Her Plan for Putting the World Back Together? Trees.
The only thing we have are stories. We have nothing else. You and I and all of the members of the planet, we have nothing else but our stories. And you either listen to them or you don’t listen to them.
But now, Richard Powers — let me tell you a very funny thing. This is a secret between you and me. Richard, me darling, Powers wrote the book, but it was sent to me way ahead of time. A lot of the publishers kind of clued in that it was me. But do you realize that an Irish woman in slang is called Patricia? And so, Beresford is my name. So the character in Powers’s book “The Overstory” was called Patricia Westerford. Beresford. See, so you get the onomatopoeia of my name throughout the book.
The only problem with poor old Richard: He should’ve blinking well interviewed me, and got a couple more things, because I’ve done a whole lot more things in surgery. I’ve made the artificial blood for tissue transplanting all over the world. I’ve made the blood for cardio research — again, all over the world. So, Richard, you could have done a little better on this little woman here, but of course, being an Irish woman, you know you have to shut up.
Cara Buckley: As a closing question, you’ve said that an understanding we need to know about the plant world starts with poetry. What do you mean by that? And do you think there’s something about nature that is inexplicable and doesn’t need explaining?
Education is very important. I brought a bunch of kids in a school with their teachers, four classes together in there. And I asked the teachers to look out the window and name the trees. This was a class of biology. Not one teacher could name any one of the trees outside the window. How can they possibly teach the kids if they don’t know how to do that?
So this is a long journey. This is a long journey, because we have to pick up where we left in destroying the world. We have to put it back together. And, of course, the prophecies are that — the Irish prophecies actually are, too — that we will put the land together. And that’s my concept of the bio plan. The bio plan is take each little part of your world around you — be it a pot on a balcony, look after that, look after the trees, look after your street, look after the people of the street. And we’ll all hold hands together, and we’ll be able to join our hands across the world. And we’re doing it right now, as a matter of fact, and that will actually save the planet.
Now, I want to give you a blessing from Ireland, and I was asked to do this when I was 12 years old. The blessing is in Gaelic, and I’ll give you a translation. And what I’m saying to you now is: “May you walk with the divine, and may you have life like yeast rising in bread. And may you rise with your life and enjoy it.” You wear those words like a mantle around you. And please remember, you have been blessed with these ancient Celtic words. Thank you.