Derrick Jensen is a writer and environmentalist, a survivor of abuse, a man with a brilliant mind and a great, great love. But most of all, in my mind, Derrick is a realist. He’s unafraid to ask the questions that most of us would never consider asking and he’s unapologetic toward those who make judgements uninformed. Which is most of us by the way. He’s been called, unfairly I think, the “violence guy” because he is not afraid to say that violence returned may be the only thing that will work to reclaim our world from the powers that have overtaken it.
Following are the first two paragraphs from Derrick’s book, “A Language Older Than Words”:
“There is a language older by far and deeper than words. It is the language of bodies, of body on body, wind on snow, rain on trees, wave on stone. It is the language of dream, gesture, symbol, memory. We have forgotten this language. We do not even remember that it exists.’
In order for us to maintain our way of living, we must, in a broad sense, tell lies to each other, and especially to ourselves. It is not necessary that the lies be particularly believable. The lies act as barriers to truth. These barriers to truth are necessary because without them many deplorable acts would become impossibilities. Truth must at all costs be avoided. When we do allow self-evident truths to percolate past our defenses and into our consciousness, they are treated like so many hand-grenades rolling across the dance floor of an improbably macabre party. We try to stay out of harm’s way, afraid they will go off, shatter our delusions, and leave us exposed to what we have done to the world and to ourselves, exposed as the hollow people we have become. And so we avoid these truths, these self-evident truths, and continue the dance of world destruction.”
Derrick’s writing, his fearlessness in questioning the assumptions by which we have all come to live, and his ability to pry truth out of the delusions that frame our world are at once courageous and terrifying, wound and balm.
Read him if you dare.