Tag Archives: Earth

weekly photo challenge – Earth

 

scotlandprint

Morning

I went out on an April morning
All alone, for my heart was high,
I was a child of the shining meadow,
I was a sister of the sky.

There in the windy flood of morning
Longing lifted its weight from me,
Lost as a sob in the midst of cheering,
Swept as a sea-bird out to sea.                          Sarah Teasdale

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/earth-2017/

My spirit home is Scotland where I return again and again.

Kopong

page five (2)

This seems particularly pertinent and moving at a time when the world is watching the displacement of people from all over the globe.  Perhaps we need to ritualise a little more, eat together, work beside one another to feel we are all living the same history.

Among the Ku Waru people of New Guinea, for example, children become kin through an essential substance called kopong (grease) which originates in the soil. The Ku Waru call both father’s sperm and mother’s milk kopong, and it is through these two sources that conception of a child is said to occur. However, sweet potatoes and pork also contain kopong, and when people share these foods, the same fundamental connection emerges between them as does between parent and child: they become kin. The offspring of two Ku Waru brothers, Sahlins says, are ‘as much related because they were sustained by the same soil as because their fathers were born of the same parents’. The children of immigrants to the community become full kin with those who share no genes with them by carrying out socially inscribed practices around kopong.

Barbara J King is professor of anthropology at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia

Parkland in Metropolis

parkland in metropolis

parkland in metropolis

Walking – one step in front of another, and the trees bend one way then another , whispering  , living lives of mystery beneath my feet.  I love the dialogue I have with these forebears. I cannot remember a time when I didn’t notice the living companions growing beside me, I only remember how bleak it was when I lived for a time in a concrete jungle, because it was the cheapest housing.

Men of the Porch

Sadly I cannot make this event  http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/stoicismtoday/2014/10/20/stoic-week-2014-everything-you-need-to-know/ but we live in a virtual world for which I am grateful.  Nevertheless, it may be worth consideration if you are in London this week.  If not there is always the possibility of downloading the book free until the end of this week, just go to the site with the link above.

book3dcover

I have been drawn to Marcus Aurelius and Seneca amongst other classical authors and they have informed my life since I was a teenager.  The interest in Stoicism will be timeless, and the blog is an interesting read.  I am not sure how faithfully I would follow any formal approach to practice as I have been averse to that mode of instruction since forever. I am more likely to dip into a broad spectrum of source material and reflect as and when my mind thinks fit. But I would have been a frequent visitor to the porch in the central market of Athens when Zeno was hanging around.

If you click on the image below, there are a few treasures worth collecting.

stoicism

Smooth

sun god worshipperWalking the dogs this morning,  I was considering the complexity that belonging to the human race involves.   I am feeling ‘smooth’ this morning, an expression used by our housemate over breakfast and one that sums up my current frame of mind. Smooth.  That may not appear that surprising to any of you readers out there ( are there any?)  but it is. Because all of my life I have lived with a realism that results in a constant battle of dealing with an imperfect world. I tend not to catastrophize events in my own life, which is  a plus, but the negative aspect is that any joy is tempered by the knowledge that somewhere a war is being fought, or torture is continuing to be applied in areas of the globe I know nothing about. So it is.

It was serendipitous then, that I ventured upon this short video by Cognitive, which expresses so well the importance of realism in everyday life, in the politics , in the economics of living in the 21st century.  We have no excuse for not looking clearly at the challenges we face as a species, and today the Rosetta space mission is attempting to land Philae on a comet;  once settled, Philae will begin to reveal secrets about the solar system and maybe even give us clues about the origin of life. We have to hold close the hope that is the catalyst to any investigative project, and while we hold it, simultanteously understand the difficulties and hazards that are the barriers to success.  Our actions will govern the sustainability of ourselves and our co-habitants of the planet, and it is why we need to be realists in our own endeavours, whether that be managing a family, directing a company, guiding a country, or running a space mission.  Realism has to lead to fortitude, and hope has to be our guide.

http://www.wearecognitive.com/videos/rsa-animate-smile-or-die

Cosmic orphans

the creation James Tissot 1836 -1902 Teh Jewish Museum

 

Nearly beginning a new year , and that seems to me to be a good time for some reflection in the company of a reknown anthropologist Loren Eiseley.  He wrote a piece to introduce part of the fifteenth edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, and I have included two small quotes to whet your appetite.

It appears to me that what the author is suggesting , is that the human condition is significantly different to that of other species because of the size of our brain which has adapted to intellectual capacities which we ourselves  do not understand or always put to good use.  The future of mankind has often in our history appeared to be either dangerously under threat, or at some sort of crossroads that changes how we live.  These are times we live in too, technology is driving change at a rate that once could not have been dreamt of.  We have threats of climate change which are not inconsiderable.  Everyday living makes demands on all of us that we forget to question, and decisions are multiplied exponentially across the globe which continuously aggravates the existing problems of consumption and availablility of food, water, resources.

Sometimes reflection is necessary, to stop and consider how best we can lead our lives individually and as societies.  Loren narrates how his father explained some of the deeper questions to him as a youngster, after he had come across a turtle that had been riddled with shot.  In that story, LOren’s father describes mankind as a cosmic orphan, struggling to find his way in a difficult, challenging world.

Because man was truly an orphan and confined to no single way of life, he was, in essence a prison breaker. But in ignorance his very knowledge sometimes led from one terrible prison to another. Was the final problem then, to escape himself, or, if not that, to reconcile his devastating intellect with his heart? All of the knowledge set down in great books directly or indirectly affects this problem. It is the problem of every man, for even the indifferent man is making, unknown to himself, his own callous judgment.

I love the power of his storytelling and the insight he displays in his writing, a poetic sensibility which enhances his anthropology.

 “None there be, can rehearse the whole tale.” That phrase, too, contains the warning that man is an orphan of uncertain beginnings and an indefinite ending. All that the archaeological and anthropological sciences can do is to place a somewhat flawed crystal before man and say: This is the way you came, these are your present dangers; somewhere, seen dimly beyond, lies your destiny. God help you, you are a cosmic orphan, a symbol-shifting magician, mostly immature and inattentive without humility of heart. This the old ones knew long ago in the great deserts under the stars. This they sought to learn and pass on. It is the only hope of men.

The whole article can be found here

 http://library.eb.co.uk/original?content_id=1325&pager.offset=0

Image is Tissot  The Creation

Happy New Year to everyone!

 

 

 

Watch a pale blue dot redrawn . Pure Zen

zenpencils soes Carl Sagans Pale Blue Dot

I loved Carl Sagans series ‘Cosmos’ and would implore anyone to check out the whole series.  This version of a tiny portion is a brilliant comic expression.  The man behind Zen Pencils is a real inspiration.  Glad I found him!!  Show your children, show your friends, show your grandchildren, show the law makers, the law breakers, the money makers, show everyone.

zenpencils

 

From http://zenpencils.tumblr.com/archive