One day this fall the world news was so devastating that for the first time I thought humans may kill ourselves due to our inhumanity*, well before climate change. We seem to have lost our way, and I feel complicit in this; I’ve traded faith in our collective family for anger and fear—a terrible and dangerous trade.

I’m not sure what to do about this but offer reminders of who we also are, and who we might become—artifacts of words, ideas, landscapes and art that express our grace, humor, intelligence, imagination, gratitude, generosity, empathy and kindness. That point to our ability to appreciate this miraculous existence.

Every week in 2024, I will create an image and post it, calling this project palimpsest** because I like the idea that metaphorically we are each a palimpsest, marked by DNA, familial and cultural blessings and blindnesses, mores, commandments, art, passions, beliefs and yearnings. Marked by all the ways humans wrestle with being human.

Palimpsests inherently are evolving—new marks over old—which seems apt for our young species as over time we teach each other how to be human. We are becoming tomorrow from whom we’ve been, and whom we choose to be today.
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*It’s telling that the most dire invective we use to describe our bad behavior is “inhumane”, literally non-human.

**pal·imp·sest
/ˈpaləm(p)ˌsest/
Noun:
a manuscript or piece of writing material on which the original writing has been effaced to make room for later writing but of which traces remain.
something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form.

(I can’t reliably pronounce “palimpsest”, but hope to learn during the course of the year … )

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