Posted by: shipbright | August 31, 2009

The Artist and the Scientist…poetry of salvation

The Artist and the Scientist…

Art has the power to inspire and I have always believed that the artist and the scientist, while working on opposite sides of our brain, are more connected than we acknowledge in their ability to leftrightinfluence us.

The artist sees things often before the rest of us, the scientist delves into things deeper than we do.  To develop the political will to address our global freshwater challenge we need to use all the tools at our disposal to engage, inspire, and move to action people from all walks of life, perspectives, interests, and motivations.

That includes Art in all of its senses and mediums because Art reaches parts of our brain that reason and logic don’t.  So I incorporate Art in my posts along with the left side brain teasers and motivators.  My friend Rex Turner does an amazing presentation on this issue and I’ll hopefully get him to guest blog in the near future on this issue.

Poetry of Salvation

That being said, consider  the “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, by the English Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, his longest poem, written in 1798.  You may have read it in English class back in High School and at the time it bored me.  Not now.

It is a long poem so I won’t post it all here but you can find it at this link:

It is from this poem that the modern saying, “water water everywhere but not a drop to drink” derived from.  The original language in the poem is:

water water every where
And all the boards did shrink ;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

It is where the expression about having an Albatross around ones neck comes from. In the poem the Ancient Mariner killed the bird, which was a sign of good luck, and his shipmates made him wear it around his neck as atonement for his sin.  You can gain further insight on the poem at:

ancient marinerI believe the poem is about salvation.  That whatever sins we may have committed we have the opportunity to turn it around.  For me, whatever past deeds of freshwater mismanagement we have committed we have the opportunity to create our own salvation…Water Water everywhere nor any drop to drink

earth in hands

Approaching this complex issue of global freshwater requires multiple angles of problem solving.  We need to use our whole brains on this, not just half.  Let me know if you have ideas for inspiration!

The Mariner, whose eye is bright,
Whose beard with age is hoar,
is gone: and now the Wedding-Guest
Turned from the bridegroom’s door.

He went like one that hath been stunned,
And is of sense forlorn :
A sadder and a wiser man,
He rose the Morrow Morn

For our efforts to address the issue of freshwater for a thirsty planet we may at first be stunned and forlorn but we will be wiser and rise the “Morrow Morn”


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