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Blog Musings Nature Philosophy Technology

Limitations in Nature

I was looking up at the moon this evening which is rapidly coming up to the First Quarter and it got me thinking about the notion of limits. The moon is a brilliant teacher of this because it grows larger and smaller but it never goes outside its own limits when it is at its maximum fullness. The same goes for the tides which the moon influences. They ebb and flow, filling up at high tide and emptying at low tide but there is a limit and when it is reached the cycle begins again. Perhaps this time of lockdown is a time of the ebbing of the tide for all of us. The activities of our lives have had to slow down, growth has slowed and perhaps even gone into reverse. There are many who will be struggling.

However before we start back on the road we were on, perhaps we could pause and reflect on what this situation has been telling us. We have as a global culture been in expansion mode for such a long time, perhaps we now need to think about contraction or at least a stabilisation of the seemingly endless expansion. We have learned to harness the vast resources of energy that our planet can provide, a lot of which ultimately was derived from life-processes driven by the sun. We also have learned about generating power from matter as physicists have shown us to be possible. But in a way with all this power at our disposal are we just like the child who discovers that a magnifying glass on a hot day can be fun but also destructive. We use the power generated to plumb the depths of matter even further with giant atom smashing particle accelerators, but for what? To learn more about a potentially more powerful source of energy to harness? Do we need it?

Nature has limits. We know that and the moon shows that. We should start to consider the moon and be less obsessed by the sun. When the natural limits of nature are exceeded there is disease. An overproduction of white bloodcells is the manifested state of leukemia. A tumor is an abnormally large growth. The limits have been exceeded. Cancer is the other name for this disease. And it is something that this lockdown has reminded me of because right now there are people who have loved ones that are ill but whom they can’t see or be with. And this was the case when my nephew was ill over the last four years but due to circumstances I wasn’t really able to do as much as I would have liked to be with my family or help them with their burden. Thankfully the crisis is now in the past but lives have been irrevocably changed. The white bloodcells are back within the limits that correspond to health.

The questions for me though are: will we heed the moon and pull back our activities into the zone of limitation that nature shows us? Can we take a rest from our incessant desire for expansion? Can we continue to contract for a little while until we settle into a natural pattern once again?

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Blog Music Musings Nature Poetry

Fundraising for a New Album

After seeing one of my friends post a fundraiser today I was inspired to do one myself. I have been really wanting to do a new album of poetry and music for a long time and just recently I started thinking about it again. I have definitely written enough poetry to do one and I want it to be on the theme of Nature and the environment. As you can see from other poems I’ve posted on this website this has been on my mind a lot. and I also thought of a name for the album which I won’t share just yet but I will refer to it just now as “AM”.

So if you would like to contribute to the AM Spoken Word Album project I’ve included the link below. I hope to get other funding but any money raised just now will help to show potential funders that there is a demand for it. If I can get the funding then I will hopefully even be able to get other musicians to collaborate on the project as well, but any money that comes from this particular fundraiser, whether I get other funding or not, will be kept aside specifically for this project.

If your donation is £10 or more you will get a download code for the finished album via Bandcamp (you can also hear my other work on Bandcamp just now). The album will also be available on other streaming platforms as well just as is my first album “Kyberpoetica“.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and thanks in advance for your generosity!

Categories
Blog Musings Nature

Earth Day 2020

Happy Earth Day! The place where I’m staying just now has an excellent view over a river and I’ve been watching the fish swim in it, some of which must be about half a metre in length, maybe more, as they can be seen from my room in the top floor. As the window is also West facing I have had some quite amazing views of Venus after the Sun has set and the new moon when that happened. I’ve been keeping a count of the days since I first saw it and today is day 28. This means that Saturday should be the 31st day and therefore the new moon should be visible again on that day resetting the cycle back to day 1. It would be wonderful if we could all keep on remembering our Mother Earth not just today but for the whole of the next lunar cycle, for the Moon is our closest partner in the heavens and orbits with the Earth round the Sun. It is not money that makes the world go round but something else beginning with M.

I also had an article shared with me reporting that we may have the largest ever single year drop in Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions as a percentage in 2020 due to the global lockdown caused by the coronavirus. We need to keep this trend going and even make it greater after the lockdown is lifted in order to reach the target of reduction in CO2 emissions required to limit global temperature rise to that agreed in Paris (1.5 degrees from pre-industrial levels). The recent situation shows what a radical change that would be, but if we think about what’s at stake then we might have the encouragement to keep going. We are capable of great change as a global society if it is a matter of life and death and that is also what we face in terms of the climate. And it’s not just CO2 emissions we have to think about but habitat destruction also. The pressures on biodiversity due to habitat loss even increase our chances of further pandemics according to another article I read. This is why it is important that we keep our Mother Earth in mind not just today but in the coming month, by which I mean lunar cycle.

Here is the link to the first article I mentioned on the drop in CO2 emissions:

Categories
Blog Music Musings Nature Technology

Live Streaming During Our Time of Isolation

There seem to be quite a few people, some of whom I know, doing live streaming on-line just now as a means of reaching out while we are in this state of self-imposed (or in some places state-imposed) isolation. This got me thinking that I could myself do something along these lines, however after pondering it I decided that I don’t think this would be worth my while. I already have quite an extensive output on-line which is mainly text-based or pre-recorded audio and I’m not sure that adding further to this in the audiovisual area is really a constructive thing for me to do.

I have however been enjoying a great deal what others have been doing, particularly when it comes to being able just to listen to their broadcasts. I have discovered that a few artists who are themselves great performers have been have been doing live streaming on Twitch and I would recommend that you have a look. These are Danny Berman, AKA Red Rack’em, with his daily Berman Sermon at 2pm and Marjolein Roberston who does a storytelling slot at 8pm everyday. Marjolein also has a Patreon account which you can subscribe to as does Siobhan Wilson who also has been doing live streamed gigs from her home which are absolutely worth subscribing to her Patreon to be able to have a listen to. I also believe that Rachel Sermanni has been doing live streamed broadcasts on her Instagram account which I haven’t yet listened to but I’m sure would be worth checking out.

It is important to help support these talented performers during this time when the usual opportunities for live performance are curtailed. And I also would say it is important to remember the live streaming that Mother Nature has been doing and continues to do during these times. At the moment I am very fortunate to be in relative isolation on an island in the middle of the Thames, so each morning I can go out and observe the flow of the river and the fish and birds that call it their home. To have access to this is a real blessing for me at this time. I hope that everyone reading this is also finding ways to be good to themselves and are managing to cope during these extraordinary circumstances. All the best to you and have a great Easter weekend where ever you are.

Categories
Blog Musings Nature Poetry

Butterfly Poem

As we are having to stay indoors right now which is a bit like being in a cocoon I thought I would share this poem I wrote which was very beautifully illustrated and written in calligraphy by Anna Dorward. You can have a look at Anna’s Etsy page where you will find a lot more of her work if you like.

I wrote a poem on a butterfly theme called “Aurelian Waves of Time” which you can also check out that I included as part of my Kyberpoetica project. Stay safe and healthy and well!

Categories
Blog Musings Nature

Trees in Winter


I went out for a walk today while the wild winds were blowing because I wanted to see some trees and the nearest ones to me were down at Leith Links. Even at this time of year when their life-force is at its lowest ebb trees still fascinate me. In fact this might even be my favorite time to look at trees because as they have lost their leaves it is more easy to see the particular growth patterns each species of tree displays.



Even more amazing to me is that when you look at the bare branches and twigs of a tree in winter it is like looking at the structures that exist within your own body. The respiratory system, circulatory system and nervous system all have a similar branching structure and even some of the minute tree-like dendritic nerve cells in the brain are in the same form. It is no wonder that in just about every culture there are myths and stories to do with the Tree of Life.


Categories
Blog Gaelic Musings Nature Philosophy

Bio-rights

I was really interested to read this article by Robert Macfarlane in the Guardian (a link to it is below). I have thought about this concept before and I’m all for the establishment of “bio-rights” as I regard them as complementary to human rights, and in fact our human rights would just be a subsection within them.

I have just a few comments of constructive criticism about his piece. Although I do enjoy the writing style of Robert Macfarlane considering his surname I would also have expected him to have a less Anglophone focus in his overview of nature literature from the UK. Yes, there has certainly been a lot of truly inspiring nature writing in the English language and I count Ralph Waldo Emerson and David Thoreau in my list of favourites but when discussing the influence of indigenous beliefs and philosophies such as animism it seems a glaring omission to neglect our own indigenous languages such as Gaelic in which so much of the wealth of our heritage (dualchas) lies. Ossian, the warrior-poet of Scottish Gaelic lore was the son of a deer. Human and animal/nature boundaries are fluid in this worldview. Although a literal interpretation of this might have caused a theological dilemma for centuries, the stories are symbolic and have at their root the exact considerations that this article proposes. We are all part of nature. To really comprehend this though takes a leap in imagination and beyond linguistic boundaries. This is why I am learning and will continue to learn about our indigenous languages.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/nov/02/trees-have-rights-too-robert-macfarlane-on-the-new-laws-of-nature

Categories
Musings Nature Philosophy Poetry

You Are Close to Nature Wherever You Are

Regardless of where you may find yourself you are always close to nature. Even if you are in a big city or some industrial landscape, nature herself is inescapable because wherever you go you take nature with you. The great winds of the sky blow through your lungs into your body and they dwell inside you. The seas, rivers and streams are always circulating inside your arteries and veins. The rocks and mountains are in your bones and the soil that rests upon them in your flesh. The fires that light up the dark nights or even propel the cars around us are burning deep within our cells driving the life force within, just as the electricity in power cables can be found in our own nerves and brain.

In one of W. B. Yeats’ most popular poems, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”, he concludes:

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

W. B. Yeats, whose poetry is full of the hermetic mysteries, knew of the Macrocosm and Microcosm and that the external world of nature was also reflected in the inner world of the “deep heart’s core”. So if we are to live in harmony with nature we must also live in harmony within ourselves as the natural forces inside us which we sense internally are also just as prone to moving out of harmony and out of balance as the Earth’s systems. By listening to the voice of our inner nature we may learn by extension to live harmoniously with the nature surrounding us even in the least “natural” of environments, such as a city with its built landscape, noise, bustle and pollution. It might be difficult however it would do us all good if we could stop and listen for the quiet sounds of nature within the “deep heart’s core” every now and then.