As I sit down to write this, it has started to rain in Swansea after two weeks or more of unusually hot and dry weather. My neighbourhood adopts a different character; smells and sounds that have not been experienced for days. It is as though a pause button has been pressed, while the sky replenishes life: hydrologically, physically, emotionally. Even our cat comes in for a cuddle. I recall a line from Thank You For The Rain, a documentary film by Kisilu Musya and Julia Dahr, screened at Gentle/Radical’s Decolonising Environmentalism event on Saturday: “the sky is mother of all life”, observed Christina, a Kenyan farmer struggling to survive with her husband and children in an increasingly arid land.
This was originally posted on Imaginary Papers – a blog by the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University
So far today my mind has been: worrying about how I’m ever going to finish my Ph.D.; contemplating what I will cook for dinner tonight; planning for a presentation tomorrow; and occasionally dreaming (read: procrastinating) about building my own little house one day. The only time that my mind has been fully focused on the present moment was when my colleague offered me a chocolate brownie (and I ate it), and another moment when a poor bird flew into the glass window close to where I was sitting and dropped, twitching, to the ground. These brief interludes, one happy and one sad, distracted my mind’s temporal wanderings for a total of about 90 seconds out of the eight hours I have so far been awake today. Continue reading
On a recent Thursday, I attended three separate events in south Wales, each one with a different spin on sustainability and the future.
After years of becoming more and more deeply convinced by the idea that we humans need to disturb nature less, to consume less, to stop pursuing growth and to take heed of our ‘environmental limits’, I have recently stumbled upon some quite surprising literature which claims “No! Stop! It’s not about LESS – it has to be about MORE!” Admittedly, this literature stems from a decade or so ago and I am behind the times in discovering it, but its arguments have struck me because they are, I think, important and yet still, 10 years on, largely absent from mainstream ‘environmentalism’ as far as I can tell. Continue reading