Thursday, 28 August 2008

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

That quote from Mahatma Gandhi has such universal resonance and today it made me think again of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda.
The rainforest is a truly magical place. An enchanted habitat where flickering shafts of light bathe the forest floor in glowing colors of amber, green and gold. Those pools of sunlight attract a crazy whirlwind of butterflies. Gaudy swallowtails, blue mother of pearls and chocolate browns dominate a melee of smaller white, orange, red and speckled flutterers, all competing for places to slurp the organic ooze on the forest floor with their outrageously long tongues. The heavy silence is broken by the sudden shrill shriek of a colobus monkey, a momentary crashing of branches above you and the silence slides back. In this green shrouded santactury there is such an abundance of life in all its forms that it leaves one dumbstruck with a kind of reverential awe. But, despite the face that you are so stunned, so overcome by its powerful beauty, there is that one nagging long will it last? Will our children experience this? Our children's children?
I'm not sure when it first occurred to me that human beings might be an evolutionary mistake....probably while watching the ten o' clock news. Seriously though, I think it was after having climbed for hours up through that ancient rainforest, sweating and huffing, and then the miracle of finally seeing the gorilla family and being allowed to share their space for the most incredible, life-affirming hour of my entire life.
Sure, we've taken over the planet, but judgement about the genetic path we're on really depends on whether you rate success as the ability to loot, burn and pillage or live in harmony with Earth's other life forms. If we are on the wrong track, where and when did we branch off?
There's heated debate in some scientific circles about whether we first stepped onto the savannah and stood up because the forests receded and the grass was tall, or became a semi-aquatic, hairless, dolphin-like creature able to hold our breath because the forests flooded and stranded us on soggy islands. But, either way, we probably began the stooping march to mobile phones and hamburgers in the equatorial forests around the Great Rift Valley. We left them, conquered space and invented paper clips. But gorillas and chimpanzees stayed put, almost unnoticed by the human world until fairly recently. With logging operations and banana shambas hacking away at their ancient forest homes, however, these distant cousins of ours are now under terrible threat. And so are the forests where they roam in relative peace and harmony.

ACEO Endangered Species Quilt
More than 30 ACEO artists from around the world have joined together to create an Endangered Species Quilt which will be sold on eBay with 100% of the auction price donated to the World Land Trust to purchase endangered Rainforest land for conservation. Click on the link (right) to visit their blog.

Monday, 25 August 2008

On China Blue

On china blue my lobster red
Precedes my cutlet brown,
With which my salad green is sped
By yellow Chablis down.
Lord, if good living be no sin,
But innocent delight,
O polarize these hues within
To one eupeptic white.
Sir Stephen Gaselee, On China Blue (1938)

A palette for your palate! A unique cookbook created by artists for artists...and for those of us who love good food. Filled with beautiful paintings, collage and fine art photography, this wonderful cookbook will delight all the senses. The recipes it contains are as eclectic and delectable as the paintings that illustrate them. It also serves to introduce the ACEO movement - an art genre that has taken the international market by storm. If you love art, adore fine food and all things culinary.....this book is a MUST!

Find it here:

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Thank you for the days.......

You can shed tears that he is gone
or you can smile because he has lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that he'll come back
or you can open your eyes and see all he's left.

Your heart can be empty because you can't see him
or you can be full of the love you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember him and only that he's gone
or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
or you can do what he'd want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.