When the curtain lifts…

When the curtain lifts

we’ll all be able to see

exactly what we’ve lost


One of my favorite places in Alaska is the Begich Boggs Visitor Center in the Chugach National Forest (near Portage). The Center is situated on the remains of the moraine left by Portage Glacier in 1914. Steps lead down to grey rock and icy blue waters filled with enormous icebergs. Inside, after making your way through an interactive exhibit you’re brought to a beautiful theatre where a breathtaking documentary about the Portage Valley, Portage glacier, and climate change airs. After several dramatic minutes of calving glacier footage and archival shots of what the glacier used to look like, a curtain is raised behind the theatre’s screen and the water and icebergs are revealed. The glacier is so far receded that it is no longer visible from the viewing windows.

We know what we’re losing, and what we’ve lost. Sometimes I feel a bit powerless, like water is running through my cupped hands, but being able to visit places like this during our residence in Southeastern Alaska soothes my very human guilt just a bit. I’m avowedly bowing my head and accepting my own part of the blame. It’s real. We’re sorry, what can we do?



read more haiku at haiku my  heart



19 thoughts on “When the curtain lifts…

  1. chrissy,
    you have struck a deep cord with me. your haiku, picture and narrative humbling. it breaks my heart…..this fast pace world rarely willing to take responsibility, to be a caretaker of everyday gifts; air, water, wildlife, resources, each other.

    thank you for taking this opportunity to be a vital reminder.
    especially as we begin a new year with new intension.

  2. I think you’ve hit the note I’m trying to hit in your comment. We need to be caretakers and good stewards. Even if its just in our own homes/kitchens/backyards, etc. Our every day gifts are the most important ones … sending love your way, sweet Rebecca!

  3. Ramesh, thank you so much for reading…it is overwhelming but I don’t think all is lost.

  4. Chrissy,
    Thank you for sharing this. I found it deeply moving as well. I have listened to some of Al Gore’s discussion on the subject and read but we don’t see it as closely and personally as you do living right there in the heart of it. I live by the ocean and see the changes here. I see the disregard that people have for the environment. Thank your for bringing it to our awareness in a very special and significant way.

  5. What a powerful exhibit- thank you so much for sharing it. What I love is that you were touched by it- and now you are touching others- and maybe each of us will tell someone else- and make a vow to do no more harm… or as little as possible… and hopefully, we will see what needs to be done before it is completely lost.

  6. This is powerful. First of all, I had a completely different take on your Haiku when I read the words. I immediately thought of life itself. The final curtain, going home, to the other side. And that made perfect sense.
    Then, I read your words, your explanation. I have never been there,m but heard of this theater before, and the shame of the glaciers receeding by the hand of mankind. I feel as you do. It is my fault. I am society and to blame for this, and for war, and for poverty etc etc. But the fact that you arwe aware makes the difference, we all do, one at a time.


  7. Oh, our wounded Earth, and our wounded hearts…
    I get so quickly overwhelmed by the magnitude of all that is wrong with our world. The only really comfort I have found is to return to what is right and to love. Take my responisibility and change in little ways where I can, and offer gratitude and love for what is right. That is our greatest strength and what I think will save us in the end…
    Light and love to you…

  8. Kim, I used to have HORRIBLE anxiety about the tumult our earth is in – over man-made causes. Somehow staring at the belly of the beast while we lived in Alaska helped ground me and focus me.

  9. That’s just it, Deann: we have to be so mindful. It’s a moment-by-moment thing, you know?

  10. I also think that we need to accept the blame and then valiantly move forward.

  11. no one ever taught in school anything about responsibility of the tracks we create and leave in science though i did learn early abt my cycles of menstruation… today i am a mad recycler… everyday we each do our part to change waste product….

  12. very beautiful, image and words.

    as for your last question, should that perhaps be : “what are we willing to give up ?”

"... all my lovers were there with me, all my past and futures."

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