Monday, September 06, 2021 —(On September 20, the full moon, “Harvest”, will rise nearest to earth.)
According to Edith Widder, we humans live on a very watery planet but most know very little about the variety of animals that live in water.
She has a Ph.d in oceanography, has made a career of ocean-diving. Her studies have been explorations of deep-water luminescence. They’ve revealed that huge varieties of animals living in the deep create an amazing world of underwater light. Enough brightness, in fact, that even after turning off all the lights in her diving capsule, there’s enough natural underwater luminescence that Widder can see and read her instrument panels.
Her interest in light began in college days when a surgery that went wrong caused her to become temporarily blind. Her new reality, of having to cope among shifting shadows, encouraged her lifelong fascination with light.
She points out that there are a few land animals that produce luminescence. Lightening bugs are an example, but only rare luminescent producers don’t live in water. In the underwater environment, there’s light manufactured by thousands of creatures which becomes shed in fascinating ways.
She has been a ground-breaker. This compelling read tells her personal story, explains her professional discoveries.
I’m writing about BELOW THE EDGE OF DARKNESS, because it’s well-written and enlightens more of our larger world. Also, because it’s a modern style of autobiographical writing. My reading it came on the heels of having read Susan Simard’s, FINDING THE MOTHER TREE. Simard’s story, subtitled “Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest”, explains her figuring-out that the underground world of plants communicates and shares resources as vigorously as humans do in an overground world.
Widder introduces the key life experiences that made her want to dive and explore the deepest underwater worlds. Her story brings that “other world” more alive, makes the greatest ocean depths become more relevant to “dry ground we”.
Both women have made extraordinary scientific discoveries, and recently, each produced her own awesome biography. Each reveals life experiences and learning, they encourage we who appreciate creativity to cheer their newer “real pioneering”. Gathering, assimilating, and making information relevant to the world requires sheer determination, grit, and bravery.
Dear Friends: We’re into a new era, it’s modern, creative, enlightening, and let’s hope it lasts. Diana