Category Archives: life

Fightback

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Photo of London, BBC, news.bbcimg.co.uk

I’ve already referenced the environmental ethics group in Ecuador. But more recently, I’m heartened by the action of a group of lawyers known as Client Earth  https://clientearth.org

Well, Client Earth have had their third victory in court against the UK Govt. in three years in relation to illegal levels of air pollution. A stunning achievement, and hopefully more to come. It is wonderful to have such a boundary rider active in a world where governments are captive/vulnerable to business and political interests that could not care less.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under community, environment, life, nature, Restorative Justice, Science

Conversant With Nature?

via Daily Prompt: Conversant

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One of my favourite places, the main beach at Augusta, clean, pristine, and great for everyone. There are dune protection programs, a series of specified paths, signs about protecting the Sand Pipers who breed there, and also for the possums too. The State govt recently imposed a ban on plastic shopping bags, and the community are supportive of that goal. The problems are few here, mainly the threat of bushfire, or the one or two people who flout the accepted behaviour for using the beach, river, or the forest trails.

I may not be fully conversant with all things environmental science, but I do feel conversant with nature, for me there is a sentience, a relationship with all beings. The result of that sense of relationship is more than just awe for nature, I have a respect for and desire to engage with nature. The interdependent relationships we survive with and thrive on are finely balanced and require care and attention. Any loss is more than just regrettable, it is permanently damaging, and in some cases, cataclysmic. Plastic islands in the ocean, plastic sand (grains of plastic) in the Mediterranean, marine and terrestrial creatures bound or damaged by fabrics, salinity, air pollution, and more, are a major concern.

As we continue to battle human rights and have made sweeping changes in some areas of human rights, it seems that we are not yet conversant with the rights and needs of nature across the world. Time is short, and nature needs us to be conversant with its needs now and its future. The irony is, the UN are in dialogue over space law, especially the treatment of the Mars environ by the Mars One team, yet we haven’t really ironed out a binding agreement on earth that gives nature a voice of its own. Ecuador has already stepped up (in 2014) and shown the way: “We the people assume the authority to conduct and Ethics Tribunal for the Rights of Nature. We will investigate cases of environmental destruction, which violate the rights of nature.” (Prosecutor for the Earth at the first International Rights of Nature Tribunal in Quito, Ecuador, January 2014). A sign of hope.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

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Filed under beach, bush walking, community, Country, environment, life, nature, Restorative Justice, Science

Assay Love

via Daily Prompt: Assay

I say, I never thought I’d write an essay about assay!

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Coober Pedy, South Australia, the opal capital of the world. More than enough assaying going on to determine the quality of the rock and ore turned up.

That’s easy these days, assaying is well provided for with pleanty of laboratories vying for work in the mining industry.

But how do you assay love? Is it a look, a movement, a scent, a kiss, a touch, a word?

The lab of love is to experience the liminal, to hear the heart, to know its beat, to feel it, and to gaze into the soul of the other. The proof therein is the gaze returned, the love enjoined, the pulse of love reciprocated. Love is only ever real if you give it and receive it. The real proof of love is how you live it.

I ached for you,
my gaze held you in my eyes,
the proof was your lips

©Paul

pvcann.com

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Filed under Country, life, love, mindfulness, poetry, Senryu

Turn To Stone

via Daily Prompt: Encrusted

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The well known Augusta water wheel, originally timber, built in the 1800s to provide water for the town and the lighthouse, now encrusted in calcite. A metaphor. If we cease to engage realtionally with others, with nature, with what matters, we risk becoming encrusted with hardness, weariness, compassion fatigue, creative dryness, and we seize up, ever hardening, never moving or growing. A heart that hardens ceases to love, and becomes encrusted with oughts (commonly referred to as a hardening of the “oughteries”), don’ts, must nots, and the bargaining of a negative mindset. What starts as protection of the self, becomes a coffin of stone that constricts. When I see that wheel, I want to chip away the calcite, to release the wheel and let it turn once again. I want to do that for those whose hearts have calcified too, but most of all I want to ensure I’m freeing my own. Only love chips away the stone of a hard heart.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

 

 

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Filed under beach, bush walking, history, life, mindfulness, nature, Philosophy/Theology, psychology, self-development

Constant Change

via Daily Prompt: Constant

 

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Heraclitus, a self taught and independent philosopher, once said: “Change is the only constant.”

He also said: “… you cannot step twice into the same stream.”

Simple, but true. However we often talk as if life is unchanging and permanent, yet everything, including ourselves, is changing. Life forms age, the universe is ever expanding (as Edwin Hubble was able to prove), planets are ever changing. Nothing is permanent.

Some people are uncomfortable with change, ironically it is a force of life. Change is about growth, transformation, adaptation, and without change we would lack spark. we would be lacking the very thing that can help ignite us. Change for the sake of change is never productive or positve, but change we attend to, are mindful of, will be part of our next step, our core energy.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under life, Philosophy/Theology

Compromise

via Daily Prompt: Compromise

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Com = with, promise = agreement, arrangement.

The art of working together towards and agreement. I’ve come across articles that suggest it is wrong to compromise, that you should stick to your guns and never give in. But I beg to differ. Without compromise we would never accomodate each other, there would be no opportunity for collaborative work or learning. Compromise is the art of finding a new way forward, trying to find points of agreement. Without compromise we would have rigidity, black and white scenarios, all forms of fundamentalism. I do agree that we should never compromise our own dignity and integrity, we should never compromise ourselves, as Janis Joplin once said: “Don’t compromise yourself, you’re all you’ve got.” While the Beatles sang ‘We Can Work It Out’ opining that life is too short for fussing and fighting.  Besides it’s not all about you/me. We can compromise our demands, ideals, desires, and wants. My observation is that relationships fail where compromise is absent.

I love this quote from St. Augustine of Hippo (oft times falsely attributed to St. Francis and a few others): “In the essentials let there be unity, in the non-essentials let there be liberty, and in all things let there be charity.” Not bad for a bloke in the fourth century. But then he had witnessed a fair bit of compromising in the the great ecumenical councils of that era.

Relationships flourish where issues and behaviours are compromised, all it takes is an “I message” and a listening ear combined with a willingness to let go fixed positions. Somewhere there is new ground.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

 

 

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Filed under community, history, life, psychology, self-development

Live in the Present Moment

via Daily Prompt: Present

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One of my favourite lines from Winnie the Pooh, and, as with many Pooh sayings, profound. Today is the present moment, there is no other.

Living in the pesent moment has deep roots in many cultures. Living in the present moment is aided my a number of helpful practices, all mindful, all

I am told that among the Australian Aboriginal peoples there is Digerie, a contemplative practice. Notably, the word digerie is the root of digeridoo, the wooden wind instrument. Buddhism, Hinduism, Tao, and several other practices, all encourage meditation in some form. Even within the Christian tradition, meditation developed in the desert monastic communities of the third and fourth centuries. Now there are other non-aligned forms of meditation. Jon Cabat-Zinn at MIT has done substantial research in meditation, showing that it has multiple benefits. Meditation is a pure form of living in the present moment, putting aside all distraction and pressure and focussing on one’s breath and mantra is releasing. To put aside the current crisis, to let go of the tyranny of time, to engage with stillness and breathing is fabulous. Through meditation I can live in the present moment, and I find I’m better for it. I notice more about my responses, behaviour, and thinking. I am challenged to let go of the past and embrace the present. The stillness grounds me so that I am able to face doubt, and the endless permutations of my mind (the monkey mind, of which the Aussie version is a tree full of Galahs).

Jan Glidewell once said: “You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.”

When our lives are completely filled up with the stuff of doing, there is little time for being. Be still for a moment, breathe, focus, let time slip away, and make space in your arms for the present.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under life, meditation, mindfulness, self-development