Why do I write?

Charles French asks on his blog Reading and Writing – “Why do you write?”

The question reminds me of a digital image I made ages ago.   I used to have it on the About Page of my old blog and have been meaning to put on About for this blog – it’s one of those jobs I think of randomly in the middle of night then forgot about in the morning.   I’ll do it now:-

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Somehow in writing  my thoughts become clearer and I really nail those scattered fragments of ideas that rattle round my brain and emerge in disconnected moments of insight.   Often it is only when I write things down in a coherent, ‘b’ follows ‘a’ fashion that the meanings I’ve been struggling to grasp become clearer to me.

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A lot of the writing I do is about communicating.  I’m one of those people who finds it easier to express ideas through the written word rather than through speech.  These days most of my writing takes the form of blog posts but occasionally I get it together to make some kind of e-book.  The last one of these I created is available as a free PDF https://beinginnatureblog.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/a-bend-in-the-road.pdf

 

 

 

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Climate change and the quest for new stories

Late last year I wrote about going on a quest to find new stories about climate change and possible future scenarios that might occur because of it.

Somewhere (and I’ve no idea where now) I read that stories that depict dystopian futures turn people off.    Rather than galvanizing people into action they tend to lead to paralyzing depressions and feelings of powerlessness.

When I googled a question about finding new stories I discovered many articles  about our need for new stories – not just about climate change but new stories about politics, economics, new cultural stories,  stories about disability that don’t focus on overcoming disability, stories about sustainable agriculture and industry …   the list goes on and on.

I read an article in the Guardian Newspaper about a group of concerned individuals who have created a collection of new fairy stories that deal with current issues such as climate change and refugees here

The article concludes with the statement –

“Most tales, at some level, present a rite of passage through difficulty to maturity, awareness or resolution. Now, more than ever, it feels like we need new tales to lead us through our troubling times.”

I kept searching online and found a comprehensive article about the power of story and why we need new ones using stories to change systems  The author, Ella Saltmarshe, writes –

“Systems change can involve painting compelling visions of alternative futures. We can use story to create immersive scenarios of the future that engage people on an emotional and intellectual level. This work can make the possible feel more probable, bring new perspectives that challenge the goals and mindsets of a system, and enable the transformation of rules and processes.”

Further searching led to this article about the role of science fiction in envisioning new, positive futures –  https://rethink.earth/can-science-fiction-reimagine-the-future-of-global-development

Reading these and other articles I concluded that the first steps towards creating a better world lie in imagining just what that world would look like.

My quest to find new stories continues but at least now I have defined what I am searching for and why.  IMG_20170913_212524.jpg

prompt:  https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/01/16/rdp-wednesday-quest/

The Earth from Space

I am old enough to have been a kid before man set foot on the moon and even before television became a commonplace fixture in Australian living rooms.   As a small child my view of the world was gleaned from children’s picture books, the occasional glance at a newspaper, teachers and parents.

It was during these early years that I had a dream that has been with my whole life.    Every now and then something serves as a catalyst to remind me of it.    Helene Valliant’s image prompt is one such catalyst –

little boyhttps://helenevaillant.com/2018/12/04/what-do-you-see-dec-04-2018/

Of course my memories of the dream are fragmented now but I can still recall being held in the strong arms of a loving and compassionate presence that carried my child body through the blackest night.   As the presence or being ascended higher I saw revolving orbs of the coloured lights spinning in the distance.   The being urged me to look back the way we had come.   There, far below, I saw a beautiful sphere of greens, blues and ochres.   White shapes billowed across its surface.  The being then carried me across the blackness so that I could see the mesmerizingly lovely blue green sphere from various angles.

When I awoke the next morning I stumbled into the kitchen in daze.    My father and little brothers were already sitting at the table.   My mother was fixing breakfast.   “I dreamt of weather maps all night,” I told the assembled group for I could think of no other frame of reference to describe my dream other than the weather maps I saw drawn on the back of my father’s newspaper as he held it in front of his face every morning.    I can still remember my feeling of confusion when my mother simply said:  “That’s nice dear.   Now sit down and eat your breakfast.”  How could she not know I had experienced something unique?     No one else in the family paid me any attention at all so I left to nurse my feelings of wonderment and awe within my own mind.

Years later when I first saw photographs of the Earth from space I had the unshakeable conviction that those photos were of the blue green sphere I had seen in that childhood dream.

If it was a dream.    Would the word ‘vision’ be a better description?   And what was the being that held me so lovingly?    These are questions I will never know the answer to.  For reasons totally unknown to me I was gifted with a vision of the Earth from space.   Why me and not some other kid?   Or do lots of kids have similar visions that they learn to keep away from others who don’t understand?

Of course I have pondered these questions over the years but really, they are immaterial.   What matters are my memories of the wondrous beauty I saw on my night time adventure.   What matters is the feeling in my heart that our Earth is a beautiful and precious place that must be protected, nurtured and loved.

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The Earth is our Home

The Earth is our home.   We destroy it at our peril.

This week the UN released another report on climate change.   The message is dire.

“The science is clear. Without rapid cuts in CO2 and other greenhouse gases, climate change will have increasingly destructive and irreversible impacts on life on Earth. The window of opportunity for action is almost closed…

The last time the Earth experienced a comparable concentration of CO2 was three to five million years ago, when the temperature was 2 to 3°C warmer and sea level was 10 to 20 meters higher than now,”  said World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.  https://news.un.org/en/story/2018/11/1026391

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I posted a link to this article on Facebook but no one commented or even clicked like.  No one!  Curious – many of my Facebook friends are environmentalists.  Did the Facebook algorithms somehow work so that the post didn’t show up in anyone’s Newsfeed?   It’s a possibility.   There seems to be a world wide push among the rich and powerful to keep the general populace in the dark about what’s really going on with climate change.  More and more we are seeing evidence that climate change is already in play yet still governments refuse to act.

What kind of world are we leaving for our grandkids? 

The UN site has posted a list of things that we can all do – drying clothes outside, using less hot water, turning off unused appliances.   I already do these things.   They don’t seem enough.    I vote Green but in yesterday’s State Election here in Victoria, Australia the Green vote was down.   Most likely because it’s been revealed that the Party is misogynist and that some members are facing sexual harassment charges!   WTF.   Who can you trust?   It seems the entire power structure that governs our world is corrupt.

It’s time for a change.   

What kind of world are we leaving for our grandkids?

Personally I refuse to stay silent any longer – even if it means that no one reads my blog or leaves a comment or even clicks like.

The Earth is our home and we destroy it at our peril.

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prompt:  https://reinventionsreena.wordpress.com/2018/11/22/reenas-exploration-challenge-64/