Sunday, October 10, 2010
Wage Peace. It’s time to get ready.
What a time we are in. Today is the 10th of the 10th of the 2010. Those dates don’t come around so very often so I hope you will allow me the moment to share something of what drives us to do what we’re doing here, in the middle of the forests of central Portugal. I wrote the following script for a video I was intending to submit for the “Life in a day” project earlier this year. Too much was happening back then with our restoration work for me to do the job justice, but re reading these words this morning, I felt I’d like to still put it out there and see if we can start a conversation through it. Feel free to submit your thoughts and/or links to cool articles around these issues that you have found helpful. Somehow I feel the time to get ready to wage peace is close at hand. I don’t have much of an idea what this will look like. Just that it’s time to get ready.
Mankind finds itself on the cusp of an extraordinary time of change. No one really knows what the change that’s coming is going to look like. Just that it’s coming. Most of us, in fact, are completely unaware that things have already begun to shift. We are, if you like, asleep. Collectively asleep.
Busy, really really busy, but sleeping nonetheless.
Our beautiful home of planet earth seems to be going through one of its regular (for Earth we’re talking every few thousands of years) seismic shifts. Weather patterns are going crazy, polar caps melting, sea levels rising, ocean currents altering, ferocious flooding, city destroying hurricans, island crushing earthquakes, continental wide ash cloud volcanoes, deep sea oil volcanoes. None of which are new. Just right now are happening all so very very fast, in Earth clock time.
Instability, that some say, begins to take place on Earth before momentous change – ice age scale change – stuff that wipes out species like dinasours. Maybe it’s humans next. Maybe not. Maybe it’s just happening as it always has happened and always meant to have happened. Maybe we’re not helping matters.
There are a lot of us humans. Billions. We’re polluting and destroying our planet’s resources and each other with such relentless vigour, that it is a little tricky to see how things can carry on for much longer. Our life on earth, our way of life on earth, doesn’t look to be that sustainable.
Let’s talk oil. Our civilizations right now are based on the black stuff. We use oil to drive our cars, trucks, trains and aeroplanes. We use oil to make the cars, trucks, trains and aeroplanes. We use oil to power the electricity supply. Oil to manifacture a vast array of products and clothes and foods. And we know, oh yes we do, that oil is running out. We just don’t know when. Sooner than we collectively think, probably. So we’re tinkering around here and there with alternative sources of energy, with bio fuels, with wind, wave and solar power. With nuclear power. Not a thing that responds well, I imagine, to tinkering.
Ironically we will consume vast quantities of oil just to make the machines and infrastructure required to harness the energy from these alternative sources. Will there be enough? What if there’s not?
The other big unstable foundation of our civilisations today is money. We’re busy busy busy making money. Working to earn bits of paper or numbers on screens, to pay institutions for food and services that we are more than capable of growing and providing for our very own selves.
3 years ago, sensing that ‘times they are a changing’ our little family of 4 plus dog set out on a journey to find a life less ordinary, a place in which we could quickly acquire the skills we had never learnt which enabling us the chance to live a little more self sufficiently. We found it here in the forgotten mountains of central Portugal. In some old abandoned stone houses on some terraced land with rivers running through it.
In the midst of all the talk of cataclysmic planetary change, we’re tending our garden. Growing our veggies, vines and fruit orchards and hoping we can survive in nature’s abundance after the oil and the money run out. Maybe we will. Maybe we won’t. Either way we’ll be looking after this little piece of land and the people we find ourselves with, until the storm that is closing in passes or consumes us in its wake.
(The brief for the video project was also to answer the following 3 questions.)
What do I fear?
I fear that my children grow up in a world where humanity continues choosing to destroy itself and their days will not be filled with the peace and safety and beauty of this day.
What do I love?
My queen of a wife River, my 2 gorgeous children Josh and Eli, good music, tasty home grown food. I love sunrises, sunsets and the stars that follow. I love watching the wind make the trees dance in the forest. I love picking grapes with old people who have spent their lifetimes living in their landscape in a culture that is not my own but is quickly becoming so.
I love love.
What do I have in my pocket?
Pen knife. Pencil. Mobile. Lighter. Fags.
What a time capsule this film is for those that follow. If you’re watching this years into our future, maybe post some kind of apocalyptic change, wanting to find out what life was like for man on earth back in the days of 2010, know this. There was hope. And there always will be.
There’s hope in every seed you plant. While there is a sun in the sky, pure water falling from the clouds and earthy soil at our feet, everything is possible. Living off the land in harmony with the seasons is a good life. You really should have been here to see it.