August 9, 2022

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Blue Floats Away: A Tender Illustrated Fable About Our Capacity for Change, Told Through the Story of Water

“The things we want are transformative, and we don’t know or only think we know what is on the other side of that transformation,” Rebecca Solnit wrote in her unsurpassable Field Guide to Getting Lost.

This may be the best problem of our consciousness — that when life beckons us to broaden our interior landscapes of risk, it calls on us to decide on experiences the transformative energy of which we would not be capable of acknowledge and want with the yet-untransformed self, and so we would not select to have them. (Philosophers have explored this paradoxical blind spot to transformative experiences in a chic thought experiment generally known as the vampire problem.)

But this may additionally be essentially the most hopeful facet of our consciousness — that we all know ourselves solely incompletely; that the life we’ve is barely a subset of our doable life; that we’re able to having experiences which profoundly remodel how we reside our lives on this home of sinew and soul, remodeling within the course of the very texture of who we imagine ourselves to be.

This paradox of transformation comes alive with unusual tenderness, by means of a singular lens — the science and poetics of Earth’s water cycle — in Blue Floats Away (public library) by Travis Jonker, an elementary faculty librarian by day and an creator by evening, and Grant Snider, an orthodontist by day and an artist (sure, that artist) by evening.

Little Blue is an iceberg teenager all of the sudden separated from his dad and mom and despatched adrift on his personal from the North Pole into the huge oceanic unknown.

Along the way in which, Little Blue will get to know the open waters of the world, discovers “new things, beautiful things,” makes new mates with boats and sharks and the Moon.

But simply as he begins understanding the currents and devising a strategy to journey them again dwelling, the unimaginable occurs — Little Blue melts into the tropical waters and turns into a part of the ocean.

Then, simply as unimaginably, because the equatorial warmth turns water to vapor, Little Blue is remodeled as soon as once more — right into a joyous little cloud.

Soon, Blue started to see issues.

New issues.

Beautiful issues.

Floating far above the ocean, he learns in regards to the compass instructions and he marvels on the aurora borealis as he drifts poleward throughout the evening sky.

And then, because the air grows colder and the latitude larger, Little Blue all of the sudden begins rising greater and larger, till snowflakes start to shed from him because the winds return him to his unique Northern homeland.

Although the story ends on the traditional happy-ending word of a fairy story — Little Blue, in his cloud embodiment, is reunited together with his dad and mom — Jonker takes care to forged no false enchantment. On the ultimate web page, an creator’s word particulars the science of Earth’s more and more precarious water cycle and urges the younger reader to counter local weather change with every day actions that even a toddler might take — these seemingly easy however profound transformations of behavior on the person stage that, throughout the sweep of time and generations, form the transformation of consciousness on the civilizational stage.

Complement Blue Floats Away with Ellen Meloy on water as a portal to transcendence and What Color Is Night — Snider’s solo serenade to the nocturnal blues — then revisit the world’s most poetic marine biologist on the ocean and the meaning of life.

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