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Solarpunk Edgedweller


Today I woke up to construction sounds.

This is nothing new. This seems to be something that has been following us.

Two different cities and a town… it’s as if the closest we ever come to settling down always comes with a permanent reminder that this is not it for us — we are not at our destination, we are still building — so we better not go and get too comfortable.

In this case, the house next door which appeared vacant when we moved in is undergoing a year long renovation that just happens to coincide with our tenure alongside it.

It started with the air-conditioning, then the entire roof… I’m not too sure exactly what they are doing at this point, but it has a lot of drilling involved.

It was four am before we finally decided it was time to sleep, and even then my mind had difficulty arriving at the point of accepting that the day was over and sleep is inevitable.

Before this, we had decided that re-watching Kymatica would be a good idea — which it definitely was, and could not have come at a more perfect time.

If you haven’t seen this film, I urge you. Watch this film.

Watch Kymatica.

Watch Zeitgeist.

Watch everything and anything you can with an open mind. That is all I ask. Be open to the possibility and impossibility of absolutely everything. Replace the absolutes your childhood and beloved media have given you with an empty blankness that could be filled with the things you were convinced to be defined as something called ‘fiction.’

It is probably time we give Zeitgeist a re-watch as well. No matter how many times you see something, if your mind is constantly opening up, you will always see more than you saw before. When you live life through this perspective, everything is new. It’s refreshing.

I have come to learn to live alongside the sound of construction, even though I find it abrasive and intrusive. Perhaps another lesson along the path; the obstacle that is in fact the path itself.

It’s a reminder of the major flaw of this society we have all inherited which I make up a tiny, individual fraction of.

Yet, for one individual, one 7,828,760,422th of the world population (a fraction getting exponentially smaller by the second) I am determined to make an impact that is close to, if not 1.

It’s the reminder that humanity is hardwired to “build! build! build!” with it’s construction hat glued to its head. Like a 5 year old, building with these archaic bricks and then throwing a tantrum and kicking them all down again… More! More! More! It is never finished… there is no design… even though in design school, they’ll teach you to design a finished project. A complete building.

The places we live in are never finished… they are constantly evolving and creating new layers…

We are on a course for patching up error after error.

We are afraid to face the pace of evolution and change.

We build roads and towers out of rigid materials that can and do crush us and create furnaces. These places barely sustain our physical bodies; and most certainly do not nourish our etheric ones.

We don’t have to live like this!

The automobile came along, the skyscraper came along… roads and streets and sprawl came along…

This might be hard for many people to comprehend at this point in time when everything has been a certain way for what seems like a long time, but I am going to make a crazy statement and say that we don’t need the places we have come to believe that we need. We don’t need the cities and towns we have come to know.

I would even go as far to assert that many of us will be living in places that do not even exist yet over the course of the coming decades.

To us the solutions seem so simple and elegant. We have now been talking about them for years…

Yet in the media, the loudest voice yells “what do the kids want us to do? No one even has a solution!”

In a way, Kymatica answers the question in the same way modern spirituality does; a return to self is — from my perspective, and Kymaticas’ — the answer to our collective dilemma.

We can go back to the garden, but to do so we need to face ourselves.

The solution to our construction nightmare is simply this: we need to start this nightmare all over again, but we need to meet ourselves first. To get it right together, we have to get it right on our own. We need to be complete within in order to co-habit as part of what will become our new habitat.

Habitat design is not city design or town planning.

Habitat is already near perfect.

If we allow this unending construction to take place, then surely we don’t deserve to go back to nature.

I am reminded of the Embassy and everything that it stands for.

My time at the Embassy changed me. No doubt it changed us both. For each of us, we faced our own white privilege in a big way for the first time and really met ourselves all over again in a whole new way.

I don’t know who we would be now if we had never gone there, and if we hadn’t spent as long as we did. It wasn’t even that long in comparison to those who have spent the longest there… but it felt like a lifetime.

Ten days at the Embassy, the longest we were there, felt like much longer. I think an embassy day feels about the equivalent to a year… so the embassy made me 10 years older, and decades wiser I’m sure.

The Embassy has been there since about as long as the two of us have known each other. The Embassy is a protectors camp, fighting for culture on country and within a continent that has been erasing this culture for the last two centuries.

Our first trip across the continent together we camped out where we later discovered to be a stones throw away.

Even back then we could feel the power of this sacred country on some level. We didn’t know what this land would come to mean to us later.

I think it was our time back on the West Coast that prepared us for the Embassy too. Our first foray into attending and documenting any kind of environmental action was there, at the old growth forests at risk of becoming plantations just a half an hour drive from the home I grew up in.

We spent the winter together with my Mum for the most part, and spent the rest of it filming and editing a couple of short internet documentaries covering topics about nature; one of them being the protectors camp at the forest.

On one of the evenings we took out a pot of soup and home-made chocolates which had been keeping me busy in the kitchen at Mum’s and shared these with everyone who happened to be there around the campfire. I couldn’t convince her to come out to camp, but that’s Mum. Avoidant of anything remotely involving camping, or socialising — but extremely supportive nonetheless.

That night, it was pretty conclusive that if the world was falling in; and this is what it comes to, it’s not bad at all. Some might even say better. The only thing better than privilege: connection.

The one thing the privileged are lacking, and that their soul yearns for the most. The one thing that we keep reaching for, that anyone in advertising knows how to take advantage of.

Especially now. Everyone, at least here in this Pandemic-turned-police-state is all locked in their homes, basically. Pretty sure even our neighbours have had a baby in this time. And the advertising! Don’t get me started on that.

I said I wouldn’t use the words, but I’m tired of side-stepping around them. It’s gone on this long, and it’s not going away yet. So I’ll say it, the (somewhat ironic) ‘Health Crisis’ I was telling you about, well it’s been labelled a Pandemic. And the Pandemic has turned this so called state into a Police state.

So last winter prepared us for the Embassy, and the Embassy prepared us — I’m sure — for what is ahead.

What’s ahead, we don’t know.

One thing we do know is that we already knew what many didn’t, or didn’t want to face up to — that everything needed to change.

And now everything has changed. Nothing will ever be the same again.

Even though everyone keeps saying “when things go back to normal.”

Nothing every really goes back. The wise know this.

So here we are. Still building.

Right now, I’m between guitar takes. The final tracking of this EP project has been dragging on throughout this winter, sound-tracking my “isolation” (is what they’re calling it these days.)

A song I wrote in April is coming to life as well in the form of a live video. Probably the most… honest… thing I’ve ever written.

While I work on guitar tracking, my co-pilot is in the other studio turning my video image holographic in the 100th different way, because it’s important that you really see where I’m coming from.

This will be the next thing anyone sees or hears from me musically, because it’s going to be a while before this EP comes out.*

(*addendum: we ended up deciding not to release this live video after all)

I’m not going to lie, I don’t think we’d have been finished by now without the accident having happened — but the fact that it did has definitely put us a lot further back than we had planned.

Still, we have pretty solidly declared that if this EP isn’t done by the end of 2020, something has gone horribly wrong in the universe. And it’s all our fault, both of us.

It feels a little like Bill and Ted not being able to write the song that unites all of humanity. Or something. But maybe that’s just the pressure we put on ourselves, because we’re those kinds of people.

The really nice thing about all of this is that having to get hold of a little house for a while to put around ourselves while we work on these projects has meant that for the first time ever for both of us we have grown a garden…and started an ongoing friendship with a family of blue tongue lizards.

Both of our Mum’s had been gardeners, but neither of us had ever taken interest in becoming a green thumb earlier in our lives. He’s a computer guy. I’m a creative. We kept ourselves busy in many other ways until this year.

This year, though, we really grew together. Literally.

We became people that planted seeds together… watered them together… and watched our vegetable babies grow.

It started with some seeds that my Mum sent over in the post, and a few plants our Aunty from the Embassy gave us to plant directly from her garden.

Before the winter set in, we had the thickest spring onions you’ve ever seen, which grew out of offcuts from a bunch we got at the green grocer, and a tiny patch of strawberries from the plants we were given.

Now, it’s almost spring and as well as the spinach or chard that has taken off that was already planted, there’s an abundance of mizuna greens, broccoli, cabbage and soon there will be broad beans! Our first legumes!

What we’re really looking forward to is the spring crops… planting things like pumpkins and tomatoes.

Already the garden has yielded us plenty of very green soups and salads. Spring is going to get a whole lot more diverse and colourful, and we have a small gifting cabinet project ready for the front of the house.

Before we had a house, when we were inhabitating mostly our van and our Mum’s houses, we walked past a little gifting station on the street we were living on at the time offering herbs. Later we found another one had popped up offering tomatoes! To me, tomatoes are like vine ripened gold.

So it was a natural inclination to move towards paying it forward when we finally have the ability to do so — and that time is edging closer.

We don’t know how long we will be the custodians of this garden, a garden that was full of flowers but not much in the way of vegetables until we got here. What we do know is — no matter how long we stay with this garden, whoever comes next is sure to be glad we planted it.

I think if anything, that is the attitude we need to take away from this time.

There is far more satisfaction in doing something now that benefits someone at some unknown time in the future, than doing things just because they are perceived to be expected of us.

With that change in mentality, I hope that we live to see many vacant plots springing up with food for all; and that people en masse begin to learn and understand what plants can do to nourish us and heal us.

So while we don’t know everything that is going to happen, maybe we can take solace in the things we do know.

Things like Spring follows winter, which means the flowers will bloom, the winter crops will be ready to harvest and the spring ones ready to plant…

Maybe this is enough?

Maybe our obsession with knowing is what got us into this mess in the first place.

Imagine if we never knew about…


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(Zoe/She/Her/They/Them) Songwriter at heart and probably from birth, it was a parallel interest in place that took Zoe down the path of Architecture, Design and Planning via Events before ending up here. A weaver of worlds, Zoe uses words in music, daily life and here at Paradigm O, encouraging humanity to bend the road ahead towards a better version for everyone on this planet.

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