More and more I have come to admire resilience.
Not the simple resistance of a pillow, whose foam
returns over and over to the same shape, but the sinuous
tenacity of a tree: finding the light newly blocked on one side,
it turns in another. A blind intelligence, true.
But out of such persistence arose turtles, rivers,
mitochondria, figs—all this resinous, unretractable earth.
Video created for The Universe in Verse 2018, curated and hosted by Maria Popova.
Poem: “Optimism” by Jane Hirshfield, read by the author.
Film concept by Maria Popova and Kelli Anderson.
Papercraft animation by Kelli Anderson.
Music: “Optimist” by Zoë Keating.
“Optimism” appears in Jane Hirshfield’s Each Happiness Ringed by Lions: Selected Poems.