Lake Superior Magazine: Water and What We Know
This flow of essays by Karen Babine echoes the experience of watching a fallen leaf wander and eddy its way along a slow-flowing river. Sometimes just observing the journey is satisfaction enough.
Karen shines best when describing her northern sensibility: “There is a good reason why Minnesotans dry up when separated from the water of their home state. … For Minnesotans, water is, at its root, a language. Water is the way by which we can understand ourselves, each other and the surrounding world.”
You can wrap yourself in the poetry of these essays, but it’s not rosy prose. She serves strong critiques of those who do not pass the muster of her philosophy and draws judgment from natural disasters.
The value of essays in this tradition of Thoreau and Olson is to share the insights of others, to measure them by our own sentiments and ultimately to examine better how we meet and see the world.