What Survives —Lacy M. Johnson Examines the Aftermath of Disaster
This Week from the Emergence Magazine Podcast
Emergence Magazine is an online publication with annual print edition exploring the threads connecting ecology, culture, and spirituality. As we experience the desecration of our lands and waters, the extinguishing of species, and a loss of sacred connection to the Earth, we look to emerging stories. Our podcast features exclusive interviews, narrated essays, stories and more.
In this narrated essay, author Lacy M. Johnson reflects on what can be rebuilt and what must be mourned as our environments shift, fracture, and sometimes disappear. Walking through a wetlands that was once an upscale neighborhood in Houston, Lacy comes into contact with a landscape transformed by oil extraction and subsidence—one haunted by cycles of destruction. Feeling for the edge of change, she examines the value of restoration in the aftermath of disaster, and considers what futures could emerge, what places would survive, if we didn’t simply repair what is broken but adapted to what lies ahead.
Lacy M. Johnson is a Houston-based professor, curator, activist, and author. Her books include The Reckonings, one of the best books of 2018 by Boston Globe; The Other Side; and Trespasses: A Memoir. She is co-editor, with Cheryl Beckett, of More City Than Water: A Houston Flood Atlas. Her work has appeared in Best American Essays, Best American Travel Writing, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Paris Review, Orion, and elsewhere. She teaches creative nonfiction at Rice University and is the Founding Director of the Houston Flood Museum.