Lynn Margulis And The Pursuit of Knowledge


Dorion Sagan’s writings on his mother Lynn Margulis have been exceptional crystals of biography, autobiography, clarification, science, and love, since his mother died suddenly last November.

Here is his latest.

The things I have experienced that come the closest to sacred are the very things I find myself falling mute about. Like the mind and scientific soul of Lynn Margulis; Genius.

So I am always delighted to read Dorion’s renderings. She is in good hands–both the human being and the scientist. Sagan being her son does not guarantee safe passage by any means, but in this case, her son, her collaborator, was and is also a writer of tremendous power, and in her, of course, he finds infinity.

[By the way, Dorion Sagan is commissioned to write a piece about Lynn for The Truth Barrier.

Lynn loved our name, and said it often, in conversation: “The Truth Barrier. I like that.”]

She was utterly charming, and, as somebody wrote, “utterly impossible.” I would add: Improbable. Innocent. Jagged. Brilliant beyond words. Not at all like others.

Lynn had size 9 feet and was forever pressing shoes upon me, mostly sling back sandals made in Italy; Mostly navy blue.

When I catch sight of them in my closet I have no idea where to turn or what to do with the feelings of loss and sorrow, and at the same time knowing she is roaming around what Tomas Transtromer called “the real party.” This place would have to have been too slow for her, I am guessing. Everything about her was fourth dimension, and we are still in third (though the transition is picking up.)

I took some pictures of her emerging in her black swimsuit and swim cap from Puffer’s Pond holding a wet stick between her hands, studying it, seemingly mesmerized. Her head is dropped straight down, peering at the life forms on that stick, which you and I could not see. (But should I publish them? I’ll wait a while.)

The intimacy was all theirs: Lynn, the pond, the stick, what she saw. It’s recorded somewhere, somehow.

I remember her first voice message to me, (2010) as I made my way to visit her in Amherst Mass, ended with her saying excitedly: “I’m going out to run the dog and swim in the pond. Hurry, get here soon, I have great news for you about Pectinatella.”

Great news for me about pectinatella.

She was an absolute riot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.