Wednesday 30 December 2020

Barry Lopez, 1945-2020

Mexican gray wolf

“We cannot, of course, save the World because we do not have authority over its parts. We can serve the world though. That is everyone's calling, to lead a life that helps.” (Barry Lopez) 

“Barry Lopez, a lyrical writer who steeped himself in Arctic wildernesses, the habitats of wolves and exotic landscapes around the world for award-winning books that explored the kinship of nature and human culture, died on Friday at his home in Eugene, Ore. He was 75.” (The New York Times

“The cold view to take of our future is that we are therefore headed for extinction in a universe of impersonal chemical, physical, and biological laws. A more productive, certainly more engaging view, is that we have the intelligence to grasp what is happening, the composure not to be intimidated by its complexity, and the courage to take steps that may bear no fruit in our lifetimes.” (Barry Lopez) 

“My goal that day was intimacy—the tactile, olfactory, visual, and sonic details of what, to most people in my culture, would appear to be a wasteland. This simple technique of awareness had long been my way to open a conversation with any unfamiliar landscape. Who are you? I would ask. How do I say your name? May I sit down? . . . . It seems to me you must find some way in a new place—or with a new person—to break free of the notion that you can be certain of what or whom you’ve actually encountered. You must, at the very least, establish a truce with realities not your own, whether you’re speaking about the innate truth and aura of a landscape or a person.” (Barry Lopez, Love in a Time of Terror

“To put your hands in a river is to feel the chords that bind the earth together.” (Barry Lopez)