everything’s changing, everything’s topsy-turvy. they say change is the only constant in the universe. we want things both to change and to remain the same. below are some examples of change in 2012 and ahead, with links to more. but first, a few thoughts….
“We can no longer have everything we want, but we can be more than we ever imagined.”–Howard Jerome
madison kate (who takes great pictures) reminds us to tell others ‘that you love them. say it more than once a day. write it down for them to find, because we can all use little reminders like this…. we don’t have long here.’ image by madison kate
cindy wonders what’s next in her journey.
the david suzuki foundation [dsf] writes that 2012 ‘was a difficult year. The federal government called us “radical” and “un-Canadian” for standing up for nature. They rammed through omnibus budget bills and erased long held environmental protections. But … more Canadians are standing up for nature and democracy than ever before…. [a list of some accomplishments in 2012]. These are all your wins. Without your commitment and generosity, our scientists, policy experts and hundreds of volunteers simply could not have done their work.’ image by holger motzkau.
furthermore, the dsf sponsored a poll that identifies a ‘huge gap between Canadians and [their] government on climate change.’
Peter Robinson and Dr. Faisal Moola of the dsf say, ‘The growing [idle no more] movement was sparked by concern over the weakening of environmental laws and undermining of Aboriginal governance with Bill C-45. Along with the ongoing hunger strike by Chief Theresa Spence [of attawpiskat], this is evidence that despite old lofty commitments, Canada must do far more to engage First Nations, Inuit and Métis in a manner that is respectful and conducive to reconciliation.’
writing in the ottawa citizen of idle no more, pamela palmater says harper plans to assimilate the people of first nations: ‘Harper’s speech last January at the Crown-First Nation Gathering focused on the unlocking of First Nations lands and the integration of First Nations into Canadian society for the “maximized benefit” of all Canadians. This suite of approximately 14 pieces of legislation was drafted, introduced and debated without First Nation consent.’ she adds that ‘although Idle No More began before Chief Spence’s hunger strike, and will continue after, her strike is symbolic of what is happening to First Nations in Canada. For every day that Spence does not eat, she is slowly dying, and that is exactly what is happening to First Nations, who have lifespans up to 20 years shorter than average Canadians.’
idle no more is a peaceful movement. it has both head and heart, a combination we need more of. written almost 30 years ago, linfeld foresaw the internet, when discussing the global brain: ‘but there is also the need to build the “global heart”…. We cannot evolve as individuals simply by exerting our mental muscles, and likewise as a planet, no amount of debate will ever really solve our human problems. It is only when we learn to celebrate together – to play and dance together – and honor the communion that we share as a common body of humanity, that the supreme synthesis can take place.’ image found on an idle no more blog.
mary mccollum writes, ‘Perhaps our task now becomes one of letting go of our need to control things [control’s swan song] and outcomes, and to yield to delight and awe. Perhaps we can allow ourselves to be entranced by the wonder of the Universe, and in so yielding find ourselves flooded with new information as water fills a vessel. If we have the capacity to understand every aspect of the miracle of life, does that diminish the mystery or sacredness of it? I suspect it only increases our sense of awe. Would we not then find ourselves again at home in a blessed creation, ready to enlarge our framework on the one hand, and yielding to Mystery on the other? Then there would be no end to the qualities of delight, play, and gratefulness – qualities we are desperately in need of today.’
if sentient life survi–wait! funerals aren’t for the dead. what sustains us, the living, right now, is our hope for tomorrow, our understanding of what’s going on. like this.
plastic–i can’t get rid of plastic, but i can take personal responsibility to reduce it in my life–it may be small, tiny, insignificant, on a planetary scale, but it’s what i can do. image by chris jordan.
“skate to where the puck is going to be”–gretzky said it–but i got it from this [my emphasis]: ‘3) Changes in the nonhuman world (e.g. climate change, depletion of natural resources) that used to take centuries or millennia to make a discernible difference now take only decades, and this gives the relationship of the nonhuman world to culture a whole new importance. Just because some institution seemed to work 20 years ago is no guarantee it will still work in another 20 years. If we are to “skate to where the puck is going to be” we need to take the changing nonhuman world explicitly into account in a way that we never had to before.’
‘Sustainability …. You might think of it as extending the Golden Rule through time, so that you do unto future generations (as well as to your present fellow beings) as you would have them do unto you.’
in context quotes thomas berry, who said, ‘It’s all a question of story. We are in trouble just now because we are in-between stories. The Old Story – the account of how the world came to be and how we fit into it – sustained us for a long time. It shaped our emotional attitudes, provided us with life purpose, energized action, consecrated suffering, integrated knowledge, and guided education. We awoke in the morning and knew where we were. We could answer the questions of our children. But now it is no longer functioning properly, and we have not yet learned the New Story.’ image by caroline webb
from the mine; dig this…
‘the reasons our society deals so poorly with the issues we are facing today are a matter of changeable culture more than fixed human nature. The key to understanding the core challenge of our times is to realize that we have inherited most of our institutions, values and concepts from a very different time in history. However well they worked when they were created, they no longer fit the population/technology/economic/environmental context of today [ie, things have changed]. They aren’t working to solve today’s problems because they weren’t developed in or for today’s context.‘ according to gilman of in context, ‘transforming our cultures to fit our new reality is the core challenge of our times. I see no technical obstacles to creating thriving sustainable planetary cultures in the coming decades, with a broadly-shared quality of life that will make today’s times seem like a dark age. The momentum of history is pointing in that direction, but whether we will get there, how long it will take and how graceful the transition will be is up to all of us.’
but the more things change, it seems the more they stay the same. ‘in a 2009 article published in American Scientist titled “Revisiting the Limits to Growth After Peak Oil,” Hall and Day noted that “the values predicted by the limits-to-growth model and actual data for 2008 are very close.” These findings are consistent with a 2010 study titled “A Comparison of the Limits of Growth with Thirty Years of Reality”.… In 2011 Ugo Bardi analyzed The Limits to Growth, its methods and historical reception and concluded that “The warnings that we received in 1972 … are becoming increasingly more worrisome as reality seems to be following closely the curves that the … scenario had generated.” ‘ image from wikipedia.
however, gilman [above] sees change is happening. and chefurka concludes that there is no limit to love [details in next post]. nor hope, which is a kind of future-oriented love. even when the chips are down, things might get better, eh?
original sponsor ‘the club of rome’ asks in this 40th-anniversary video, ‘what was the real message?’ (note: sometimes there are very long delays; also, some terms, such as ecological footprint, carrying capacity, exponential (non-linear) growth, and overshoot, are rather quickly defined [but here they are hyperlinked to fuller definitions].)
society’s pessimism noted by the authors of limits in their 30-year update is a downer. the context institute recognizes ‘the great dangers of our times, yet, because the underlying momentum of change is so great, we also see these as times of great opportunity to develop humane and sustainable cultures for the Planetary Era, cultures that could provide a quality of life for all that would make today’s societies look like the dark ages. It is this positive vision of the possible, together with a keen awareness that time is of the essense [sic], that motivates our work…. As much as possible, we approach these issues from the context of the emerging Planetary Era, rather than within the context of the waning Empire Era. This leads us to focus on yes rather than no….’
music changes too. like many canadians, i’m imprinted with anne murray singing ‘snowbird‘. how different, how poignant is the composer’s daughter’s version. or this one by kathleen edwards and bahamas. image of kathleen edwards from kathleenedwards.com
things changed for grimes too. at first, she had a really good year–her album visions was shortlisted for the polaris prize (as was voyageur by kathleen edwards; visions is my favourite, tho voyageur comes close [feist’s metals won, however])–then she had really bad year. first, her gear got stolen, then she sprained both her ankles, and now she has tinnitus. but when it comes to grimes’ songs. i listen to the music. decades can pass before i pay attention to the words. glad somebody is, tho.
charles eisenstein reviews the year and finds it wanting. wanting a new story. afterall, it’s a time of change.
finally, a few words about the end of the world. maybe it did end, but no one noticed. maybe it’s harper’s–and everything he represents–swan song. or maybe it’s not the end that people were thinking of–maybe it’s not a physical end, but a–i don’t know–spiritual end. or maybe it’s just the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning, or both, and there’s plenty more to come. whatever. the thing is, end or not, i’m still here and you’re still here. now what? remember, it’s all loose change (<==help yourself–you’ve made it to the end!)