October 20th, 2022
IIt's been 37 days since I broke my leg. A lot of time for musings...
what world is this?
I grew in a world where people didn’t talk of sex, religion or politics.
I grew in a world where men were in charge.
I grew in a world where adults told children what to do
I grew in a world where I was told I didn’t appreciate what I had
I grew in a world where I was supposed to see a concrete box as a bonus
I grew in a world where construction and concrete were seen as progress
I grew in a world where our planet's health was irrelevant
not a single adult told me they could learn a single thing from me.
I also grew in a world
swathed in love
cradled in care
protected and prompted
Back in the dark ages, in a small village in the north-west of England, I took some sort of secretarial course after university-before-work-limbo-land.
The course included shorthand and touch-typing, something I’m practicing now albeit rather erroneously. At that time I think all the machines were large electric typewriters with exotic revolving balls and shiny right arms, put to bed at night with heavy plasticized covers of drab grey-green. The classroom was upstairs in a building veneered with dirty once-white stucco on the upper story, the lower sank below the level of the adjacent road as it swept down and around a curve at the west end of the village.
Other components I vaguely remember are something along the lines of where-do-you-see-yourself-in-five-ten-fifteen-years? Forward planning at which I was completely hopeless and whatever mad plans I set down on paper couldn’t have been further from the truth of what was to come. At the age of 21 I was still stuck at a desk staring out of the window trying to find the answers. The course also included, across the way in a rather dingy old one-storey brick building...
Programming. Reading holes punched in cards, index cards in long trays. Dark green cardboard, brass reinforcements on the corners of things and around holes. Writing programs as flow charts – ‘if this, then that. If that, then this...’ I think I understand the basic concept of every thing (there’s a statement!) - zeros and ones, offs and ons, nos and yeses, that’s all computing is. In the decades that follow like lightning and treacle, every nuance of colour, movement, shade, tone, hue... it’s all a combination of gazillions of yeses and noes that add up to maybes and just abouts to give the semblance of depth of reality.
I saw a few clips of ‘VR fails’ yesterday. My visceral reaction might be labelled as shock and avoidance, why? Why would one put oneself in such a divorced state? To completely sever visual, audio input and override it with something else... BUT while ambulatory in the world. I watched people masked in VR goggles launch themselves into space at whatever they were experiencing in VR, but in reality, they plunged head-first through the screen of a 44” TV, or into the wall, or ricochet off various hard-edged pieces of furniture. I guess this is the Darwin awards in full play.
I was thinking of the plumbing setup beneath my house which I can’t pop down to check on with my brokebackleg. A simple alarm in the barrels for the water treatment could be installed to trip when the level gets low enough for a restock reminder. Would a visual alarm be sufficient or should it be aural too? Or maybe, yes, we live in a fabulous digital world and I now have brilliant wifi in my home thanks to Starlink – I saw Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2022 photos of Elon Musk’s mum yesterday too. Talk about six degrees...
Anyhoo, so we can install a simple trigger in the barrels... to a wifi app of course. Since we can do that, we can install a ladder trigger that measures how much media has been used over time and send predictive shopping reminders or alerts for sudden increases in usage and all those fun kind of things. The installers/manufacturers will eventually include such things with the original installation and information will feed back to them to enhance development for future revisions. That would make sense wouldn’t it?
So the computer needed to effect that kind of response to a simple trigger... would be...
the size of a couple of small houses with a lot of cogs and wheels and interesting things turning and intermittently clicking and occasionally whirring and sometimes chuntering along... flickering reams of cardboard directives fanning past reading teeth and disappearing into a dark collection tray sucked deep into the maw of the brass-trimmed dark green Dream Team Most Progressive Modern Home Efficacy Butlering Automatrom.
This handy home-monitoring system can be efficiently operated by a mere six servants, four at slow time or when away from home. For operating purposes, it requires, per day, one ton of coal to feed a large furnace to power a small electrical generator to drive the various wheels and cogs and gyres and pipes and rods that constitute the functional guts of the aforementioned Automatrom. A large stock of goose grease and pig fat to keep the various moving parts moving freely, a bathtub of water to cool overheating elements, and a large stock of card with which to replace and add additional directives on a go-forward basis.
A blessed and inexpensive solution to the question of when to refill ones’ water softener or filter reservoir at home.
Or, a nano-chip less than a sixth the size of my little fingernail, plugged into a solar panel 6x6” 5min per day.
Or, an able body and a memory so I go take a look at things on a regular basis and act accordingly.
Such is life. Or is it?
The excerpt below is a random dip into my adventures with fantuzzi, the early days... this will have been my first visit to landjuweel festival in the netherlands.
On the first day of exploration we walk together through the tents, the people, the field, we go to the healing field and into a yurt, lie down for a sound healing session and I drift on chants, hums, the beat of a dozen drums, shake of bells and rattles, hear the hum and drone of healing sounds, in and out of awareness, feeling seeds drop to my skin, my lips, feel the weight of singing bowls upon my body, float in the warmth and softness of the fire's heat and the carpeted floor, in peace beside love, hearing the chant rise to bring us all back to unity, awareness, upright, sitting about the fire. We all sing together and the joy of life and unity flows through us each. 2Z plays and sings and I rise to dance as always filled with the beauty of this music that melts my bones and drives my soul. A girl close by me takes the guitar and sings a song of such bleeding beauty that tears come from me and I am humbled in her presence. We drink hot sweet chai and settle in the ambience that is a cradle of love and support. Finally on leaving, I see a girl in the doorway with tears falling over her cheeks, I embrace her in a hug, feeling that whatever her sadness I must connect to her and share some of the warmth I have right now. She says she feels alone... we are not alone here, in this place, we are all together and each shares love and compassion, the healing field and this yurt are centres of healing and she is welcomed inside as I release her. I know that she will find comfort there.
Recorded with the fabulous Fantuzzi at Kamalaya, Koh Samui. I am forever thankful that someone was recording this night. So often these small miracles happened on the road, only to be shared by those present at the time. Most often I have no lasting memory of the words that leave my lips in these trance-like situations.
A spontaneous spoken word moment drawing on images and memories from a sleepless night at The Sanctuary, Koh Phangan earlier that month.
In the romance of living,
the great spirit's sweet song rings clearest in the clean light of travel.
We move, we shed the senseless trappings of sedentary being.
Every day brings us closer,
the conspiracy of the universe's great gentle joke for mankind is such
that we will all find our punchline
the horizon's edge.
a poem from chiang mai
am i allowed to write this?
god is good
I am too
god is great
I am small
god is omnipotent
I am significant
god is omniscient
I am ignorant
my own way
here I sit
am I allowed to write this?
here I am
how did I come to here?
here in the dark
bathed in a plethora
of vague and pertinent
itches and twitches
soul cramps and
Fantuzzi's Rainforest Sanctuary, February 11 2022
something's in the air
It's raining. (It was when I began. Now it's turned to snow!) Blessed life-giving rain. I lived the first third of my life under dreary skies much of the time, also beautiful sun-kissed days that ran for ever in my dreams, but now it's different. After almost thirty years in Alberta, in a particularly peculiar and endlessly interesting place, the lack of rain is the norm. Blessed are we who are fortunate to call this our home; crystal-clear air, sweeping heart-pounding grandeur of the Rockies, backed by blisteringly blue sky, girdled by endlessly morphing landscapes.
As the climate change progresses, changes here are dramatic. In the first ten years I could set my calendar by the winter weather - New Year's Eve marked the change year after year. A cold clear New Year's Evening to end a cold clear Fall transformed into a raging blizzard leaving behind a New Morning layered with a new landscape of thick white snow. This seasonal blanketing buffered the land beneath, offering protection from the phenomenal Chinook winds blasting through this south-western corner of the province. Winds that whip the moisture from ground to air evaporating as it blows far, far away on the teeth of mighty gales in search of a distant solution. The percentage of water that makes it deep into the ground to feed the tall trees and deepest roots is only moderate. Flora and fauna hereabouts have species-specific idiosyncrasies unique for survival in our wild Alberta climate.
As the years pass and our winters become noticeably drier, the desertification of the landscape continues to creep onward with such subtle creativity that the vast majority of human doings fail to notice a thing.
Meanwhile, amid all angst or chaos, love reigns supreme. Call upon Rumi at times, call upon my inner bard at others.
The Evolution Of Kat Yoga
Practising yoga since the 70s! As a child I learned with my Mum from a book... Richard Hittleman’s Yoga For Health. Over the years, squirming around on the floor came naturally to me, I only had to see a yoga pose and I was in it. I usually sit on the floor in preference to a chair. As an antidote to the IT job I found myself in for 10 years, I practised Hatha yoga in Priddis, Kundalini yoga in Calgary, Multi-faceted Iyengar-influenced yoga in Bragg Creek... and began to build my Thai Massage practice.
Once I abandoned the corporate world for my own practice I began to feel more closely the fundamental link of Yoga and Thai Massage (Nuad Boran) - “Union” with “Ancient Healing Touch”...
Balance, Breath, Pressure, Release. Having a good treatment of Thai Massage is like “having yoga done to you”. I was fielding more and more questions from clients such as “what else can I do to support the effects of Thai Massage, ‘cause this is great!?” Yoga was often my first answer, but at that time there were only two other yoga teachers in the area. I decided to begin classes for my clients. They were very successful, I got so much positive feedback I was asked to take over the Priddis Community Yoga classes, increasing attendance by over 100% and adding a second weekly session. I hosted community classes in Redwood Meadows and a couple in Bragg Creek long before the delightful yoga studio opened its doors.
My yoga teaching studies at Yandara deepened the meditative aspect of my practice and formed the foundation for my departure to Thailand in 2010. The spiritual life in Chiang Mai seeped through me with the familiarity of home. I lived across a narrow street (soi) from a temple (wat) – the tiny bells on the upward-spiralling ornamentation at each peak and corner tinkled with magical voices. The temple dogs howled at the moon, the monks chanted and practiced instruments and I, one day, was so warmly welcomed into the midst of a funeral ceremony I unwittingly stumbled across. My experiences in Thailand have always, without fail, been inspiring and mind-expanding, so much to learn and do!
I practiced yoga on the top floor of a building opposite the south gate of the old city. It was all in Thai language. I understand breathe in/out, right/left and front/back, the rest consisted of my beady eyes absorbing each move or gesture the wiry Thai teacher made. I twisted and balanced on one leg like never before, gazing out at the setting sun’s golden rays reflected off the golden Chedi at Wat Doi Suthep atop the mountain just outside the city. What a beautiful way to end a day.
Magical Yoga. Union.
I was born. A whole pile of stuff happened and continues to do so...