All posts filed under: Links

Links to interesting articles and videos connecting nature, culture, and identity.

Maple Trees Canopy

The Tolkien Ensemble: Treebeard’s Song

On more than one occasion, I’ve been tempted to write a feature on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. The trilogy along with The Silmarillion is dear to me, a master feat of world-building and myth-making that remains unrivalled in scope and grandeur. (I remain one of the unfashionable few who enjoys the irreverent songs and lengthy descriptions) Even a cursory glance at the text reveals a host of themes and motifs ripe for an Ekostory exploration: The pastoral Shire threatened by looming machinations; the fading of the Elves giving way to the coming age of Men; the propensity of power to corrupt all with noble and pure intentions; the quiet courage of ordinary folk. And yet, I hesitate. So much already exists in terms of Tolkien scholarship – I don’t feel like I have anything original to contribute. The work speaks for itself. But while I may not be up for analyzing Tolkien’s magnum opus, I can at least express my appreciation for some small portion of it. It’s not quite autumn here yet, …

BBC Radio’s Adaptation of The Left Hand of Darkness

So this came into my feed: Adaptations to beloved stories are always risky. But having listened to the preview of what is undoubtedly the most moving passage in what is arguably my favourite book, I think they will do justice to the work. The words have changed compared to the first paragraphs of Chapter 18, but the haunting beauty of the scene is as I remembered it, back when I first lingered on each sentence, back when I first read it aloud in my writer’s group, and now as I recite it again in my mind. From memory (pardon the punctuation mistakes): “Sometimes, as I’m falling asleep in a dark and quiet room, I have for a moment a great and treasurable illusion of the past. The wall of the tent leans up against my face, not visible but audible, a slanting plane of faint sound. The susurrus of blown snow, nothing can be seen. The light emission of the Chabe stove is cut off, and it exists only as a sphere of heat, a …

Canadian Landscapes, by The Group of Seven

A lovely recent post on Orion Magazine’s Facebook page: “2015 marks 95 years since the Algonquin School painters mounted their first exhibition. Also called The Group of Seven, its members’ works were inspired by the Canadian landscape. They believed that a distinct Canadian art could be developed through direct contact with nature, a wonderful mission statement for this, their country’s first major national art movement.” Visit their Facebook page here

Illusion of Light: Journey Into the Unseen

Inspired after writing about Antoine De Saint-Exupéry’s Wind, Sand and Stars, I was fortunate to come across Illusion of Light: A Journey into the Unseen, a beautifully shot time-lapse film trailer showcasing the night skies of the Sierra Nevada mountains and southwest deserts of the US. Watching this teaser for the full film expected to debut in 2017, I began to see why we as a species etch shapes and attach meanings to the wheeling heavens, why we constantly appeal to it for guidance and direction, and why we can be so awed as to dedicate our whole lives to teasing apart its mysteries. “Brad Goldpaint spent 3 years of creative exploration crafting visual metaphors which reflect aspects of existence that are often hidden from everyday sight. We interact with these miracles on a daily basis yet we are amazed at the infinite magnitude of our planet. We encourage you to raise your eyes towards the night sky. Explore. Realize you are a part of the illusion and the universe is a part of you.” – Vimeo video …

The Camunico Annual: On Cultural Leadership

“… by taking a more post-modern approach, we have tried to bring together a series of articles that initially may seem unrelated but which, we believe, all contribute to offering perspectives from which readers are invited to allow their own ideas to develop; ideas about the nature of change around us, and how we, as individuals, organizations and institutions might thrive within that change.” – Camunico Annual, p.7 I was recently asked to contribute an edited version of my essay, Playing to Tie, to the inaugural issue of the Camunico Annual. Camunico is an Amsterdam-based leadership firm exploring “the cultural changes of our time, and how [they] influence individuals, businesses and leadership.” The short publication is now available free online, and my piece is accompanied by the following features: Joe Zammit-Lucia argues for the need to redefine leadership for the 21st century; Renowned artist Anish Kapoor speaks about lessons artists can offer the business world; Rob Wijnberg speaks on the future of journalism; An exploration of ancient tea ceremonies and their relevance to contemporary leadership. Each article is an intriguing …