Beamspun 10: 21st June 2020
Local sunrise / publish time: 0346 UTC (+1m, ☰)
Well, my calendars say it's summer solstice on Saturday, and my sunrise checker says Saturday and Sunday have the same number of seconds of daylight, so I figure somewhere out there, some major computations have decided that Saturday was a teensieth quanta of a grasshopper's leg shorter than Sunday. Either way, it's solstice weekend and a time to celebrate, take a pause, look straight up and see the clouds and that ring around the sun which you can't always see but you know it's there and you can feel it in your heart warming you when you wake up until you go to sleep. Bang the drums, blow the flutes, salute the flowers and spin in circles - fill yourself with light!
And because there are too many words and not enough silences in this world, here is a void to fill with the songs of birds:
communities: Could mini-forests help establish networks and corridors of biodiversity in urban (and, indeed, rural areas crowded out by agriculture)? "Often sited in schoolyards or alongside roads, the forests can be as small as a tennis court."
infrastructure: When we think of 'utilities' we so often think of them as just the platform for allowing society - often an economically defined one - to function. But what if we were to re-consider infrastructure's main goal as one to make us happy? By "happy", we can mean resilient, comfortable, even jocular. And that emotional tie to the pipes and wires beneath our feet could mean appreciating it more, maybe?
religions: Genuinely intrigued to see solarpunk getting picked up by a Christian blog - for me, my solarpunk leanings are part of a wider tapestry of interests, and overlap heavily with my tao non-efforts elsewhere. The link between nature, god/tao/brahman/dharma, and our inherent question of sustainability as a symbol-binding, tool-producing species, is at the heart of this newsletter in many ways. Major religions bring an interesting mix to the table, to say the least.
tech: Here's an interesting SciShow video on future solar technology - I found the long-term heat battery idea at #5 intriguing, but also loved the idea of agrivoltaics which has actually been around for ages (particularly in Japan), and reminds me of the benefits of companion planting for fruit and veg. That 'whole system' and mutually beneficient approach feels very natural to me.
books: Currently reading Looby Macnamara's "7 Ways To Think Differently". If you're starting to realise there are other ways, then this is a good starter on shifting your mindset and re-assessing your own thinking.
politics?: "Start building dual power where you’re at." - get organised, get federated, take it from there. Thought-provoking Twitter thread.
Bit of a quieter week this week - the days have been filled with energy elsewhere, and the light evening skies speak to me of breathing. You should not be reading this, you should be out, tramping the paths. Hum in line with the rustling of the trees. Once you're done, don't forget you can always watch The Wicker Man online.
Get in touch
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I'm also documenting my own 'everyday solarpunk adventures' over at the 6suns blog.