In 2000 I participated in a "Litany for the Lost". 5 people, standing in a circle, recited names of extinct and vanishing Species; the names of our fellow Beings on this inter-dependent, inter-woven planet. I have thought about that for years, and just received a grant from the Puffin Foundation this past month, for which I am very grateful, to create a "Shrine for the Lost". We are not the only life forms striving to evolve on our beautiful Planet Earth, and as species are lost, the Balance of ecosystems breaks down, like a tapestry unravelling. It is the greatest of arrogance to think that humanity is not a part of that tapestry, and that our lives unravel with it.
My Dia de los Muertos "Shrine for the Lost": the Sixth Extinction will consist of 4 panels, each panel 16 inches by 72 inches (6 feet), hung on the wall. Each panel will have 7 pages like the one above, with Lists of the Lost, and interspersed visuals. The pages will run together vertically, kind of like the sample to the right, only the panel will be 6 feet long. I want people to grasp the magnitude of the loss with these long lists.
In addition, the Shrine will have an Audio Component, a recording of a "Litany for the Lost": 5 voices calling the Names of Extinct or Vanishing Species (probably with some kind of musical backdrop as well). My colleague Kathy Keller will collaborate on this with me.
And the Shrine will include my new book A Shrine for the Lost: The Sixth Extinction.
I cannot share here images of the finished Shrine, because it will not be installed until November 1st for the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos). But I am pleased to share a bit of the Work in Progress, and as soon as the Shrine can be made active, I will be sure to share that as well.
I have made application to create the Shrine at the 2023 Parliament of World Religions as well...........here's hoping.
It is my hope and offer to all those who may be interested that this exhibit, when finished, travel as a means of educating others about the magnitude of our loss. The List........
And the List continues................
* A film produced with Leonardo De Caprio well worth seeing: