We are back in our peaceful Ayr home after visiting my family on the Gold Coast. It was a welcome recovery time after the busy election! Our final result was the
best it has ever been in this region - just over 4% of the vote. This seems very small and some people may feel disheartened by these kinds of results - to me it
was very well worth the effort to introduce new ideas and solutions. I think it is so important to offer people a viable alternative and as the environmental issues start affecting people in their daily lives they may start looking for alternative political options. The local newspaper printed every one of the 8 press releases I sent them almost without editing - so this was worthwhile in itself I think (if you would like to read these please let me know!).
Over the next month we will be preparing for our upcoming visit to Japan and I'll be finishing off my teacher's aide course while preparing the house and garden for a period of hibernation. Hopefully someone will take up the opportunity to live here while I am away (see message attached) - but if not our lovely neighbours Don and Colleen are happy to look after the chickens. It's a little sad that the mango project will have to be put on hold - maybe the right person will come to carry this through next year.
Since the election we have had two waves of environmental inspiration - the visit of David Suzuki and the release of the film by Al Gore: "An Inconvenient Truth". I couldn't make it to David's speech, but I am already seeing the impacts in this
local area with people feeling a renewed commitment and being more empowered about holding the local council responsible for bad development decisions. I went to see "An Inconvenient Truth "about global warming despite wondering if I needed to because I am quite aware of the issue. It is not a fun movie - but it is something we must all see and is a very straightforward and clear explanation about the causes and consequences of our activities on the planet. I felt responses on many different levels but especially on the issue of how to respond.
Where is the space between denial and despair? How can we feel empowered enough to think that the little things we do have any impact at all? We search for absolute perfection in what we see as environmental leaders (including Al Gore) but must accept that we are not perfect and just have to do the best we can and support each other in our journey to live simply and joyfully.
There is a rumour around that Al Gore likes Ferrari cars - does that diminish the truth of the message he is presenting? At the end of the movie there are many pieces of advice about what we can do, including voting for politicians that will make a change - and if there are not those politicians available to run yourself for political office. It was good to hear this after running for the Greens once again!
My sister, Inge, often points out my inconsistencies, especially the way I fly across the Earth to sing environmental songs in Japan.how can I really justify this? It is not easy, planting thousands of trees is not enough, can I really believe this music touches people deeply enough to have a profound shift, or empowers people to do something?
So, I too battle a sense of despair especially that what I am doing is enough and is actually causing more damage to Mother Earth. At the same time I feel a sense of urgency in fully owning my role on the planet as someone who has been involved in these issues my whole life, taking a stronger leadership role. It is a hard choice, the choice I have been facing since a young teenager, made even more complex with my beautiful children facing these choices with me - escape to live a purely ecological life (El Milagro) or directly face the monster of our own making destroying our planet and ourselves. I imagine it will be a combination of both, as it always has been.
At least for next I have committed to trying to expand my school permaculture garden project next year and offer this project to the other schools in this region. This will hopefully result in planting many seeds - vegetables, flowers, trees and very importantly, inspiration and empowerment for young people.
And for the near future I look so much forward to meeting my friends in Japan soon. Pacha and I are practising the Kurikindi song together and all of us are very excited! Running the workshops this time will be interesting and important - I hope they are a source of deep empowerment for all.