Giving everything and nothing

Hello T,

We have had a packed week here in northern Greece. Many things have changed on the ground with the closing of the unofficial camp in Idomeni, and government policies on what volunteers can and cannot do keep changing. We practice patience and flexibility, and I find plenty of opportunities to combine my inner with my outer work when confronted with the paradoxical situation of trying to help people who don’t want to be in the position of needing to receive it.

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Looking within and without

Hello T,

Since last we spoke I have delved into the world of communities and ecovillages more intentionally and committedly than ever before. I spent three months in Findhorn, and have lots of stories from there of course. But more recently I visited Sieben Linden, an ecovillage in the middle of nowhere somewhere in Germany. It is quite young, founded in 1999 I think, and about 140 people live there. It is more committed to ecologically sustainable living than Findhorn, and people there don’t seem afraid to go far to achieve this.

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Don’t Buy a Limousine

A three-day train ride is a bit like hitchhiking – you have no control. We would sit there hypothesising how much longer we’d be stuck in Portage-la-Prairie and consuming a nauseating amount of caramelised almonds, and in the end, miraculously, still got to Vancouver in time.

24 hours into the trip, after stepping out in -41°C for the first time in my life (together with all the people who’ll go where they’re allowed to smoke no matter what the conditions), I was told that we’re still in Ontario. A traveling Londoner later commented that “it feels like cheating, really – a new province every day now; we’re just racing through”.

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Monkey Face

In high school I always carried a spoon in my pocket, but for some reason eventually discontinued the habit, so I appreciate the reminder.

To be honest I haven’t reflected all that much so far this new year, but there’s two Thich Nhat Hanh quotations on my wall now which I can certainly share:

the miracle

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Reflections on a travelling life

Hi friend,
In our old Transition initiative back in St Andrews we have a little prezi presentation of our circular year. The idea is that we can remember the rhythms and the peaks and troughs of energy throughout the busy year with some visual aid. January was always the month for reflection and resting. I like that, and thought I would do the same for a little while.

I’m doing my resting and reflecting in Sweden. I’ve spent the past week or so flying around golf courses and forests on skis, powered by deep breaths of fresh air and enjoying the diagonal rhythm of movement it gives the body and the mind. But now the snow is melting and I’ve found my way back to the computer screen once again.

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Red lines in Paris for D12

The Paris agreement was just adopted. I’ve spent the day in the streets, together with some 15,000 other red-clad peaceful demonstrators, showing the world and each other that we exist, and that we have the energy to take forward the practical solutions that the negotiated climate agreement so sorely lacks. I thought I’d share some photos for now – more reflections will come at a later point.

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Is this climate unity really for everyone?

Over the last couple of days the Climate Activist Centre ZAC here in Paris has seen massive mobilisation, with thousands of people going through nonviolent civil disobedience trainings, briefings, workshops, and listening to updates from the negotiations in Le Bourget. Some fantastically devoted people have been doing the hard long days in the conference centre and then traipsing back to provide summaries that are more readily accessible for us lay people. As the negotiations run overtime, there are many different stories circulating about what exactly is happening, and I can’t help but feel that these stories teach us more about the people telling the story than what is actually going on.

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