Will Evans, retired medical doctor and resident of Carbondale, recently published a powerful piece of literature to accompany our global predicament.
“Circulating Source Water” is presented as a monograph: an academic exploration focusing on a single topic. In this case, the subject of inquiry is water. (Valium) We quickly are reminded that water touches everything. This allows the conversation to weave together history, medical science, spiritual wisdom, and personal correspondences in describing the imperative of healthy waters and consequences of our internal and external imbalances.
“Creating a life-sustaining relationship with source water is the adventure of a lifetime,” posits Evans. “We cling to black-and-white views, we choose this over that; meanwhile, our emotions are running rampant: the division we have created between heart and mind has brought us to the edge. We need to return to paradox in order to rediscover ourselves as whole people. Whole-hearted thinking is a paradox in itself. Can the heart think? Of course, but only when the mind and heart become one.”
Although the book may initially appear daunting — weighing in at 179 pages replete with hundreds of footnotes — Evans approaches the topic like entering a grand river to float. Each chapter takes us a layer deeper as we are initiated into a unique form of storytelling and introduced with frankness to the dangers of a health crisis greater than the current pandemic.
The journey begins aptly with Source then flows through Big Picture, Respect, Paradox, Disconnection, and Contamination. Having transited these hard realities, we begin to emerge through the chapters Aquifer, Balance, Identity, Source and Resource, Downstream, Resilience, A Catalyzing Event, Watershed, Flow, and the monograph concludes with Trusting. Footnotes are described in the foreword as side canyons available to explore at once or dignified to guard their knowledge for a return trip.
Published locally by Light of the Moon Inc., “Circulating Source Water,” achieves global appeal by expounding universally useful information for this strange slice of time in history. Meanwhile, the book holds an extra special layer of meaning for persons familiar with the Roaring Fork Valley. Just a few important stops along the journey include Sustainable Settings, Hanging Lake, and Roaring Fork High School. For longtime or previous residents, as well as newcomers, there is much to be gleaned about this place and the responsibilities inherent for those of us who call it home.
Many important characters populate the shores of this narrative. Those known personally by the author include former Colorado governor Dick Lamm, Carbondale mayor Dan Richardson, Brooke LeVan of Sustainable Settings, The Endocrine Disruption Exchange founder Theo Colborn, and an anonymous indigenous friend called IF. Many historical figures also play a role like Arthur Carhart, an influential conservationist with the US Forest Service, and youth climate activist Greta Thunberg. We are accompanied throughout the book by Netti, a curious high school student watching global crises unfold, as Will Evans offers her the counsel of an elder. Their relationship gives conversational structure to an otherwise dense assortment of facts and observations.
Ultimately, “Circulating Source Water” offers understanding and hope, encouraging us to turn away from the abyss of a “dying world story” to evaluate with honesty the damages wrought by living disconnected. To discover right relationship requires listening and trust and the path to healing asks that we rediscover our most authentic selves.
Thankfully, such a challenge feels appropriately inspired by the concluding words of this story. My hope is that you discover the enriching contents of this work for yourself and circulate a copy among your cherished people. The book is available online and at Mana Foods in Carbondale.