I don’t know why I stopped blogging about lockdown, but I notice it was after 28 days, a full cycle. I felt like lockdown life had become normal and for a while we all knew where we were. Now things are weirder than ever and we are struggling to adapt to our new life adapting to new rules each week. I tried to do some life admin today and failed on every count, ending with emails to technical support in three different public administration organisations, which I can’t imagine will be answered any time soon. Things are definitely not up and running. We’ve moved from “pause” into chaos and frustration as summer looms and the rules keep shifting.
At the same time the neighbourhood feels more normal. We can see friends, have amazing excursions in the park, go to shops – even with our child.
But do we want that normal? Things are collapsing around the world, how are we supposed to process it all? The Guardian has five layers of special MEGA news before you get to the headlines. There’s been constant live blogs on COVID-19, and now the rise of fascism. I’ve taken to following twitter, where I see real and scary information from journalists I trust. And this doesn’t include anything, very often, about the ecological collapse. For a while I was relaxed, watching the birds from the terrace, thinking about how we were all on a break and that the environment had time to heal while we stopped taking unnecessary journeys. (It turns out A LOT of our journeys were unnecessary right?). But if you keep watching closely you see there is a huge downside to all this and powerful people, the sad output of our broken system, are actually trying to profit from this and block environmental protection, the Amazon is being destroyed faster than ever, environmental campaigners are being attacked, laws are being eased and disgusting deals are being made in secret, and the mass extinction continues. Not to mention the disposable masks and gloves, billions of them.
As before, with strong values and effort you don’t HAVE to use disposable products, but it is more complicated to keep washing masks and when there’s so much happening it’s very very very easy to lose focus – not to mention the kids we are now looking after all day.
In Spain we are a few weeks ahead of the UK and the question now is how do we deal with coming out of this? How do we hold onto what we learned in the pause, and how do we move forward? In Permaculture we base the designs on the three ethics People Care, Earth Care and Fair Share. If we want to come out of this in a better direction we need to take all the time we need to keep these in mind, and to remember they are more important than “normal”. The world is turning upside-down, but we can still only do one thing at a time, and sometimes that one thing should be quiet reflection on these ethics.
We are all activists, because we all take hundreds of decisions each day and the way we spend our time, money and resources is part of a complex system in which any change will affect the system a little – or a lot. Who knows if the next person we share an article with, will be open in that moment to engage, react and change an attitude, or take an action. Who knows if the next seed we plant will sprout and become a tree.
The interconnectedness of everything is, to me, the most wonderful and the most important learning I’ve experienced through permaculture. And this means that when you go beyond the everyday decisions, and plan to act in response to internal, local or global issues, you will be affecting the whole system; racial equality is connected to environmentalism, global justice is connected to COVID crisis, health is connected to biodiversity, education is connected to everything! So wherever you put your energies this week, take the time to ensure you are being ethical : being caring towards people, caring towards the natural world, creating abundance not scarcity, – or maybe learning more about how these ideas relate to your life, and you will be a small – or big – part of the solution.
Here are some interesting reads today:
Damn it’s sad to see white lives matter trending on twitter. I admit that this article is actually written mainly for my benefit. The world is totally screwed we just have to find our best path through the collapse. Wow, comments under Jeremy Corbyn’s tweets also show the opposite of anti-racism.
I got distracted, I’m out of time. I’ll just sum up the interesting reads, and you can grab them with a quick search! Add links in the comments if you find them.
Jane Goodall on enviromentalism and food prodution and COVID
Racism and environmentalism posted by XR can’t remember who by
Naomi Klein article on how big companies will try and win from COVID (rather than being ethical)