Thursday, 30 October 2014

Sunday, 26 October 2014

SA AoC Two Rivers Urban Park 26 October 2014

How do we get it out there?  Agents of Change is such a big thing, and to be honest, I am very honored to be a part of it from the beginning.  I am thankful that Nicci has shown me that I can be the change that I want to see in the world.  I couldn't have done it alone.  Gandhi once said be the change you want to see in the world. (Rita)

Rippling, reflecting, running,
Seeping, soothing,
Do you carry the litter,
That has become a decoration
Of our world,
I am sorry that it is
So very heavy,
Your burden,
I would like to help,
I am trying to build up
My strength,
So that I can help
You carry
The weight
Of what we have done
To you.

I need to help make things better in our world.  It is much easier to let things go by without helping.  But in the long run, it is not a proper solution. And yes, I can say that it was not my fault, but if I did nothing, then the fault belongs to me too.  Because if I did not even try, then I cannot blame other people for things I also have not done.  I would like to start with small things.  (Danny)

I'm coming, I'm coming
Into the world to change it
To make people see things differently,
So will you hold my hand
And come with me
To the new world
The one we've always wanted to see.

We could change the world
We, us,

(Jemima, Rita and Danny)

A leaf at the bottom of the river brought layers of questions into awareness.  My question goes deeper and deeper now.  How did we forget, become this disconnected from the sense of knowing, the sense of being in the world?  We've lost the connectedness of embodiment, emotion, the relationship to life - awareness of how we feel about the world, life and our own voices.

Knowledge of how these voices can be questioned, even with the best intentions, is what I have become so aware of this past month.  Finding voice, and giving space for that voice, is true democracy.  I realize how important it is to make space for that.  (Nicci)

When looking at the natural wonder of the space we live in, I wonder where all the voices of the people who have lived or shared in these spaces have gone?  knowledge of thousands of years of observing and learning, trial and error, good times and hardships.  I wonder how helpful that would be to us now?  I would love to hear those voices.  (Scott).

Thank you Nicci, Scott, Danny, Jemima , Rita, Mia and Buto !

Sunday, 12 October 2014

SA AoC Seaforth Beach 12 October 2014

It is lovely to stand really close to the sea and feel the water run over your toes.  My toes leave dents in the sand and leave behind a footprint.  I like hearing and seeing the seagulls.  I like the way the sand glitters because of the eroded minerals.  I like being able to close my eyes and hear the sounds of the drums and children.  It is interesting to see children playing in the water.  I like seeing all of the different shells on the beach, and thinking about all of the animals that lived in them.  (Danny).

Nature, the beach and all that is beautiful belongs to everybody, and it breaks down the divides between people and brings deep feelings to the surface.  Earlier this week, Jemima spoke about sharing your feelings with the sea, and with non-human life.  I thought about how natural spaces have been helpful for people as a form of trust, care and nurture.  So how do we work so that the more people who need this deep reflexive, peaceful and beautiful space get to share in it?

Compassionate and inclusive spaces give people a chance to be heard, and to listen to the gift of nature we were born with.  I thought about a poem by David Whyte (shared by Bill Plotkin), who says:

There is only one life
you can call your own
and a thousand others
you can call by any name you want....

...By the lake in the wood
in the shadows
you can
whisper that truth
to the quiet reflection
you see in the water.

This week, I heard one person share how she could share her feelings with the water, and another speak of how she's asked if  plants can heal diseases like Ebola, so that people don't have to suffer.  I realize how no voice should go unheard, or undiscovered.  How do we continue to create spaces for people to express their innermost thoughts in such a lovely way?

I love the process of asking questions and exploring our own reflections as a part of the process too.  It means I don't get to go in with answers, and it means that we are searchers who question and share together, in a beautiful and evolving space.  It also means that we explore together with the people who come to talk to us, sharing questions instead of answers.  And I think this helps bridge divides too.  (Nicci)

The world seemed at peace today.  It felt lovely to stand in the tide and waves that tickled over my feet.  I watched a small girl run from the approaching 3cm wavelets in mock horror and thought back to the potential 3m ocean rise and the possible future similarities.

I thought of how, slowly, the global conscience towards climate change seems to be turning.  I felt hope instead of hopeless, knowing that one day the tide will turn and slowly the scars and hurt will heal.  The opportunity to share this incredible earth with its magnificent landscapes and extraordinary creatures and life is such a privilege.  I am grateful for every minute.  (Scott)

Public questions/feedback:

Is the water really going to be that high?  I have lots of concerns about climate change, but I am not sure what to do.  I'm searching for what to do.

I'm from Brazil and we have heard a lot about climate change, and we are concerned, but we don't know what to do.

I understand about climate change and the sea level.  I work with issues in the forests of Zambia.  But the way things are dealt with make things illegal.  It's hard work, but creating awareness around this is really important.  I think this is a good project, and particularly working with children.  That somebody has taken the initiative to create a project like this is really positive.

Is that how high three metres is?  Wow,  creating awareness of this is a very important thing to do.

A little boy asked, Mommy, what are they doing?  They are looking at the sea.  They are talking about climate change.  What is climate change?  You know when Mommy told you about the changing seasons?  (It's diffiuclt to explain to a four year old).

What do you think about climate change (asked a member of the public).  "Gosh, I have to think about that one." "Do you think it will affect us?" "Yes, definately in terms of crops and agriculture."

It seems people know about climate change, but don't feel they need to/know how to do something about it.  It's not something close to home but a concept that is aimed at companies, etc.

A drum beats, there is a lonely lighthouse, children are playing.  There is a strong wind.

A man asked "What are you doing?" Asking people about climate change.  And what will happen if the sea level rises 3m?"
Well, I'm an engineer for wind turbines, and will bring good energy for your country.  Not like coal, or the nuclear deal SA just signed.

Same question.  "Oh, that's good. Making people aware.  Are you signalling or something?"


Thank you to the SA AoC group for continuing with this intervention and Nicci Attfield  for facilitating, and all who contributed to taking the photographs.

Friday, 10 October 2014

SA AoC at the Cape Town Science Center 9 October 2014

I love music.  I love dance.  Anything that involves art I love, but I would also love to help people and to think about natural life.  What would happen if we had no sun, no water and no plants?  We really don't know if the cures to many incurable diseases are in plants that are around us.Today I finally got to notice that the sky was just plain blue, no white clouds. It is really beautiful when you set a time to just think about the positive.  (Rita)

I love art.  Painting is the best thing about art for me.  I enjoy building structures like a house made out of a box and decorating my house and inside it.  But the best thing I like is to be alive and to have my beautiful family that cares about me and my parents would do anything to provide for us. And I thank God to be alive and to be here on this day.  (Jemima)

I love animals
I love the rain
I love fire during winter
I love the sounds of crickets
I love storms and hail
I love sitting in the sun
I love birds and butterflies
I love the sounds of people talking
I love the smell of coffee
I love the texture of fabrics
I love sitting in busy places and looking at the people walking past
I love my family and friends and people who I meet
I love my life

A rock is a beautiful thing.  It is thousand years old and formed from the past (either from sand sediments or molten rock).  I admire plants.  They attempt the impossible.  They reach for the sky. They never quite get there. They will never touch the sun.  But at least they try.

I think this is what is important in life.  Not succeeding, winning or getting all of your dreams, but trying, even if it is difficult or near impossible.  Then you won't think "what if...." or "I could have...." You can think "I did." (Danny)

I find the time worn rocks and stones beautiful.  The wonderful herbal scent of the wild fynbos (heather) is beautiful.  I realize how small and insignificant you are compared to the great mountains, sky and oceans.  But with that feeling of smallness, there is also the realization that much can be shared or contributed.

I love my family, who allow me to open my heart to the beauty of the world.  I love the sound of the wind out on the open natural spaces.  It whistles through the pine needles and rustles the leaves.  The grasses sway, move and dance.  Sometimes they are peaceful and romantic, sometimes wild and crazy, like in a tribal dance  I love the beautiful birds and sweet frogs and minute small insects.  They wild flowers have the most saturated and surreal colours with the most unimaginable complex patterns and designs.  And I love the sweet, beautiful fresh air.  (Scott).

I'm looking at the value of just being, and the value that all life has because it just is.  We're sensual and alive but we're taught to forget this.  We are taught so much about competition and achievement and who does the best, or how clever each child is.  But when you are outside, with something far more vast and profound, these other things seem unreal.  I realize we can just be, and we can feel, share, question and listen to each other.  (Nicci)

I like having the jacket and standing with the pole because I feel proud. (Thaakier).

Thank you SA AoC and to Nicci Attfield for facilitating this process and all the photographers for the images.

Monday, 6 October 2014

SA AoC at Mouille Point - Cape Town 5th October 2014

A blanket of cool air surrounds the sea
Blowing away all heat from the sun
The wind's fingers leave traces of salt on my face
A gift, a memory.
"Remember me." says the ocean.
"I am coming.
I will cover the earth.
I will cool the scorched lands with my body.
I will heal the earth's wounds with my tears.
Remember me."

How could we keep our environment clean?  Look at the sea :)  Look how beautiful.  You could write so many poems while you breathe and smell the air.  Do we want to keep it this way?  Many might say yes, but not really try.  What beautiful things we have, but haven't noticed.  Stop pollution!!  I think we should stop things that are opposing natural life.  (Rita)

What I love about the world is there are many things to see and do and explore the world.  You learn different things like exploring the ocean and it is so cool and awesome and you could come here and experience your feelings and fears before you die.  (Jemima)

Today, I was in a space of complete beauty, with the mists rolling over the mountain and wetting my face and my hair.  I couldn't see where I was going, and this has been what I've feared for a little while.  Where do I go with the new understandings and new insights?  I don't want to go back to the way I used to see things.  And yet, as I watched the waves, and I watched the way they ebbed and flowed, I saw that this is okay.  There is anxiety, and then insight, then anxiety in a complete and continual process, but it is nothing to be scared of.  It's about allowing change and development, and then letting it go to make space for something new, in a continual motion.  Ideas build and break and transform.  I don't have to hold onto anything or fear losing it.  (Nicci)

Before we got to there, and I saw the mist blowing in, i was hoping it wouldn't be cancelled, because it was too cold.  But it was more enveloping than cold.  It wasn't a freezing mist, and you couldn't see it, except that it gathered on people's hair to make little pearls.  I thought that it was like the seasons, summer with the warmth, then winter and each of them bring gifts.  I looked at the rocks gleaming, and I thought about our beautiful world.  I looked at the mist, which transforms into droplets, and then how they form something bigger than they are.  I look at climate change, and how you feel small, but gathering together, you form droplets and then a river.  I thought about the people who gathered together against climate change, and how in New York, they gathered together to form a surging river, and I knew that there is hope.  The world is so beautiful, and it will continue, but the sadness is that people could lose it.  But if we stand together, then I have hope.

This past week, I have been thinking just how as humans, we forget that we are actually organic, and not mechanical.  So much about modern life is technical, mechanical and theoretical.  The world was made and it gradually developed and there is a balance.  Food, nutrition and sunlight are provided for us.  It doesn't come from pharmacy, vitamins or powerade.  It is provided for us, and animals live with sun and grass, outside.  We are the same.  But we forget that we are created to be a part of this world, not to try to recreate it. (Scott)

Public reflections:

How long will it take for the sea levels to rise like this?  What can we do about it?  Recycling isn't going to prevent this.  What can we do?  Well done for showing us this.

Look at where the top of the pole is.  All those flats will have water right through them.  Who is going to stop it?  It's a good thing that you are doing.

You are going out in the mist.  Don't go swimming in the sea when it's so cold.  But it's good that you are showing everybody what's going on.

Thank you Nicci, Danny, Rita, Jemima and Scott.