26 June 2016

Brexit and...

What I see in the Brexit vote, as well as in Trump and Sanders supporters, is that people are yearning to live in societies where they feel safe, where their basic needs are met, and then some; where there are opportunities to learn and be productive and to enjoy life.  Some of that is framed in false nostalgia for that which never was,  but all of the xenophobic and racist rants are basically saying that, albeit in a thoroughly ignorant and deluded way.  The Berners are saying that too though, in more altruistic and hospitable ways.  The neocon/neolib establishment is saying NO, only the few can have that, most of you must eat shit.

What no one is saying is that if we continue to trash the biosphere NO ONE will have any of that goodness.  The overcrowding many in Britain feel is going to be everywhere because we continue to grow our population.  The hunger and thirst of the so-called "undeveloped" nations will be everywhere because we are urbanizing  and degrading farmland, and wasting/polluting water, at alarming rates.

Humans are often at their best when things are at their worst, so perhaps we are setting the stage for a magnificent unification of the humans into a great blaze of consciousness that makes living in bodies unnecessary. Maybe we'll come together, remain corporeal, and stop our destructive ways.  Maybe we will make a desert of this whole planet.  There are many possibilities.

28 May 2016

Melody's Archipelago

The last few episodes of Paradigms have been dealing with life and death and strife.  In the upcoming episode we return to our ever-present focus on the creative process conversing with Melody Parker, who has just released her first CD Archipelago.

Asking artists about their process can go any number of ways.  For some it is like asking the centipede how they coordinate all those legs...it's stultifying.  For some it's like diving into the deep end of the pool, or swimming out to the depths.  That's what it was like talking with Melody Parker.  She gave no easy answers, uttered not a cliché, and took long pauses (which I edited out of the podcast) sometimes between thoughts.  This is a person who is actively engaged in plumbing their own depths.  Kudos.

When you listen to the episode you'll hear some of the music from Archipeligo, and you might notice the different qualities of sound and instrumentation and rhythm from song to song.  The water theme is ever present, as is that personal "don't-fit-in-a-box quality that is part of Melody's personality.

Sunday May 29 at 8 PM local time on WBKM in Burlington, Vermont.  The podcast goes live then also at Paradigms.Life.
Wednesday June 1 at 11 AM local time on KWRK-LP in Fairbanks Alaska  
Sunday, June 5 at 9 AM local time on KPOV in Bend Oregon

20 May 2016

What is a revolutionary?

On this week's Paradigms I talk with Ahmed Salah, author of the recently published book You Are Under Arrest for Masterminding the Egyptian Revolution: A Memoir. In his book Ahmed describes how his upbringing in a political family shaped his world view, leading him to become an activist for democracy in Egypt. He recounts his activities as a non-violent activist during the years leading up to and including the protests that led to the fall of Hosni Mubarak in early 2011.

The book is a good read.  It is engaging and well written.  It is a powerful document for anyone interested in liberation of any kind, whether it's your mind or your country or your world.  The vision and courage it takes to speak out, knowing that the consequences may be dire, is worth acknowledging and appreciating.

Right now in the United States we face a less physically extreme but no less significant possible turning point in our political process, and what is expected and tolerated from leaders. I hope that most of the people have the vision and courage to stand up for ethics, and for the greater good.  It is time for this country to redirect itself towards peace with the rest of the world, including making peace with the planet Earth.

Ahmed is now living in San Francisco.  Among his accomplishments is bringing his experiences in Egypt here, and sharing with us so that we can all learn and be inspired as we effect changes in this country.

08 May 2016

Driving with Zack and Bees

Zack and I just got home from a 7 hour drive...3.5 hours each way...to pick up a box of bees!  As soon as we started back after getting the bees I noticed a few flying around in the car.  They had gotten out of the box.  Zack didn't seem to mind and I just didn't have any fear response.  They seemed troubled and were flying against the rear windshield.  I turned up the A/C and got into relaxed driving mode, and 3.5 hours later we got back home with no stings. I felt a very delicious calm for most of the ride.  No music.  No windows open.  Zack was very attentive to the driving.  Occasionally he'd look back at the bees but then eyes front with a big smile. Zack is a dog, for those who don't know.

When we got home I brought the box out to where the hive is set up, behind a big rock as a windbreak, with a bush on the sunny side so as not to be too hot, and with the river about 20 feet away. I did what I was told, uncorked the box and let the bees out, then put the frames that were in the box into the hive I have set up, put the top on and put  the baggie with sugar syrup on top, with some cuts in it. There were a lot of bees in this box with the 5 frames, and they were all coming out of the box when I uncorked it...then when I took the lid off the box, wow!  Thousands more!  The cool thing is...no fear, and no stings.  Zack is fascinated and wants to check them out.  I suggested he let them get settled into their new home first.

I love the character "The Melissa" from Starhawk's "Fifth Sacred Thing" trilogy.  The Melissa is a priestess who communes with bees, and has become part bee in a way.  She works with bee energy and bee substances in healing, as well as "bee mind."  I am feeling a whole new exploration coming, for me, with bees.