I live comfortably in a world of creativity. Not only do I ponder, explore, discuss and write about this ever-evolving subject, but I also create fantasy. THE WORLD OF GLIMPSE is my domain. I feel at home in this imagined world which gives me the opportunity to explore through humor, fantastical characters and places, many of the realities of our own lives today.
John M. Anderson, is a paleobotanist living in South Africa whose work has been recognized by many, including Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, The Dalai Lama, and Sir Peter Crane. His life’s work and that of Heidi Anderson (Holmes) which centers around fossil assemblages promoting biodiversity and stemming the Sixth Extinction, includes their monographic series, widely recognized as unique in the field that might well prove to reflect the moment of greatest plant diversity through geological time. Sir Peter Crane, director of Kew Gardens wrote, “I am not aware of any set of fossil assemblages that has been collected with such intensity, uniformity of approach and such care…”.
John and I converse. I have created – imagined, really, the flora of THE WORLD OF GLIMPSE with its Wandering-Rootabouts – capricious, nomadic plants that root and uproot at a whim — and all other manner of vegivariation. John and Heidi, however, have diligently, with the the utmost scientific discipline, recorded the fossil flora of the Late Triassic Molteno Formation–deposited at the time of the origin of the dinosaurs and mammals–in the Karoo Basin of South Africa. Yet we have found commonalities and areas for discourse:
THE SCIENTIST AND THE FANTASIST
John Anderson of MoltenoLand & Ellen Palestrant of GlimpseLand: A Conversation.
ELLEN’S INVITATION TO JOHN:
From “THE WALRUS AND THE CARPENTER” by Lewis Carroll:
“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings”
JOHN’S REPLY TO ELLEN:
This will be fun!
Synnovation between the Arts and Sciences!
Between right and left hemispheres!
Between GlimpseLand and MoltenoLand!
Big fun, yet serious!
Let our wonderings take fertile root.
However hidden (as in Glimpse) or exposed (as in Molteno),
let them address current reality.
We’re on the edge of melting the Antarctic,
home of the Penguins.
We’re on the edge of boiling the sea,
home of the whales.
Only the dinosaurs with wings
made it through the 5th extinction (65 million years ago);
Who’ll make it through the 6th Extinction (flaring out of control today);
neither Walruses nor Kings!
For your grandkids and for mine!
ELLEN’S REPLY TO JOHN:
Yes, John, I agree. With all the imminent dangers we face today … and “to-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow”– my apologies, Macbeth and to you, too, William Shakespeare — which no longer “creeps in this petty pace from day to day” but advances with increasing velocity, we need to think creatively and synnovate collaboratively for both the sake of our planet and for the sake of our future generations.
In awe of the remarkable work you do,