To Joan with Love | Animals Watering Hole Africa

Here’s a new Faber Castell watercolor painting I did today for my sister Joan. I reveal the progression of the painting through taking photos at various periods of time. From a composite of 4 photographs, I did an initial small sketch, then replicated it on the sketch pad.

to_Joan_Wateringhole_Africa_12_19_18

to_Joan_Wateringhole_Africa_12_19_18

beginning sketch composite of several photographs

beginning sketch composite of several photographs

To Joan with Love Animals Watering Hole Africa

To Joan with Love Animals Watering Hole Africa

 

 

 

 

1_giraffe bird baobab

sources of painting
1_giraffe bird baobab

to_Joan_Wateringhole_Africa_12_19_18

to_Joan_Wateringhole_Africa_12_19_18

 

Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

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Tragedy of the Commons | Oskar Eustis | George Monbiot | Invest in our CommonWealth

I’m from Pennsylvania, one of four States of the 52, which is a Commonwealth. I never really knew how that distinguished PA from any other state. I learned of the concept of the Commons through the writings of George Monbiot. He wrote this article published in the Guardian September 27th, 2017. Don’t let the rich get even richer on the assets we all share – It’s time for communities to seize back control of resources upon which their prosperity depends

Monbiot states that the commons has three main elements. “First a resource, such as land, water, minerals, scientific research, hardware or software. Second a community of people who have shared and equal rights to this resource, and organise themselves to manage it. Third the rules, systems and negotiations they develop to sustain it and allocate the benefits.” He goes on to state:

The commons have been attacked by both state power and capitalism for centuries. Resources that no one invented or created, or that a large number of people created together, are stolen by those who sniff an opportunity for profit…those who capture essential resources force everyone else to pay for access.”

What comes to my mind immediately is companies that for example take (extract/steal)  a region’s water, and then force the local people to pay for what they bottle. Or the fact that various individuals and companies throughout history who tried to buy, destroy or steal the plans of various individuals who designed medical or energy devices that could have provided a product to the public for almost no cost. Instead, they were hidden from public knowledge so that the perpetrators could make a profit through their own devices. By obscuring the competitor’s inventions, they were able to bank on their own goods or services.

Monbiot subsequently published essentially the same themed article in his blog Common Wealth on the 2nd of October, 2018. Entitled Common Wealth – Hope lies with a great, neglected sector of the economy, through which we can create a system that is neither capitalist nor state communist.”

The commons is water, land, air, natural resources, scientific knowledge, natural parks.

Commons is managed for wellbeing.

Tragedy of the Commons, Nicholas Amendolare

Tragedy of the Commons video by Nicholas Amendolare

The Tragedy of the Commons is eloquently described in this video. Basically if a community consumes a common resource too fast for regeneration to occur, people must choose between restricting their own consumption for the good of the community, for if they continue to consume at a rate that satisfies their immediate “self-interest”, there may be dire consequences later. That seems to be what is occurring on the earth presently. However, in terms of consuming and/or spoiling resources, the fact is that it isn’t really the individuals who make up communities who are necessarily at fault. In the last several generations, the resources and supply has for the most part been in the control of a very few. This has upset the balance and tweaked the demand curve.

We’ve gotten into a weird state of affairs in the USA, which is being replicated all over the globe. It used to be the land of effulgent possibilities. Labeled the Land of Opportunity, the American Dream. The land of entrepreneurship. The place where people could be assured that their ideas and efforts could be strengthened and developed. But the dream has been taken hostage by just a small percentage of individuals and groups, who have been able to use their money to buy their passage, gobble up competitors, purchase the media and think tanks to hurl out propaganda and crush anyone in their way.

In the last decades, as a friend says the last 70 years, the emphasis in the States has become top-heavy towards enriching the industrial interests, which has coincided with buttressing the military. A handful of people have been controlling these interests. The process has downright gutted many of the small businesses. Anyone who has been alive long enough in the United States of Amnesia, has seen their local hardware stores, five & dime stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, local boutiques etc, in which you knew the families of the people who owned and operated them, disappear. Now Big Box Stores like Walmart have replaced them. They can’t compete. I mention this in my other blog. https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/the-photo-ark-half-earth-project-plastic-ocean-dolphin-deaths-sonar-seismic-tests-patriotism-to-finance-the-military-industrial-gdp-ecocide/

Robert Reich explains in this video THE MONOPOLIZATION OF AMERICA: The Biggest Economic Problem You’re Hearing Almost Nothing About about how this phenomenon evolved. He says that a century ago there were anti-trust laws preventing any company from getting too large, but that these protections disappeared during the Reagan years. Reich points out that the less businesses there are in competition, the more the few who are in control can create their own prices as well as the wages. No competitor, no problem, for those making the rules.

Robert Reich Monopolization of America Health Care Monopolies 2016

Robert Reich Monopolization of America Health Care Monopolies 2016

Robert Reich Monopolization of America Walmart Drives Down Workers Wages

Robert Reich Monopolization of America Walmart Drives Down Workers Wages

 USA, business, Walmart Nation, Health Care, Boeing

The USA according to what businesses ‘control’ each state. Walmart Nation, Health Care Boeing

 

What we need to do is to step by step, reinvest in our own communities, and take the tools to work side by side. Forming relationships with people and seeing our own work and voices mirrored, empowering people to be intimately tied to their own land. I’m living in a town next to the birthplace of the industrial revolution. A number of people told me how toxic the river was that flowed through this town. The townspeople and any other life that had been here certainly suffered, while the industries reaped financial rewards. The trend in the USA has been for cities to clean up their waterfronts and create common spaces that people can enjoy. That is their heritage, to walk and commune freely with others in public spaces. That’s what I’m talking about here. Except not just riverfront property. I’m talking about fields and woods surrounding towns, forests on the periphery, about national parks, about creating once again and maintaining spaces that are naturally the habitat of other life forms. About taking picks to break up parking lots and creating community gardens instead. About people engaging in these public spaces, with love of the land, connectedness among the people and the desire to protect and allow the land and all the other life forms to flourish.

What I understand in the idea of ‘taking back’ the commons – is for community members, you and I, to have joint ownership of the land; for community members to be entitled to make decisions on how best to use this resource and to together create community works, community theatre, community stores, community gardens, community farms. Because when something is shared and invested in physically and monetarily, one will put effort, love and pride into maintaining it. We have had this tremendous land grab by companies, private sectors, who own vast stretches of land which, one would think, should rightfully be a heritage of the people who walk on the earth. So if the people collectively owned these swaths of land, fields, forests, grasslands, natural parks and so forth, then we the people would be engaged in participating in protecting it. It would be something that belonged to the people, and therefore, instead of being neglected or some other owner reaping vast rewards while the local populations received little, the people could benefit from either choosing to create fields, community gardens, parks with fruit and nut trees. In other words, this would deliver the ownership to the people and the wealth of the land would be valued by the people and recirculated among the people, not trickled off to enrich an owner far away.

Oskar Eustis, Why theater is essential to democracy, TED Talk

Oskar Eustis TED Talk
Why theater is essential to democracy

I had the pleasure of listening to Oskar Eustis, the director of Hamilton, speak at a salon coordinated by the Athenaeum in Providence, Rhode Island. His words echoed the same concepts, of the need to bring back community theatre and arts and take back the country from all who have been dispossessed and cheated. The idea of power coming from below, from the community. He launched the audience with his humor and great storytelling into the past, to the first theatre and the fist actors of ancient Greek history. He mentioned Thespis, the first person ever to appear on stage and Aeschylus, the father of tragedy. He mentioned that it was the Persians who brought to the stage for the first time – not just one actor donning various masks – but two actors to stand side by side on the stage. This new perspective, with dialogue revealing that there could be more than one isolated truth, but a dialectic in which a discourse between two or more people holding different points of view could establish a truth through reasoned arguments, happened to coincide with the beginnings of Democracy at about this same time period.

Eustis stated that the Truth is dialectical. Precedent to Hegel’s dialectic, dialogue asks the audience to listen to two points of view, recognizing that each lead to the truth. Thus theatre, storytelling in its beginnings, came with this perception of each person having a voice. And this recognition through theatre, precipitated Democracy.

Oskar spoke at length about how bringing the theatre to the public, to allow actors and non actors to participate, empowers people. Project Discovery, which Trinity created is theatre of, for and by the people. He mentioned that creativity is inherent in all people, and that it is human to have the desire to create. Some people have had more practice. Creativity simply needs to be nourished.

Oskar Eustis spoke of the fate of the marketplace. That the economy and technology of the last decades has turned its back on the people. Wall Street and corporations operating in this global economy have robbed people of jobs. As the jobs disappeared – outsourced to other countries for cheaper labor – it has pulled communities apart. He talked of revitalizing communities through investing in projects such as theatre. When people can see their own story and speak their own story, they are empowered to share their stories.

Oskar states that “It is our job to knit this country back together, not to be right.

Oskar Eustis’ TED Talk weaves together the idea of a public theatre, common voice and a democratic government.

The Work That Reconnects, Pat van Boeckel

The Work That Reconnects Pat van Boeckel

 

 

One of the practices within The Work that Reconnects is an exercise called the Riddle of the Commons Game. It brings to awareness the fact that people need to balance between their own self-interest and collective self-interest. Each is necessary for the common good.

Greta Thunberg, speech Swedish Parliament, Swedish Schoolstrike

Greta’s powerful speech to Swedish people before the Parliament

 

 

 

 

‘We Have Not Come Here to Beg World Leaders to Care,’ 15-Year-Old Greta Thunberg Tells COP24. “We Have Come to Let Them Know Change Is Coming. We can no longer save the world by playing by the rules,” says Greta Thunberg, “because the rules have to be changed.”

There’s nothing more important than recognizing that change can happen. Coming through education and arts and activities within your own communities. We can drive that change. If one young girl has already sparked and inspired students in Australia, in another continent, this can ripple. We need to look very, very hard, at what we are choosing, so that we don’t lose what is most precious. You may think your own immediate children are the most precious, but what if there are no trees, woods, grasses, available food, no clean oceans or rivers or lakes, or air, and no other life? It is an astoundingly clear choice to me. We’ve got to make some changes, and we’re going to do this together. And plenty of people are pointing the way, and your own ideas will be as valuable as anyones, collaboratively we will create this change.

My friend Loren Booda states, “Start with hope, funding of positive efforts to return nature and, with native education, make everyone responsible for and aware of their use of resources. The major problem? Almost all of us usually put other needs or wants before the environment.” Full-circle back to The Tragedy of the Commons.

Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

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blogger, Carol Keiter

December 10th, 2018 Carol Keiter

Innsæi – The Power of Intuition | Nature Is Our Silent Witness

“The biggest obstacle to intuition is noise. We are bombarded with information and distraction all the time, and in particular, noise. The noise of the external world is muting our attention to the internal world.”

~ Malidoma Patrice Somé

Innsæi – The power of Intuition is an inspiring and thought-provoking documentary film in English with Icelandic subtitles. It was made by two Icelandic women Hrund Gunnsteinsdottir and Kristín Ólafsdóttir. They tell their story by distilling wisdom and insights from divers sources. They eloquently reveal that the modern western tendency is for people to disconnect from themselves and one another, ironically, the more that they think they’re connecting, through their devices.

Innsæi – The Power of Intuition, Icelandic documentary film

Innsæi – The Power of Intuition

INNSAEI O PODER DA INTUIÇÃO DOCUMENTÁRIO 2016 COMPLETO LEGENDADO HD

Insight and intuition comes through that silent connection between one’s thoughts and feelings. It’s an emotional connection. One person interviewed mentions that 95% of our mental processes are unconscious. When interacting with another person, our brains process most of the information from implicit cues we pick up unconsciously; through gesture, tone of voice, choice of word, facial expression. Intuition lies outside of the things that we’re consciously aware of, yet can play an important role in guiding us, if we allow it to, by not being so enormously distracted with information and noise.

Innsæi, Iceland, Documentary Film, Nature is Silent Witness, Intuition

Innsæi Documentary Film

The richness of our lives emotionally, psychologically and spiritually emerges through the wealth of diversity of plants and animals which make up the life system of our earth. We are part of a huge, fabulously intricate and awesome network of life woven together. The more we tune into it, the more human built distractions will diminish. We need to cherish and support the entire living system and do our best to safeguard it. The refrain of Joni Mitchel’s song Big Yellow Taxi couldn’t be more accurate. “don’t It always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, they paved paradise, put up a parking lot”.

Icelandic film, Iceland, Documentary Film, Nature is Silent Witness, Innsæi, The Power of Intuition

Nature is our Silent Witness, Intuition needs the vocabulary and many languages of nature

An excellent synopsis of the documentary film here in Zeitgest Films informs you that the film makers “Hrund Gunnsteinsdottir and Kristín Ólafsdóttir go on a soul-searching, global journey to uncover the art of connecting within in today’s world of distraction, disconnection and stress.”

This writer plucked out a lot of the important points of the film.

Intuition plays through the creative insight of the right hemisphere of the brain that coordinates information coming from many senses. In a recent conversation with a girl I met, I was talking about seeing through the heart and that we have a lot of neurons in our heart and gut. She brought up the fact that when speaking with people regarding sensitive topics like ‘climate crisis’, it’s extremely important what words one chooses. A word is linked to an emotional connection. A person’s attention may be immediately diverted because of their preconceived notion and association of that word. A word can cause someone to tune out, because of what they associate it with, or cause them to respond, because it is integral to their own way of responding to life – their operating system. Unconsciously, we label and draw conclusions from our associations with the word.

The mention of the performance artist Marina Abramovic who drew a tremendous response when people lined up to sit on a chair facing her, to look into her eyes. Her complete presence in the moment became this clear reflection into the person’s psyche. In that silence they are seeing themselves. “Something people rarely take time to do”, she says. In quietness with no disruptive waves, as she breathed slowly and aligned her attention and eyes to meet those of the stranger before her, people would in this silent communication melt into tears, or flicker into rage. She advises people to go into the unknown, to enter into a different pattern. Making mistakes is the way we grow.

The joy in his eyes and complete confidence in his tone of voice made me eager to attend to every single utterance. The more he said, the more it resonated. Malidoma Patrice Somé is an African elder who was interviewed. He was born in a Dagara community in Dano, Burkina Faso.

Malidoma Patrice Somé, African, Dagara, Dano, Burkina Faso

Malidoma Patrice Somé

He talks of our need for nature, that “Nature is a Silent Witness to our Intuition”. We couldn’t have intuition without nature. He wishes westerners would give credence to and have faith in their intuition, because this is how one connects with their past, present and future and makes sense of our own lives.

Somé says “The biggest obstacle to intuition is noise. We are bombarded with information and distraction all the time, and in particular, noise. The noise of the external world is muting our attention to the internal world.

He mentioned the Dagara tribe and I found this article written by a woman Sobonfu Somé, same name.

THE SEEN AND THE UNSEEN: SPIRITUALITY AMONG THE DAGARA PEOPLE

These words in particular pulled me in. “In the Dagara tradition, the healers have you walk so they can see how your body moves. Is your body ready to deal with this or are you still in conflict? The other way that healing happens is in the context of a community. If someone comes down with a particular illness, it is not seen as that person’s problem. It is a problem of the community, because that person is actually the voice of what is deeper in the core, in the fabric of the community.”

Last evening while watching a show of ice skaters at an outdoor rink, I smiled and clapped for the cute, hopeful, aspiring and the excellent technical maneuvers. I endured some of the music, telling myself, this is what this performer chose. And then a former olympic female figure skater entered and I recognized the first two or three notes of Franz Schubert’s Ave Maria. My eyes welled with tears and continued for almost the duration of the piece. I can’t say I was feeling sad or that it was bringing up a reference to a specific event. To me it is one of those astoundingly touching songs, like “Beautiful World” in which the melody and voice convey something beyond words, into something that launches emotions with piercing clarity.

We all know that it is the music in films that determines how the audience will interpret a scene; to be lighthearted, comical, tense, melancholy or frightening. It’s the emotional impact of art, the intuitive, that opens the doors.

Take some time for quiet moments, to notice things and ponder. And especially to go into the unknown, the source of the known.

Meditate! Listen and observe.

Peace