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Friday, June 26, 2015

Welcoming the light

A few days ago we had the longest night (21st June). I was on retreat at the time and we had a lovely winter solstice ritual that evening. The next day we celebrated "welcoming the light" as we look forward to longer days. Synchronistically I am now participating in another photography on-line course with various contemplative tasks every few days. Today's challenge was to use a photo to illustrate the quote you see below. First I had to learn how to add text to a photo. (I'm finding Pic Monkey to be a very good free on-line tool for various photography editing and making collages etc.)
Photo taken on Orewa beach at sunrise on Easter morning this year.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Simple delights on a grey day

While on retreat at the Mercy Centre I had a free hour to walk in Cornwall Park on Saturday. It was threatening to rain heavily but I went anyway. Such simple delights...
 There's something mysterious about the shadowy light 
and the horse drawn carriage.
What century are we in?!

 Such simple fearless fun this little girl was having!

Yes, well, why did the chicken cross the road?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Good news for our beautiful planet!

Many readers of this Blog may know this already if you are Avaaz members (and if not, why not?!) The great news today is that the G7 Summit of leading world powers has committed to getting the global economy off fossil fuels forever! If you find that hard to believe (or hard to understand what it means) read more here.

Closer to home, I appreciate and give thanks for the beauty I see all around me every day.
Beauty reflected 
doubles the capacity 
for glory to be shared.
"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, 
are being transformed into his likeness
from one degree glory to another."
2 Corinthians 3:18

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Beauty in dark places.

Sometimes it's the unexpected things that have the most beauty! Silo 6 at The Wynyard quarter is a very unprepossessing place for some the Auckland Festival of Photography displays. But this reflected glimpse of one photo drew my attention. I can't even remember now what the photo hanging on the wall was about! But the photo I took in the dark, damp, concrete silo draws me into the mystery of what I didn't go there to see. Note to self: be ready for unexpected beauty in dark places.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Is clean water the new oil?

One of the things we did on Queen's Birthday holiday was explore some of the Auckland Festival of Photography exhibitions. One of the most telling (and disturbing) was the one entitled: Oil & Water: Is clean water the new oil? It was at Depot Artspace, 28 Clarence St, Devonport. The photos were of many of NZ's rivers and lakes - beautiful photos. But the information panels beside each photo told a devastating story of how many of these beautiful places are polluted and dying. This is happening right now, in our own country. What has happened to our 100% Pure, Godzone?? And what can we do about it?
Lake Spectacle by Murray Lloyd
I've been a Green Party member for many years and listened with interest to the newly elected Co-leader James Shaw as he made his first speech on Sunday. If you want to read the whole speech click here. But below is an excerpt from it with italics added by me. If you don't think National or Labour are up for the challenges ahead, there is an alternative - give the Green Party some serious thought.
"The reality of politics in the wake of the global financial crisis is that there is no longer a struggle between capitalism and socialism.
 What we have now is a hybrid model that takes some of the good but most of the bad elements of both systems. We have an economy where profits are privatised but the risks - and the social and environmental costs - of that profit are socialised.
Paid for by the state. By the people.
It’s an economy based on rational irresponsibility. It encourages people and companies to extract as much short term wealth as they can, from the environment or from their workers, regardless of the damage they cause, because they don’t have to pay for it.
 Everyone else does. Now and for many generations.
There’s no name for this system that we now live under. It’s not capitalism or neoliberalism. And it’s not conservatism.
It’s not conservative to destroy all of your rivers and streams, and mine your oceans and national parks. It is definitely not compassionate conservatism. There’s nothing compassionate about the rapid extinction of our native species. And it’s not compassionate or conservative to subsidise businesses to damage the atmosphere of the planet that we’re living on.
 There is no name for this system.
 Nobody speaks for it. Nobody voted for it.
It happens in the spaces between speeches and elections.
It happens behind closed doors or over dinner with lobbyists.
We have a political economy of friendly deals and whispers. 
Of overnight polling and focus groups.
The government is supposed to help those who need help the most, not those who need it the least. Those who have little, not those who already have everything, and always want more, and more, and more. 
My opposition to our current, deliberately broken economic system is not ideological. It is moral.       I oppose it because it is wrong."