, and scrawl. But if I had to choose between the page and the moon, I would keep the moon and let go of the page. And while it is one […]

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Smoke in the Canyon

How proud we are of the useless nonsense recorded in our brains — jingles, slogans, brands, styles, and trivia of every kind — none of which truly enriches our lives or helps us survive. That these things have replaced a dependable catalog of natural wonders, such as bird song, the habits of insects, and the subtle changes in our environment and signs in the weather, is a sad commentary on […]

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What is Wisdom?

Australopithecus afarensis. Homo habilis. Homo erectus. Homo sapiens. What is generally referred to as ancient wisdom is of such recent vintage, that one can only begin to wonder what wisdom really is. And, biologically speaking, when, and where, and how, did the soul creep in? Was it present in the man-apes with brains the size of those in chimpanzees? Did God say — each word requiring millions of years to […]

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