Category: nature


E from hlf 2020

Could attend only day 2 of Hyd literature festival 2020 . Lavish buffet for thought…. Paromita , Saba Dewan -new perspectives. Remembering Nabaneeta Dev Sen . Bahar dutt , kalpana Sharma – Rewilding and the need for environmental journalism in the era of bushfires, Delhi smog and massive climate changes. Although , people in urban spaces are also slowly speaking up, there is need for more voices changes for environmental preservation. Paromita and Usha Raman – New digital era – freedoms gained but landscapes lost. We have LOST THE LANGUAGE OF FEELINGS. The blanket of morality…. Is marriage an outdated concept? Stepping beyond binaries into fluidity. Experientiality is most important today ,as shared experiences create lived wisdom. A healthy relationship is not a preset, it should be personalized. Freedom to live his , her or their own life,is its own education. The difficult experiences educate one about what he or she they want in life. Theyyam and kodiyattam – Margi Madhu, Ingu G and Indu Chinta- art as worship , artist as devotee. Landmarks such as schools -memories – tangible heritage. Art forms and cultural traditions are intangible heritages . The kodiyattam artist, Margi Madhu said that practicing for 10 years only made him mimic his guru. He needs 25 years to think, reimagine and develop his own style. Such a dedication is difficult to sustain in contemporary society, where patient audiences are needed to sit through a 2,3 or more hours of performance. Theyyam is not a dance – it is purely ritual – a visual spectacle . The word “Theyyam ” is derived from “daivam ” – God. It refers to both the art and the artist . It is an act of worship, where spectators are more like devotees. Learning is by instruction and imitation. It is a visual spectacle , with ornate hairdressing and face drawing . There are 30 basic patterns which are mixed and matched to create 600 designs. The artist is a mirror in kodiyattam. An optional history of Indian women- Saba Dewan and Paromita Vohra. What is “acceptable” womanhood ? What is “acceptable” creative expression ? Women always set themselves up to impossible ideals, and are constantly in this betwixt and between about wanting to be and should be. Women continue to be defined vis a vis their relationships with men. A woman has a right to be unapologetically herself, without being a flag bearer of anything (i did it or i am this way because i like it , not because so and so happened to me). In an epic the story never ends, it’s ending is only a beginning. Humanising plants is a way of saving them – Nirupa rao -plants of western ghats

Cold mountain – Han Shan

Zen poetry at its finest…..Nature – best teacher

Plants …urban jungle and auroville

https://stanflouride.com/2016/11/26/nasa-guide-to-air-filtering-houseplants 

Interesting site about houseplants,greenhouses and interiors – https://www.haarkon.co.uk/explore-blog/

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-metroplus/heaven-in-the-eyes-of-the-beholder/article19706338.ece
“My biggest inspiration is my life in Auroville,” she says, over a Skype call from the experimental township where she lives and works. The rolling landscapes and unfettered spirit of Auroville are her muse. “Her untamed wilderness often hits my heart. And I always work spontaneously following a mood in my heart.”
Much of her latest collection, “…so many heavens…”, which will open at the Centre d’Arts Citadines, Auroville on September 16, is a paean to Auroville. “We had a bad monsoon last year and lands were starving for water,” she remembers. Her work at that time was dark, “shades of brown and bronze, with pools of blue,” to symbolise “this longing for water”.
Then there would be one shower and in two days, star-like wild jasmines would light up the gritty dryness. “It was glorious; this alternation between seeming death followed by abundance and optimism. And this would make me weep that we are surrounded by so many heavens… each a universe in itself.  “We all carry seeds, many different kinds of seeds,” says Sundaravalli. But like a plant, it needs the right environment to blossom, she smiles.  

Research – http://www.sacar.in/index.php

this simple pleasure that could make me feel strange and sad and light at the same time was something I can call freedom. And in this ‘freedom’ rested the beginnings of faith, of an inexplicable lightness which was like the spreading glow from a lamp, moving away, carrying one away, as it were, from everything else, something which fails to measure the expanse of one’s life. For me, today, a good poem probably does just that. http://www.thehindu.com/books/singing-of-trampled-grass/article19689961.ece

 

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/rain-spotting-on-natures-canvas/article19699449.ece

A couple of coconut trees spiral up into the blue sky. This is the square canvas with the ‘nature painting’ that my window affords — assuredly a sight for the sore eyes of this city-dweller wearied by quotidian cares. And so, many an hour on Sunday mornings is spent lazily focussing and defocussing on this work of art, embellished by a gentle breeze and bird-calls of various tones.

Water-brushed hues

And then comes the monsoon. Same time, same place. But the painting is now getting ‘water-brushed’. ………..The hitherto still-life painting seems to have taken on a life of its own. The tone and texture of its green components seem to alter as the raindrops descend on them. I watch in fascination as the green carpet below winks and glints at me. These are the hundreds of small leaves, of varying shades of green, doing flip-flops as they give in to the pressure of the droplets. The rapid change of surfaces creates an overall shimmering effect, maintaining a true rhythm with the steady rain.

Meanwhile, a little above the ground, the large taro leaves sway like elephant ears. Hardly under any pressure from this rain, they coolly flash and flaunt their water-droplet pearls. At eye-level is a staid wall of green in the background, formed by the closely packed, unremarkable leaves of a clump of trees. The rain seems to just disappear into this wall, leaving no trace of moisture. Shifting my gaze, I look up to see the unruffled leaves of the coconut palm shirking off this precipitation in the form of drops dripping from the tip of each leaflet. And so this painting gets embellished for those magical moments. Missing in action are the butterflies and dragonflies, subdued out of their flight by the rain.

And so, the minutes stretch to an hour or so as nature does its stuff, uplifting the mundane to the ethereal. Myriad film song lines pass through the mind, describing gentle rain. Time passes, fleetingly, unknowingly; the spell is usually broken by the lunch call or some guests. Reluctantly, I peel myself from the window, thankful to both circumstance and nature, for the serendipitous gift. And, a line from another poem (by John Updike) comes to mind: Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.

Singing of trampled grass  Jayanta Mahapatra

I remember one of those simple pleasures that seemed to provide me with a new beginning or give a new meaning to my days. This was when I would let my feet hang still in the waters of a flowing stream and feel the water flow past past me. Or, climbing up the old mango tree, lying on a low branch, I appeared to be in another world, perhaps giving me a glimpse of the world inside of me.

Who will cry the cry of the dropping leaf? Who will whisper the whisper of the summer breeze? The politician or the poet? Or the silent pain of the pebble kicked by a child? Or the sob of the rose plucked off its stem? Who will mourn the moan of the trampled grass? Only the poet.

Perhaps poetry shall always remain an attempt to remove the burden of time from this world, and poems will continue to do this through images, metaphors, symbols. Time, ever present, ever passing, making us wakeful while we are asleep, making us hear our pulse in the silence of the night. I quote a line from the Atharva Veda XIX: 53.

Time drives as a horse with seven reins,

thousand-eyed, unaging

possessing much seed;

him the inspired poets mount;

his wheels are all beings.

And one asks: Does a poet use time to get away from time? Does he surrender to this rite, capturing in time a fragile moment of meaning? Merely for the sake of the feeling of freedom?

…..write through my anguish and the awareness of my presence, and in the process reveal myself, perhaps going out of myself, leaping into blindness or light.

Call it freedom. For what we dream can well enter the realm of undream, causing something to come out of it, something like a quiet self-discovery or even prayer, that brings a joy in the recognition of ourselves against the fear of time. Call it freedom.

………… not bother about the conscience of the world — simply be the water that flows, finding its own level, even if it is soaked away by the earth, with no trace left behind. In this, in such a poetry of today, committed to the many worlds we live and believe in — the human, the historical and the moral — can one touch the heart of freedom.

freedom? Is it the path through unknown places of the heart, a path that is both unreal and of a transcendent nature and yet is something that foresees the event of death? ……

 Excerpt from the hindu :

Evolutionary mismatch

“Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty.” — Socrates.

Darwinian evolution has become outdated and its place is taken by the Lamarckian hypothesis of evolution by environmental compulsions. Darwin himself agreed with Lamarck but the neo-Darwinians, who have a big business interest in keeping the status quo, are at it even now. Even Erasmus was for environmental evolution long before Darwin came into the picture. Most of our pathophysiology of diseases is based on the Darwinian model unfortunately and it has to change for good. Earlier the better.

Daniel E Lieberman is an evolutionary biologist at Harvard. He has written a new book, The Story of the Human Body . I feel this is the right step in the right direction. Unfortunately, medical doctors do not go into evolutionary biology, even if a few of them go into biology. Poor patients have no access to evolutionary biologists. The result is that many of our lifestyle diseases have no clear cause known to the medical world. We are clever people, though. We cloak our ignorance is high-sounding Latin jargon. Words ‘idiopathic’ and the like simply tell us about our colossal ignorance. Even the use of steroids in many of the autoimmune diseases defies logic. They only palliate and the fire is still smouldering under steroid cover. The latter might even make the patient more vulnerable.

The Palaeolithic man is yet to fully evolve to match the much more evolved cultural evolution in the last 200 years. That might take a hundred more years. Thanks to technological advances, life on earth for the so-called civilised man has become vastly different from what it should have been had we just followed the environmental evolution that our ancestors in the Palaeolithic period have achieved. So there is a vast difference between the rate of natural evolution of man and the rapidly evolving cultural evolution that has happened in the society we live in.

One example will suffice. What our ancestors ate and what chimpanzees eat today compared to what we eat in the so-called modern society are poles apart. While most of us have developed a sweet tooth eating lots of sweet foods and refined carbohydrates, our ancestors in the forest were eating very little sweet food. Even today, chimpanzees eat raw food with the best fruit that they eat in the forest being less sweet than carrot! Our need for sweet foods and carbs was necessitated by the demand for more calories to cope with the cultural evolution which has gone much faster than the human body’s evolution.

Lieberman has convincingly showed how many of our killer lifestyle diseases, which might even be called modern diseases like Type II diabetes, many cancers, heart attack, strokes, acid reflux, acne, anxiety, asthma, depression, flat feet, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, lower backpain and osteoporosis have their origins in this evolution-cultural growth mismatch.

Over thousands of years in evolution the human body has acquired a survival mechanism to protect us from our predators. The autonomic nervous system and the RAAS (renin angiotensin aldosterone system) have evolved to keep us alive under stress which is an integral part of life in the hostile environment. These two are useful in any emergency for the fight, flight and fright reaction.

If a man sees a tiger approaching him in the forest he must try to run away. The above mentioned two systems are there to help him run away from the wrath of the angry tiger. Adrenaline and cortisol are the two hormones through which the two systems keep one away from danger. Such a Palaeolithic body today is placed in a very hostile modern society of monetary economy and technologically advanced society where life has got itself transformed into a heartless, cruel rat race.

Our greatest stress today is to acquire mundane things. In that rat race where the world is too much with us we spend most of our energy getting and spending. We have no time to see the good things in nature that give us tranquillity and pleasure. We seem to have sold our soul to the devil. It is a sordid boon. In this rat race we encounter many tigers in life. Our Palaeolithic body produces the same fight-flight response producing adrenaline and cortisol. The latter would be used to run away from the forest tiger in our Palaeolithic age. But the tigers in life today (stresses) do not let you expend the two hormones by running.

The hormones that thus accumulate in the system are the cause of most of the killer diseases. While this is the leading mismatch, there is another equally important mismatch in that our cultural evolution vis-à-vis our biological evolution leaves us today much more sedentary than our ancestors who had to trek miles daily to get their next meal. We hardly move around as the technological comforts have brought everything to our global village. Some of us use our vehicles even to go to the toilet. This compounds the stress hormone damage, causing more grievous injury to our systems.

Although technological advances make life “comfortable,” they do damage our system, causing killer diseases in the bargain. The technological feats add thousands of cancer-producing chemicals to our surroundings adding insult to injury. The bad “Hygiene Hypothesis” or the Germ Theory of disease made all our friends and close relatives, trillions of germs, into our enemies to be destroyed. The antibiotics and antiseptics have started killing us now instead.

Our cultural evolution has been only external without a concurrent internal development to understand the meaning of life on earth and our societal obligations. This self-ignorance leads to more stress in life. Most of us try and change the world to suit our convenience little realising that we should, on the contrary, change ourselves to suit the world to have less stress.

In The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health and Disease , Lieberman traces these troubles back to their origins.

This seems to be a more plausible explanation for many of our idiopathic diseases. My own hypothesis of the origin of the many autoimmune diseases has its root in our mind. Whereas every cell in the human body, of which there are more than one hundred trillion in all, loves one another and also the cells of others in the world, our hostility towards fellow human beings confuses our cells. If that mental attitude deepens further into a trait, a time will come when our own cells start hating our other cells, auto-immune disease. I call this the you-me concept.

Let us try and understand human illness in its entirety and try to achieve Whole Person Healing , the future hope for mankind on this planet.

“During moments of strife and ‘dis-ease’, check your flow and redirect your focus to that which is naturally good.” — T.F. Hodge

This article set me on a musing trajectory ……….( I think this wud be a befitting end to this and a gud start for the next – to start striving to take nature as a role model , the lesser the artificial burdens , the easier to be free and sway with the flow like the mighty old tree  – grand yet humbly supple to be swayed by the wind , retaining its  core at the same time – easier  said than done – but worth making a start

Free Verse: Bamboo Grove

solitude

Bastet and Sekhmet's Library

bamboo

Free Verse

Bamboo Grove

Walking in a bamboo grove
searching for serenity
the rustling leaves
gave me the peace I sought
their shade from harsh light
refreshed my soul.
Basho would say
that harmony can be found
even in a crowded city.
I travelled to a park
among pine trees, palm fronds
and a bamboo grove
and was rewarded.

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Beloved One

Reflections

click pics for sources (Flickr & Tumblr )

woodendreams:(by Iggy63)

theoceanrolls:Salar de Surire - Chile (by lostin4tune)

sp1tfir3: 

 

Nature in all its glory – wonderful

cloudsssssss !!

An August night

FRAMES IN FOCUS

August Night

EXIF: Canon EOS 60D, Lens: EF-S15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, Focal length: 15mm, 2.5 sec, f/3.5, ISO 1600, White Balance: Auto

An August night

Ocean, moon, stars and rain……… its hard not to feel poetic. Last night I witnessed a much more splendid view than ISO 1600 could capture. You can see rain pouring down in the centre of the image, along the horizon. I have witnessed such isolated rain showers only at sea.

Shot in Atlantic Ocean, off Bermuda Islands.

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Lavender Beauty

Beautiful …….with the yellow pooping out of a breathtaking lavender bed

Rain

   Source – Tumblr ( click the pics for the original links)

“I love rain. I love the sound of it falling on an umbrella, each drop that hits the cloth a soothing sound. Everything is so fresh and clean. It always feels as if each drop is helping to wash away the hurt, the pain, the dirt that life leaves behind. As if the mere act of it falling can give life a rebirth, a second chance.” Brandi M. Polier

That’s What Friends are For

Be still sad heart and cease repining;

Behind the clouds the sun is shining,
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life a little rain must fall,

~Longfellow

bibliolectors:Reading with rain / Lectura con lluvia (ilustración de Sophie Powell)