Dear Paul,

It was Alexander Pope who said it, and I am eternally grateful to him for his one brief line reminding us of the beauty and power of Michelangelo's genius and the endless opportunity to exceed it: "Finer forms are in the quarry then ever Angelo evoked."

Though you are not in a quarry working with stone, you have chosen a wonderful substitute element and I am grateful for what you are achieving in your Children's Peace Sculpture. It will always remind us of the legacy each of us received upon our arrival on this splendid planet and the exciting need to give it finer form instead of trying to make it unrecognizable.

The only art I have had much to do with in my sixty years, as an environmental activist has been photography, books and films-where my contribution has consisted of blending the two art forms. One of the books consisted entirely of paintings and the artists' interpretation: A Sense of Place: The Artist and the American Land, by Alan Gussow. Designing and editing such works maybe the closest I get to being an artist this time around.

I suppose it may have required some kind of art to put organizations together, and I have had lots of practice in the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, and Earth Island Institute. But in all these, we have only succeeded in slowing the rate at which things get worse, to quote Tom Hayden.

We have to turn that around, and speed the rate at which things get better, One of the ways to do this is to vary the forms in which we present our message - put it in dance, music, and sculpture! Another is to find ways to be as fond of our world's children and cultures as we know we ought to be and mistakenly think we are. The children are going to have to live with the consequences of what their elders are up to. We will need to give up our studied attempts to cure them of this sense of wonder, and start rediscovering our own.

And all these things, I think, are exactly what your genius is unleashing,


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