What makes us human: art!
We have evolved to create and to appreciate art.
After all, this blog gives me the opportunity to curate material I find, to photograph, write, and to explore. And I play guitar and I am a storyteller. All of this is creative artistry and an important piece of who I am.
That is an important thing to remember.
Many of us find creativity expression central to ourselves. Natural selection would not result in the need for creative expression if there is no survival value in it. So… art must have survival benefits as we evolved physically and culturally. Presumably, artists are attractive mates and supportive partners. I find that encouraging.
I remember the growing up with the excitement of the Apollo program. I would have been nine in 1968 and I remember keeping a news paper folder of all the missions. Exciting. Wonderful. Motivating.
Between Apollo and Star Trek, I dreamed of becoming an astronaut. In real life I studied science and earned a PhD in chemistry.
As a species, we have evolved with open spaces; frontiers. Humans to Mars, is a dream we need. Most especially, our youngsters.
This article explains much better than I can.
Huffington Post, October 11, 2016, by Janet Ivey Why send humans to Mars? Because as Gene Roddenberry said, “We are on a journey to keep an appointment with whatever we are.” As a space science
Source: We Should Explore Mars So That Our Students Will Keep Dreaming Big | Janet Ivey | LinkedIn
Rather than writing this morning, I though it appropriate to walk Bart, our dog.
This is Bart before we left. He was covered in mud when we returned.
Lovely day after a storm.
Remember the health and well-being benefits of a walk in nature, even in the mud. This article sets out some evidence. But we know walking is fun.
Source: Access to nature reduces depression and obesity, finds European study | Society | The Guardian
Before our walk
“Do you ever take time just to stop and think? And do you think it is important?” These are the questions, posed to us in this article.
In my view, taking/making time to think is essential. That has been my experience and, interestingly, that is what time management and self-management gurus tell us. They ask, “What are your values, your long term goals, who are you?” “What is important to you?” But without time to think, how can we expect to answer?
This is a longer article, and fascinating. The author explores taking time to think and makes a number of thoughtful comments exploring the University. Hint, She thinks that, “all too often, universities are hothouses for organised idiocy.”
It is worth reading this article, fascinating.
Not busy-work, ticking off to-do lists or keeping-up-with-stuff. Just sitting. And thinking. Is it so hard?
Source: Do we all need a little time simply to sit and think? | Aeon Essays
Please take time to think.
I was not aware, until a student questioned me, that I did not notice the footprint of power.
When I began exploring around power, one of the Wikipedia entries made the point that silence is often a consequence of the misuse of power. Powerful people are heard and suppressed people are silenced. I understood that, history is written by the victors but had not connected that to my current life.
In this essay Rebecca Solnit explores this point.
This is another essay from her book, “The Mother of all Silences’, which I heartily recommend.
In this Being unable to tell your story is a living death. The right to speak is a form of wealth that is being redistributed. No wonder powerful men are furious
Source: Silence and powerlessness go hand in hand – women’s voices must be heard | Rebecca Solnit | Opinion | The Guardian
This book is a collections of essays, reflections and book review by Ursla Le Guin. Ursla is one of those authors I loved but did not know it.
Many years ago, when I was six my teacher, Miss Lambson began reading a story which she never finished. School was over for the year. Many years later my son asked me to read The Wizard of Earthsea. That was the book. I have since read much of Ursla’s writing and and enjoy and respect her work.
One review of note: Salman Rushdie’s Two years, Eight Months, and Twenty-Eight days. The comment, “Contemporary sophistication declares the peace is boring, moderation is bleh, happy is sappy… But it is also, I think, a capitulation to the idea, so powerful in 20th century literature that the slow processes of creation are less interesting, less real, than the catastrophic dramas of destruction…”
Ursla is right, That is one of our most pervasive and destructive myths. Peace and creation are hard and boring; destruction easy and exciting. What a sick idea.
I find that kind of insight in this book. I recommend it.
Generally speaking the more knowledgeable we are sexually the less children we have. This is a clear sustainable step forward.
This article from Fiona Kate Barlow and Brendon Zeitsch of the University of Queensland outlines the: physical, social and mental health benefits of healthy adult sexuality. They outline benefits that are: building relationships, is a healthy physical activity, leads to creativity, (and its fun). A thoughtful and interesting article.
Source: What’s the point of sex? It’s good for your physical, social and mental health
One of the most intense moments of my life was standing next to a stream meters away from a trampling hut on the Mt Pouakai crossing. We had walked all day and I just stopped; focused my senses and concentrated. I remember the sense of light rippling in the beeches, the gurgling stream, birdsong; the chill clean air. A magic moment, thirty years past. Mostly I remember the clarity of the sound.
The linked article is wonderful, a sound recordist and nature lover who records this magic. Please read the article and watch the video, and then go outside, take a deep breath and listen.
Kea Toa Kea Ngakaunui
‘Nature is music. I’m not asking you to get all theoretical here – I’m saying, just listen.’There are vanishingly few places left on land untouched by human-made sounds, and those quiet areas are shrinking every year. No one knows this better than the US sound recordist and acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton, an Emmy award-winner who specialises in capturing the sounds of nature. At once a profile, a guided meditation and a call to action, Being Hear follows Hempton as he records sounds on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula – a National Park that contains the continental United States’ only rainforest. Combining Hempton’s measured words with striking scenes and sounds of the park’s lush vegetation, rippling waters and diverse animal life, the film suggests that ensuring that parts of nature remain untouched by human sound starts with us listening attentively and with intention.
Source: Preventing the all-consuming sound pollution of modern life starts with listening to nature | Aeon Videos
This I agree with.
I’m listening to Lorde’s Pure Heroine and expecting to buy Melodrama today. Don’t tell me that studying arts is a waste of time.
Supporting broad arts education as well as literacy and maths is critical and New Zealand’s NCEA does this well. Of course, we seek improvements; just take care.
In my view education overly focussed on standardised, measurable, and average outcomes; and that is overly job focused will fail. Education in sciences, arts and maths… in all of it is essential.
I work with international students, and I can tell you that New Zealand’s NCEA with its implicit design methodology works. Specifically process methodology in each creative area is introduced and practised. That sows seeds for future success.
We must protect what works from those who would bury it.
COMMENT: Obsessive focus on literacy and numeracy is squeezing lifeblood from creativity.
Source: Deborah Hill Cone: We should be boosting the arts in schools not bleeding them dry – NZ Herald