Many deeply affective and moving narratives have their roots in tragedy; there can be no light without the dark. Stories that revel in beauty without exploring the shadow dimension of grief, death, and despair can occasionally come across feeling artificial, shallow, and incomplete. In contrast, those that accept and embrace tragedy can take on dimensions of substance, becoming deeper, rounder, and whole. They linger in our memories, and stay with us for a long time, profoundly shaping our identity and our understanding of the world.
This week’s Reconnect explores three poignant and bittersweet Ekostories. The Inner Light is an intimate story about a man who has been given a second life to live in an extinct society; he grows to love, treasure, and learn from them, even if he is unable to prevent its demise. Princess Mononoke feels like a Greek tragedy, with humans and gods enacting fates they cannot escape; yet the seeds of hope and reconciliation endure even after horrific bouts of death and destruction. The documentary Climate Voices features people from all around the world who have been directly affected by climate change. Their stories speak of the grief and loss they have felt, along with their hopes and dreams for a better future.