things always change. manipulating images on this blog got more time-consuming, so now i do it a little differently. you’ll get used to it. hopefully i will too. le sigh. the big picture rarely changes, but it might be right now. thank goodness it always rains. or snows. oh, even that is changing….
Former NASA physicist Robert Gilman thinks we are transitioning to the Planetary Era. If we ‘look at the big picture of what is actually happening in our world today’, Gilman observes, we find both ‘unprecedented dangers … [and] unprecedented opportunities…. Our response to both the dangers and the opportunities is being hobbled because we are trying to address them through institutions and concepts developed in and for a very different time in history.’ Rohr too says we need a big picture. Instead of ‘hiding in the past or worrying about the future, as we mentally rehearse resentments and make our case for why we are right and someone else is wrong’, we can ‘contemplate’ the big picture and ‘live in the naked now .’
• 2014-03-25–bd and i feasted on za. sue and i watched rmr, 22 , and tipping points (greenland–pictured), and the devastating human effect on the indian ocean as the host, simon reeve (who swam with sharks!), travelled up africa’s east coast, encountering great beauty and dedicated people, but also poverty and vice.
Jean Vanier let’s us in on a secret: ‘stay young, open, and capable of wonder.’ Meanwhile, Rohr notes, ‘throughout the Gospels, we find numerous teachings promoting “downward mobility.” The most familiar of these may be “The last shall be first, and the first shall be last” (Matthew 20:16), and Jesus’ consistent honoring of the least, the outsider, the sinner, and the handicapped.’ Downward mobility, or descent (his next theme) requires humility, ‘which’, Vanier reminds us, ‘is the safeguard against schisms and division. The spirit of evil is powerless against humility.’
• 2014-03-26–we watched ‘Victoria Falls: The Smoke That Thunders‘. water. dry. rain. water….
Check out these images of water as it changes state, alarmingly. (thanks to sh)
• 2014-03-28–woke up. haven’t heard that sound for months. rain. soon gone the snow, the grass will green, the birds will nest, the cycle goes on. in simon reeve’s indian ocean, most of madagascar‘s diverse forests have been replaced by monocrop plantations; what many think of as paradise is elsewhere: mauritius and the seychelles. but when sea-levels rise, you can kiss paradise goodbye.
Things are melting. But Evalyn Parry doesn’t mean spring thaw in To live in the age of melting, nor can she say ‘free’ (as in ‘true north, strong, and free’), knowing the Inuit were here already, knowing many nations desire Arctic oil. ‘Free’ is false.
Writing of 1933, Erich Kästner described Kurt Tucholsky (pictured) ‘as the “little fat Berliner” who wanted to “prevent a catastrophe with his typewriter”.’ Am I trying to prevent a catastrophe with my blog?
Saturday: ‘ The goal of contemplation, or mature prayer, writes Rohr, is ‘the practice itself. The only people who pray well are those who keep trying to pray. Such seeing—and that is what it is—gives us the capacity to be happy and happily alone, rooted in God [or not, if you’re an atheist], comfortable with paradox and mystery, and largely immune to mass consciousness and its false promises. It is called wisdom seeing, and it is the job of elders to pass this on to the next generation.’
• 2014-03-29–we played scrabble by candlelight during earth hour. i know there’s debate about the effectiveness of turning off non-essential lights, etc, for an hour. it’s a drop in the bucket of our energy appetite–it reminds me how much i like electricity at 9pm, how much i like technology. but i have faith that if it were taken away, life would continue. not sure about us tech-loving humans, let alone me, but life would. i had an hour to think about it.
beforehand, we watched alien deep (inner vs. outerspace, online til 2014-05-03) about bob ballard (pictured–oceanographer, discoverer of the titanic) versus buzz aldrin (former astronaut) and bill nye (former science guy) of the planetary society (not this planet). ballard has a good point (why go to another planet when there’s so much of this one not explored and not exploited?–the show’s words, not mine, but revealing, as was its patriarchal language). both ballard and aldrin envision lots of technology in the big picture: whether exploring mars or the oceans, technology will save us. will it? or should i get used to playing scrabble by candlelight?
Not like you’re used to. Feather, fur and fin. (thanks to sh)
Stan Rogers’ Northwest Passage.
Need a refresher?
No, not Nickelback. Way better. Nickel Creek.
Oliver Schroer plays ‘Camino’. Which leads to The Twisted String.
Check out ‘Media’ and ‘Links’, among other neat-o things.
Besides teaching kids how to have fun,
They commit random acts of violins on the subway run.
On a different note…
At the 2014 Junos, Aboriginal artists were a significant part, ‘from an amazing music showcase to A Tribe Called Red’s groundbreaking win for breakthrough group. It felt particularly meaningful that this was all happening in Winnipeg, where the city’s indigenous culture is so rich.’ Speaking about the responsibility we have as a country to know more about everybody, including Aboriginal history, George Leach said, ‘Ignorance is unacceptable now. We have Google.’ (Though I use DuckDuckGo instead of Google, I still try to seek truth and reconciliation.)