Archive for October, 2010

On the Commons

Monday, October 25th, 2010

For me this is a must read about one of the current new developments: understanding more about what The Commons is about. Here you find an interview with Silke Helfrich, one of the leading ladies of this ‘movement’ of commoners.

I thought you could do this one click to read it, instead of copy/paste it over here. You might find other interesting stuff over there, who knows?

God on lawn

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

A comic story that is travelling… makes clear why I am into permaculture!

God: Frank, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on the planet? What happened to the dandelions, violets, milkweeds and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But, all I see are these green rectangles.

St. Francis: It’s the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers ‘weeds’ and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

God: Grass? But, it’s so boring. It’s not colorful. It doesn’t attract butterflies, birds and bees; only grubs and sod worms. It’s sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

St. Francis: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

God: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.

St. Francis: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it-sometimes twice a week.

God: They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?

St. Francis: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

God: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

St. Francis: No, Sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

God: Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And, when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

St. Francis: Yes Sir.

God: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

St. Francis: You aren’t going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

God: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn, they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. It’s a natural cycle of life.

St. Francis: You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

God: No!? What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?

St. Francis: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

God: And where do they get this mulch?

St. Francis: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

God: Enough! I don’t want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you’re in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

St. Catherine: “Dumb and Dumber”, Lord. It’s a story about….

God: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.

Autumn harvest

Friday, October 8th, 2010

From one of my friends…

I felt the call to share this with you… feeling like it is a beautiful description fo the harvest and reminding me that no accident that we are harvesting our work now (from Women Moving the Edge) – in this autumn harvesting energy. I hope you enjoy… from one of my teachers Richard Heckler of the Strozzi Institute. I find myself full of longing to be with real food and women creating the next form of fruit to jam…. ugh! That longing!

Here is what she send along; pictures are mine, taken on Genesis Farm – a great place to be!

Let The Arrow Fly


A nickel-plated summer sky, gloomy and cool, finally opens to an unrelenting sun. Bingo! Everything ripens at once. Yellow squash, beans, zucchini, arugula, lemon cucumbers, blackberries, watermelon, roma tomatoes, cantaloupe melon, lettuce, and chard are the bright headliners in the garden. I also collect the windfall from the pear, apple, plum, and peach trees and give them to my neighbor Amy. They return as applesauce and jam. There is plenty enough for both of us. Fingernail dirt and sparkling glass canning jars, reciprocity is well remembered when the jam spreads resplendent on morning toast.

I return to the orchard and harvest the remaining fruit. The ground is wet from the night’s dew and the mourning doves break from the top branches and fly to the dojo roof. I ramble through the trees first shaking the larger branches and see what falls. Then I eyeball their color, cup them in my hand and feel if they’re keen to surrender their relationship with the mother tree. Each piece of fruit is different; their unique timeline of sun, water, the biology of photosynthesis, and the Great Mystery all factor into their readiness to be plucked into a new life. As I wander from tree to tree it occurs to me that, besides simply harvesting fruit, I’m engaging with the questions: “What is being ready?” “How do we know that something is ready to come to a new form?” This is not the ready of, “I’m dressed and ready to go.” But, more in the theme of the Old Testament author who says in Ecclesiastes, “There is a season for all things. There is a right time for everything.”


What is the right time to harvest the fruits of our actions? What is the moment to surrender? What is it that longs to come to form? What yearns to be released into a new life?

If I wait too long the fruit falls bruised, immediately settled by squatter ants and yellow jackets. If I force them off the stem, they’re hard and without the sugar load that makes them what they are. When we force something we’re usually ahead of ourselves and off center, acting out of self-interest and fear; if we hesitate or procrastinate our fear drives us to inattention and we don’t heed what is required and the harvest is lost.

what do you see?

Perhaps our part in evolution may be simply to attune to what has now come to fruition and is to be harvested. Yes, there are certain logical predictors of this but if we wholly rely on our mental decision-making we will lose the wisdom of a vaster intelligence. In kyudo, the Japanese art of archery, the moment of releasing the arrow is called hanarai. This is the result of ai or harmony. It is the moment where the fully drawn bow, in synchronization with the body and spirit of the archer, can no longer contain the energy of the union position, and the arrow is spontaneously released. The release or surrender then is naturally birthed from ai. A legendary kyudo Master said, “When the time is right, the arrow flies, as a fruit falls from a tree.” The arrow flies simply because it is what must occur next. It is a poetic completion of dignity and daring.

The deep inner wisdom that tells us when to take action and how to do it skillfully is part of the path of mastery. Feeling and sensing the current of energy that moves through us is the doorway to contact that wisdom. This requires that we listen deeply to the impulses, images, and streamings that are part of our livingness. Take a moment and walk through your inner garden and feel and sense what has ripened in you and can now be harvested; notice what has not yet come to maturity – needing more time to develop. See what can be composted to enrich your future visions. Hanarai!

Take It Easy, But Take It