Here is a little update about events I am participating in over the next few weeks
Local Creative Fairs
I’m so pleased to be participating in the above creative events this month, all of which are within a ten minute walk from my house. I’ll be selling my cards, prints and zines along with permaculture books and other resources by Graham Burnett, Pippa Chapman, Twigs Magazine and (free copies!) of Permaculture Magazine. As always I’ll also be happy to chat about most things permaculture related!
Thriving With Principles (Online Project) - An Update
Thriving With Principles is a design that Diploma apprentice, Kate Dickinson and I are collaborating on. Its a design about sharing and celebrating the voices, knowledge and experiences of permaculture designers using permaculture theory and practice to thrive while living with disabilities from chronic illness. We are at the stage of evaluating the first part of the design and are getting excited about where this will lead in the months ahead.
Check out Kate’s Instagram space for more of their creativity and wisdom
Some ideas to support our grief and celebrations of Alan’s life
Several of Alan’s friends are starting to plan an in-person event to gather and celebrate Alan’s life, probably in next Spring. I’ve created a list of ideas, incorporating different aspects of Alan’s life, to use as support for grief and celebration in the meantime.
(The text and images from this blog post are also available as a printable PDF here )
Colouring in - colouring books/cards with coloured pencils or pens. If you are someone who has a stash of colouring in tools, maybe rearrange them by colour, as Alan did.
Plant a tree, consider a fruit tree for added functions.
Plant tree seeds in pots for planting into the ground in years to come.
Support local creatives, by purchasing from them and/or sharing their work.
Spend time with a tree or trees who hold significance for you, reflect on Alan’s life and the connections you had with him.
Sing, dance, create, meditate, feast near trees.
Write a letter to Alan. Compost, bury or burn it. Grow food or a tree in the soil where the compost, letter or ash has been placed.
Start a practice of photographing patterns in nature, perhaps share these with friends either online or in person.
Start supporting a local, small business, practicing ethics similar to your own.
Visit a local independent café and eat cake.
Consider starting a new daily spiritual practice.
Create a nature altar, either outside or indoors, include space for a candle to burn in connection with Alan.
Get involved with a local activism group creating regeneration for community and/or land.
Consider starting a local activism group for regenerative change.
Gather with others who know Alan, either in person or online. Share stories and memories of connection with Alan and his work.
Consider mentoring someone who is wanting to develop skills similar to your own.
Check in more frequently with friends who you know are struggling in some way.
Prioritise your own self care. (We can best support others and participate in activism, if we place our own holistic wellness at the centre of our lives.)
Practice self compassion on a regular basis.
Remember that online activism is just as important as in person activism.
Learn more about a particular tree. Its story, magic, science and significance.
Mark and celebrate solar and lunar cycles & festivals.
The above list is just some of my own ideas based on my experience of friendship with Alan. There might be some you don’t resonate with or agree with and that’s totally ok. Please feel free to create your own activities or adapt any of the above.
Some further resources about grief
Climate grief - some resources to help
Some images about grief to print out and colour in
The beautiful, haunting lyrics and music of "I Killed the Bees" have been crafted in such a powerful way, that since its release last year, this track has been firmly stuck on a loop in my head. Tygermylk's vision is for their song to be part of the catalyst for regenerative planetary change.In my opinion, this track from the band's upcoming EP, is destined to become a core anthem in climate justice activism.
A stunning version of "I Killed the Bees" is also available on Spotify
This mini-review was originally written for the current (No. 103 Spring 2020) edition of Permaculture Magazine
My Permaculture Illustrations on this new page on my site are offered free of financial cost, to use digitally in any regenerative change event or resource materials and marketing. Please just include a reference to my website with any use.
Strands of Infinity is a beautiful collection of poems from Permaculture Designer and teacher Looby Macnamara. (and one poem by her daughter Teya), written over recent years. Subtitled "Poetry to reconnect", this is exactly what this powerful writing does. Connecting the personal, political and spiritual we are encouraged to explore how these intertwining threads manifest in our own life journeys. The poetry in this book is inspirationally written for both sharing at events and gatherings, alongside our own personal reflection. With themes such as "Change the story", "Gratitude as Attitude," "This Woman is Rising" and "Will Humankind Survive", Looby's poems are wonderfully accessible on many levels to a diverse audience. I can strongly recommend Strands of Infinity as a tool for our present and our futures
I'm starting to put together a directory of permaculture projects in the UK, (demonstration sites, courses, events, other permaculture services), where issues of access for people with chronic illnesses, disabilities and/or neurodiversity, are included as part of the project design.
Does your permaculture demonstration site , course, event or other permaculture service, actively encourage the participation and connection of people with chronic illness, disabilities and/or neurodiversity? If so and you would like to feature in this developing online resource, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a short questionnaire to complete.
For more information about accessing permaculture for people with chronic illness and disabilities click here
For a list of top tips about how to improve access to permaculture for people with chronic illness and disabilities click here
To connect with discussions about these topics and more, feel free to join the Facebook Group Permaculture, Chronic Illness, Neurodiversity and Disability
One of the life tools I like to create at the start of a calendar year is choosing a focus word for that year. I create some art or craft work at the end of December or start of January, which goes on to become my daily reminder about my focus word and the energy behind it. It's a tool that has worked really well for me for several years now, no matter what is going on in my life at the time. My focus word for 2018 was "Creativity" - and when I chose this word in the January, I had no idea that the daily doodling I did, and shared on social media to help my emotional and cognitive wellbeing, would evolve into requests for Illustration work for prints, books and online courses by the start of 2019! While I'm sure this didn't just happen because of my chosen word, it certainly helped me to regularly connect with the intention behind it. So this year I have chosen "Activist", Activism is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as, "the use of direct and noticeable action to achieve a result, usually a political or social one." Throughout my life I have nearly always been involved in various types of activism about issues close to my heart and spirit. Over the past decade this has very much been connected to my development as a permaculture practitioner and educator. I'm hoping that choosing this word as my focus in the coming months, will enable me to design my new form of activism, as part of my plan to continue to thrive while being unwell with Lyme Disease.
Over the last year I have been following the work of illustrator and online Mental Health Activist, Make Daisy Chains and also the Craftivism movement, especially the work of the Craftivism Collective Both of these are part of my inspiration for these first weeks of the year as I begin to design the early part of the journey, my focus word for 2019 will take. Im hoping to use the Wheel of the Year, Earth based festivals for times of reflection about my current permaculture projects, and how these are influenced by my new focus word. I plan to document the main topics of that reflective process, within future blog posts here.
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