More About the Author
Somehow I prefer to write my name, robert wolff, without capital letters. In other countries that is very common.
I grew up at a time and in a place where there were tigers; I knew tigers in the wild. The first time was when I was about eight. As I remember it: "I saw the tiger, and the tiger smiled." I like most animals, and plants. I feel I am an integral part of Nature. Probably that is why I don't like cities -- not a natural habitat for humans.
I write about "all my relations," as native Americans say. All the beings and aspects of this planet that I relate to: the feathered people, the four-footeds, the two-legged; trees, plants; weeds; storms, sunshine, wind, rain. I write about people I have learned from, people I admire. And about animals and plants that I learn from. About the chaos that is Nature, its infinite interdependencies: everything related to everything else.
And I write to remind us that WHAT THERE IS IS ALL THERE IS.
You want statistics, mileposts? Born here, lived there, worked somewhere else, married, children (grandchildren, great grandchildren), degrees, appointments, disappointments. Yes, all of those. I am a human who belongs to the planet, to Nature more than to Man's world. I've had an exciting life, lived in many different countries in different cultures. Speak a few languages -- essential, I think, to be able to understand more than one point of view.
I'm obsessed by 'simple' -- doing without rather than aquiring more.
The world of Man is not simple. We made a world for ourselves on top of the planet, thinking we can divorce ourselves from the planetary ecology. We think we own this planet, we think we can own land, plants, animals, other people. How can we?
Our man-made world is a jumble of rules and regulations that force us to be what we were not born to be, and it has become ever more destructive because we assume ourselves the masters of this planet. Our so-called civilization tames us, as we tamed, or domesticated, plants and animals.
We deny, or ignore, what our foreparents knew to live sustainably for 100,000 years or more.
We are as much part of the planetary ecology of course as weeds and fleas. But we have power, we use force. And with that force we are abusing Life, including our own species. We are destroying the planet, our only home.
Now, 2009, I cannot see how we can prevent the crash of our illusionary house of cards.
I don't know whether we can still slow down or stop climate change. Soon it will be too late. I don't believe in hoping for the best... I do best when I look whatever faces me straight on, recognizing it for what it is. If our species, humankind, survives the planet's response to our outrageous abuses we will find ourselves in a new Nature. We may even be a new, or renewed homo sapiens.
In a new and different world I foresee that we will rediscover talents and abilities we have always had but brainwashed out of us by our current so-called civilization. That is what Rain of Ashes is about.
I learned from a tribe of very ancient people to listen to my dreams. A Book of Dreams is about finding stories in the fragments of dreams we remember when we awake (not about interpreting dreams).
A few more books, and a long list of essays on my web site
http://www.wildwolff.com/ ['wild' as in natural, of course, not as in 'out of control']
The Big Island, called Hawai'i, December 2009.