Year: 2012

Reconnect 5: Poignant Ekostories

Many deeply affective and moving narratives have their roots in tragedy; there can be no light without the dark. Stories that revel in beauty without exploring the shadow dimension of grief, death, and despair can occasionally come across feeling artificial, shallow, and incomplete. In contrast, those that accept and embrace tragedy can take on dimensions of substance, becoming deeper, rounder, and whole. They linger in our memories, and stay with us for a long time, profoundly shaping our identity and our understanding of the world. This week’s Reconnect explores three poignant and bittersweet Ekostories.

Reconnect 4: Funny Ekostories

In a world worn down by cynicism, humour is an excellent non-confrontational tool for overcoming resistance to new ideas. Funny stories can defuse hostile attitudes, loosen entrenched mindsets, and shake up worldviews so that minds become more permeable to change and new ways of thinking. This week’s Reconnect explores Ekostories that utilize humour not just for entertainment purposes, but also as social commentary and criticism that strike at the root of the ecological crisis.

Reconnect 3: Courageous Ekostories

This week’s Reconnect focuses on Ekostories with protagonists who demonstrate courage in non-traditional ways. By expanding their thinking, standing by their principles, and doing things their own way, each of them became emotionally healthier and mentally stronger.  By working on becoming internally sustainable and resilient, they became natural leaders and role models who are capable of igniting the fires of change in the world they live in.

Reconnect 2: Cautionary Ekostories

The cautionary tale is a good tool for raising awareness about serious problems. It is also a good place to turn to for inspiration when ignorance and indifference threatens. Sometimes we need a shot in the arm, a reminder of what is potentially at stake. But care must be exercised to not overuse them, lest we grow numb to their bleak messages and become paralyzed in taking meaningful and needed action. This week’s Reconnect brings together Ekostories that serve as warnings to a world wracked with ecological degradation and cultural destruction.

Reconnect 1: Visually Striking Ekostories

Human beings are visual creatures; our eyes and brains work in concert to extract patterns and meanings through the narrow visible spectrum. Vivid imagery can speak to us in a wordless tongue, reaching deep into our hearts and minds to make us see the world and ourselves in a new light. Because they are more open to interpretation than words, visual narratives can be less confrontational and more accessible. This week’s Reconnect highlights three past Ekostories which utilize aesthetics as a way to engage viewers to think more deeply about humanity’s relationships with the environment.

Ekostories Reconnect: A Hiatus

Hello all, I will be travelling to Nepal for a volunteer vacation for approximately six weeks. Computer access will most likely be extremely limited, as will most of the many modern conveniences I normally take for granted. This unfortunately means I will not be able to keep up with my weekly essays until I get back. Sorry about that. What I have prepared in advance though is a six-part series titled Ekostories Reconnect. Since this blog is all about exploring connections, I thought it would be interesting to group together some of my existing entries that share similar themes and ideas pertaining to nature, culture, and self. Each part will be scheduled to go live on a weekly basis.  I hope new readers will find something interesting in these older entries, while more regular readers can perceive new patterns and gain fresh perspectives by looking at things a little differently. I’ll try to respond to comments to the best of my abilities. Thanks for your support! Isaac

Red, by Ronin Waters

“Those who think Nature is a lady Misunderstand her. Those who think her graceful Have been deceived. Nature is not gentle She is not kind Or warm She is nobody’s lover….” Red, by Ronin Waters on standingoutinmyfield.wordpress.com. I don’t usually get poetry – years of habitually structured thinking has left my mind too rigid to fully appreciate the organic fluidity and raw evocative power associated with most poems. But once in a while, something clicks. This is one of those welcome exceptions. Like Larson’s There’s a Worm in My Dirt, Red reminds me that nature is not humane. The poem also succinctly explores humanity’s relationship with the Other; notions of exploitation and profound alienation are conveyed in a few simple powerful verses. I would love to hear your thoughts on the rest of the poem.