sitting on the offence

We are offered, free of charge, a great deal of things in this life, some worth taking, others not so much. Offence is surely one of the latter.

We’ve all done it, but why would any of us do so? Might it be connected to our reluctance to show ourselves, be vulnerable? I’m suggesting that it is not what is said or done that can cause offence, so much as how the witness responds.

When I am offended by someone’s actions or words, I recognise something. I have a familiar bad taste in my mouth. Its a knee jerk reaction.

If I’m honest, I have to admit that I recognise whatever it is because the same thing is part of me too. Can I at this point take the juice out of the offence by exposing it?…by gracefully declining to take it?

I’m working on it.

preempt armageddon

Can we?

Clearly something has to change. Humanity is systematically bringing about their own demise, and quite possibly taking the rest of the planet with them. In a way we are witnessing natural law at work. This extraordinary earth has withstood a great variety of violent transformations. Many species have doubtless sprung up and in time become extinct. Is it now our turn?

Well, ours is a unique case. While our consciousness and powers of perception probably operate at least to some extent in other creatures as well, we are as one inclined to feel we are uniquely aware of who and what we are, and have an edge on the rest of the field. So our history is a long saga of bending the rest of creation to our wills.

Inasmuch as this has led to the extraordinarily twisted world we inhabit today, are we now possessed of the self determination to undo what damage we can, exercise care and attention to the rest of the planet and its inhabitants, and transform the way we live sufficiently for this to be possible?

Well, first off, private ownership of cars has to end. The sheer convenience of owning a car is something I’ve taken for granted for a very long time. Its time to get over that. Then we have to stop airplane travel. Like that…Perhaps we can continue to travel by trains and boats, and on communally owned electric vehicles, but clearly our day to day lives would be forced to change radically. 200 years ago, people mostly walked around the neighbourhood of their birth their entire life and never ventured very far. A post modern village life might resurface.

If it doesn’t consume itself beforehand, we need to scrap our lopsided financial system. The greed and deceit it has spawned is at the heart of the forces that are devastating the planet. Widespread panic may well ensue. Suddenly the poor, who have been surviving on next to nothing for generations would have a natural advantage. Essentially people would have to start getting along and caring for each other a whole lot more. This day will dawn, so why not prepare for and then bring it about ourselves?

The level of change from just these two fundamental measures would be total. There would surely be immediate widespread consequences, some of which none of us can even imagine right now. We’d basically have to rethink every aspect of our lives from the bottom up. We could so do it, but I’m afraid what’s more likely is we’ll keep putting it off till some catastrophic disaster comes to pass, and any survivors will have no choice but to start again from scratch.

We have unwittingly created the path to our own extinction. As we slowly are obliged to recognise this, you’d imagine we’d at least start applying the brakes a little. Instead we still seem to have our foot firmly on the accelerator.

one world

I’ve been thinking about homeless people, gypsies, travellers and the like. It may well be that they represent the future, and are unwittingly in training for a post apocalypse reality that is more imminent than we care to consider.

Rather than ostracising, marginalising or mistreating these pioneers, we should perhaps begin appreciating them, helping them if we can, and learning from them.

Our cosy little hi-tech world cannot possibly last much longer, at least not in it’s present form. Let’s get humble, grateful of our earth, and loving of each other.

wintermageddon

So, wintermageddon, is that where we’re headin’?

Considering human history and its penchant for wars, which until now have kept the numbers down, now the numbers are way up, as is the scale of devastation we are capable of. If nature is a combination of rhythms established over millennia, then the cycle of war and peace may be one of them and so inevitable.

After the two world wars of the last century, the power mongers have been wary of flexing their freshly toned military muscles. Never before had so many perished in meaningless battle. But should the dogs be unleashed today, world wars 1 & 2 would be schoolyard gang fights by comparison.

Since the 1950s, world leaders have at worst been spitting at each other from a safe distance, shaking their fists and yelling threats and abuse. Should the ‘gloves off’ ‘that’s it’ buttons be pressed, we’re all toast. Yet the aftermath might not be so awful.

If all human life were eradicated, nature might well breathe a sigh of relief. More likely, a ‘remnant’ or two would survive. The entire techno/digital infrastructure will have gone up in smoke. Rebuilding it, if anyone could be bothered, would take a while.

Life, indeed survival, would be a moment to moment challenge. Our simplest, basic needs would take all our time and energy.

mode of transport – feet

diet – whatever we could scavenge, or in time grow

shelter and warmth for the night – a luxury

The survivors would quickly develop a new toughness. They would need to be alert to all aspects of the now. They’d be fully alive! Dwelling on the past or pondering the future would be a dangerous non option. Would it bring the best or the worst out in us?

My instincts tell me the direst circumstances incline people to draw close and join together to face the unknown future. Past bickering is forgotten as each others needs are more readily perceived and acknowledged.

Sounds positively Christian!

a new me

Do you believe we need to constantly reinvent ourselves? Do you believe we are always changing, from one moment to the next, and we need to pay more attention? Is it your opinion that all of us, all of creation, material and spiritual, is intimately connected, and what connects us all is love? Do you wonder sometimes whether anyone cares about anything?

Personally I feel an ever shifting mix of all these notions, and more besides, passing through me like smoke through a valley. On the better days they move to a deep and subtle rhythm. At other times it can all seem a bit disjointed. I feel blessed that rarely do I get stuck in any just one of them.

a change is gonna come

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I’ve been staying this week in a little AirBnB cottage in a tiny village in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France. After a spell first in Brussels, then in Paris, this has been a much treasured quiet time. I’ve managed to not get in my car at all the last 3 days. I’ve got a fair amount of work done, and enjoyed a good walk every day. Simple meals have been prepared and savoured. I’ve slept like a top.

Time alone in near silent surroundings is always going to be more simple and peaceful, more contemplative.  Here I feel rewarded as the practices I’m developing in my small city home are more able to flourish undisturbed….sitting in a relaxed position in silence for 20 minutes twice a day. I remain inept at disengaging from my fevered brain for any length of time, but in these natural surroundings I am much encouraged.

Tomorrow its all change. I’m setting off to Strasbourg, where I’m staying for a couple of days. After that I shall be travelling round Germany playing music until Christmas when I’ll be in Munich for several days. Back to the relentless roar and clanging of our industrial society.img_20181204_135031920_hdrI’ve relished my time here, but I’m not sad to go. The urge to be still and just be remains confounded by my restless nature. I’m looking forward to some hustle and bustle again! A musician’s life often involves being constantly on the move. The smart ones learn to enjoy travelling, to accept the discomfort and uncertainty, and with open hearts engage with each new set of circumstances. I know a few people who first got into really playing music in order to support their travelling habits.

Change is a fundamental aspect of our existence. Things do not remain the same. However, the ‘civilised’ life humanity has developed to varying degrees over the last 3000-4000 years inclines us to resist change. Yet we are descended from homeless tribes, closer to nature, wandering here and there as the seasons dictated. Their circumstances could and did change wildly at a moments notice. Open and vulnerable to all that was thrown at them, they remained alert and focused, perhaps more fully alive.

There is much talk at the moment about the state of our world, and how some kind of crunch time is fast approaching. Its probably always that way, but it seems doubly so right now. My admittedly naive impression is that our beleaguered leaders are desperately seeking ever more extreme measures to prop up a system that is well past its sell by date. Flogging a dead horse. The industrial/military complex, the consumer society, the global financial structures….there is no way any of this can survive indefinitely.

I am praying that new leaders will emerge who are willing to help us embrace change, accept the natural order of things, have faith in each other and transform our society. I believe it can and will happen, but I am bound to hope and pray too that it doesn’t take some Armageddon of a disaster to bring those who survive finally to their senses.