Archive for June 14, 2013

The Realm of Poets and Lovers

Review – Loved this book . I’m one of those once in a blue moon non-fiction readers , my knowledge on current issues coming from tweets , but rarely do i get down to reading an entire  book dedicated  solely to contemporary causes . This novel opened my eyes to a lot of animal right issues I had hitherto been unaware of. And the real genius of the writer lies in the fact that she beautifully  interweaves mystery , romance , adventure and the current problem of conservation of endangered species neatly into a piece of enjoyable fiction with a message . And the characters are so passionate about the wildlife – dolphins , orangutans – its not just a cause for them – their life rather – Desi feels truly alive only when she is in the ocean , swimming with the dolphins . Its not just one of the many things  in her life , rather her whole life is built around this passion of hers  .


But so much of the research had been undertaken in marine parks. Connor didn’t want to work in an artificial environment. He was interested in how groups of wild
dolphins communicated with one another, and whether there were differences to the captive population. He hoped his work would complement the range of studies already completed or in progress in the field.

They’d had youth on their side, and the glorious arrogance that went with it. They had each  believed they could change the world; they were
emboldened at the thought of making memories, rather than distracted by the ones they already had. There had been peace in their surroundings too; nature’s beauty was a powerful balm for the mind. Pete  had often felt something similar in the Indonesian  rainforest – beguiled by sensory overload in a rare pocket  of unplundered world. But in recent years it has become  more and more surreal, like being at the point of a dream  where you become aware you can’t stay much longer.
With the orang-utans and so many other animals, species preservation has become a salvage operation – save what you can for as long as you can, and pray for a miracle,  which so far doesn’t seem to be forthcoming.  In Monkey Mia, they had experienced all the problems of day-to-day life, and there could be  disagreements between the different factions – the park  management, the scientists and the tourists. But, above all,  it had felt as though everyone was on the same side: the
dolphins were far more loved than they were threatened.  Whatever a person’s reasons for being there, whenever the  dolphins came to visit, everyone came away smiling.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly.


‘No’ – he sees her face come alive with the memory – ‘actually, it was when I was thirteen. I was in the ocean, and a dolphin appeared and swam along with me. It’s hard
to describe – it felt like we were in perfect sync. As though we were both completely at peace for a moment, and that was all there was in the world.’
Connor is nodding enthusiastically. ‘So often I hear people who are passionate about animals talk about these  moments of connection – of eyeballing a creature whose
language and ways are beyond you, and yet knowing in  that moment you have an understanding. I think once  you’ve had that experience, it changes you forever. I have  a friend who feels that way about elephants. And what about you, Pete?’ ‘I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life  then, as we all craned our necks to try to see him, and the  news helicopters hovered above, deafening us. I wanted to  be the guy who had understood enough about this awesome  animal to know how to help him.’ ‘Well, we’re taking on a challenge,’ Pete says. ‘Right  now, the world’s not looking good. The animals need all  the help they can get.’  ‘Hear, hear,’ Connor answers, raising his drink. ‘Let’s hope that our generation is the one that finally gets  it, and begins to make a difference.’

nichvlas:(by Mr. ghost+)

At times, he speaks to Desi as though she is  on the review committee – justifying what he’s done, and  outlining the discoveries he’s made. He is finding it more
and more difficult to focus exclusively on echolocation, since it is becoming clear that to do so is to isolate sounds from what he calls the ‘communication culture of dolphins’. When he first came up with the phrase, he had explained it to her excitedly. ‘When you talk to me, I don’t just listen to your words – I recognize your tone, and I study your posture. I “read” as much as I can to learn the details of what you’re trying to communicate. A lot of our  communication isn’t even verbal. Dolphins do something similar – their “noiseless”  communication is made up of things like belly rubbing for  greetings, or touching pectoral fins for reassurance. At  first, I wanted to stay out of the water so I didn’t disturb  their natural behaviours, but now I want to get in. I want to  come up with a new scientific method of studying and  integrating these different forms of communication – then  we can build a broader picture of the whole thing.’

The south was still struggling to get on its  feet after the Boxing Day tsunami, and when she heard of  White Wave she instantly loved the idea. It was a way to
make life meaningful again. For a while it had been  redemptive, but the more she got involved, the more she  began to see the politics, the bureaucracy, the endless red  tape and the misappropriated funds. On almost every  project, she witnessed cultural clashes and a slow erosion of values, which were replaced by the desire to keep  heads down, do the job, chalk it up as a victory and then
get out. Did all waves turn murky in the end, she began to  ask herself, with the detritus of their journey? Even waves of kindness, of wanting to do the right thing?  It was obvious there were others who felt the same  way. People began to meet in offshoot groups, to discuss  different ideas and objectives. Other plans were formed,  some more radical than others. And, perhaps inevitably,  she was drawn to one particular alliance: those who  thought that helping the wildlife was an integral part of helping the community. They were generally in the minority, but they were probably the most passionate
group of all.

LARA LOGAN: And did it surprise you, that they [the  chimpanzees] could be so cruel?
DR JANE GOODALL: It did, I thought they were like us
       but nicer.
LARA LOGAN: And they’re not?
DR JANE GOODALL: No, they’re just like us.
Elizabeth begins to run after him and Connor brings up the rear. To his surprise, when they get there they are confronted by two men and a boy, all carrying rifles.
Chibesa and the other African man begin having a heated argument, while Elizabeth walks over to the Caucasian pair. ‘What are you doing here?’ The man puts an arm around his boy and stands straight-backed. ‘We’re on a game hunt,’ he says, and Connor jolts at the familiar North American accent.  Elizabeth leans closer to Connor. ‘They’re trophy  hunters,’ she whispers. ‘They pay thousands of dollars to  come here and have a few days of excitement, killing animals to decorate their mansions.’
As Connor watches the man standing proud, his rifle in his hand, and his teenage son resolute and defiant beside him, he comes the closest he has ever felt to
wanting to murder someone. But before he can do anything, the ground begins to shake.

A fierce drumming begins in his ears,  rising and rising in a long crescendo as the story of his life  plays out before him. The wind catches the tail of each
beat and carries it away, while he sees the forest in his  lungs; the ocean in his veins; the story of his life written in  the twist of a cloud and the bark of a tree. For a moment he  thinks he can hear the entire earth breathing.  And then a fire rushes through his chest, and turns the  world to cinders.

It is not enough to be compassionate – you must act.
HIS HOLINESS dalai lama

And yet, day after day, there is no sign of Berani. Pete is despondent by the end of day five, as the trackers radio in before indicating that they should turn around and
head back. It is late afternoon, and broken patches of  yellow sunshine stream through the forest canopy. A  rabble of pretty butterflies dance around the low-lying
grass and stop to gorge on the mud, while the men have to  take winding, circuitous trails to avoid stepping on them.  The trackers stop to study what could be cat prints, talking  rapidly between themselves, while Pete gets the feeling  that there are eyes on him. He peers into the canopy again,  hoping to find Berani, and instead spies a brightly  coloured wrinkled hornbill watching silently from a  nearby branch.

They are lying on the deck, watching the wind toying with  a few wisps of cloud.  ‘If you could alter one thing about the world,’ Connor  begins, ‘what would you change?’  ‘I’d get rid of evil,’ she replies without hesitation.  To her surprise, Connor laughs. ‘I don’t believe in
evil. It’s not a supernatural power. Don’t ever call anyone evil – the ignorant don’t deserve that kind of status.’  ‘You don’t believe in evil at all?’ she asks in
surprise.  ‘No, I believe in goodness. Evil, on the other hand, is  an absolute lack of goodness, and it’s so shocking when  we see it that we’ve given it a name, and made it into  something powerful. But it’s a negative. It’s empty. It’s  nothing.’

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For a while the ocean becomes her closest friend.  She gets to know it intimately, observing the many changes  of its day. She watches as its colours merge from the lilac
blues of morning to the shimmering gold of sunset. She witnesses it sparkling in sunshine and glowering in the  deep grey of a storm. She sees the smooth surface begin to
roll, or become choppy with a million flashing breakers, before it subsides, and starts again. And eventually it dawns on her that this kaleidoscope  Her perspective begins to shift. Perhaps one day she will discern a different  meaning in everything that has happened.  And yet, it still feels as though she is walking down a
long, dark tunnel, with no idea what will be at the end. As  she waits for her baby to arrive, one empty day follows  another, until they are tethered together like paper-chain  dolls, and the world outside the shack ceases to exist .

The world is already a few weeks into the new millennium, and, despite all the hype, absolutely nothing  has changed. The papers still recycle the same stories, made into news by fresh names and places. And Desi  continues to meander despondently through her days,  working two part-time jobs at the cafe and the petrol  station, and looking after Maya. She does all she can to be  a responsible parent and citizen, but it often feels as  though she is living someone else’s life. Only when she’s  in the ocean can she still recognise herself, once her  surroundings drop away and all that remains are the  complementary rhythms of limbs and lungs.  Today, as always, it takes her a moment to adjust to  the shock of cold water, but before long it is revitalising.  She powers through her morning swim, staying parallel to  the coastline.   It’s time , she says to herself, to stop moping and embrace this quiet life by the ocean, even if it is routine.
Even if it doesn’t do much to change the world.

Kate has heard this ‘fact’ recently from her friend  Carl, and is unsure what to make of it. She hopes it is true, but it could be like those other stories she has come  across. She’d once heard of an elephant on a Thai beach rescuing a couple of tourists from the flooding water by swinging them onto its back. Later, she’d heard the same
tale retold as a mahout whipping the elephant into a run, two terrified riders already clinging to its harness.  Stories have a habit of getting skewed, and sometimes things are not quite as they seem.

But The Cove is different, because Kate has seen  these horrors for herself.  It began when Carl got hold of a copy of the Oscar winning documentary on DVD, and a group of them  watched it one night in the lounge room of their  As it all unfolded, there had been animated chatter  among the campaigners. Someone had spotted two rare  rough-toothed dolphins within the group – not part of the  fishermen’s allowed take. Sure enough, they spied these   dolphins cordoned off, huddled together as part of a group  of five.  A girl dressed in black had come over to talk to  Kate’s group. ‘Today it’s bottlenose, but tomorrow it  could be pilot whales, or Pacific white-sided dolphins,’  .

Connor sits up, and she can sense his excitement. ‘I’d  change the nature of memory. I’d make it so we could  remember everything, not just the edited highlights. Right
back to when we were babies – before we had any tools at  our disposal, particularly language – before we learnt  absolutely anything about the world. Imagine if we could  recall everything from our time in the womb onwards. If  we didn’t forget so much of the past, perhaps we wouldn’t  even need to change the future.’  ‘Do you want to change the future?’
He laughs. ‘Only if it isn’t with you.’


Rand B. Lee, The Rational Psychic

ImageThe Ruling Passion Exercise is designed to help you clarify what it is you really want in a life, date, relationship, career, job, vacation, pet, community, home, religion, garden—anything you can imagine. My clients and I have found it useful because like many folks, we often confuse what we really, truly want deep down with what we think we really want, what peers, bosses, coworkers, family, life-partner and society tell us we should want, and what we think we can get.

The Ruling Passion Exercise is based on the idea that we all come into physical reality to create certain experiences for ourselves, experiences which, if left unfulfilled, may cause us to feel that we have wasted our lives. This exercise is also based on the idea that we each have a Greater Self who knows what we really want, and is constantly seeking to nudge us toward the experiences…

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