Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Gone Fishing


This is not what I was doing during a recent pause in PrincetonNatureNotes posting, but hard not to like this scene, taken a month ago at Sourland Mountain Preserve. There's a pond next to the parking lot.

What I have been doing is a different kind of fishing expedition, writing theater pieces having to do with climate change, working with the Rotary Club of Princeton to gain access to the Veblen House and cottage to begin restoration work, and working with the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association to save a rare piedmont prairie remnant in my former hometown, Durham, NC from being destroyed by a "sidewalk to nowhere".

In fishing, one can only control where and how, not the final result. One has no power to command. Writing a theatrical piece starts with an idea, but whether the words will emerge from the well is hard to predict. Trying to save a publicly owned historic house or a historic prairie also involves a lack of ultimate control, with only an alluring proposal and persistence to influence the result. On the surface, climate change may not seem a promising subject for theater. The house and prairie don't look like much from the outside. But any fisherman knows that you don't judge a body of water by its surface, but by the riches underneath.

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