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" The world is mud-luscious

and puddle-wonderful "

e.e.cummings

Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area at Risk

April 7th, 2014

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Here is a call for support from Rainforest Rescue:

‘Tasmania’s alpine mountain ranges, karst landscapes, temperate rainforests and wetlands were declared a World Heritage Site over thirty years ago. Its giant eucalyptus trees reach for the sky, and the region is home to endemic and endangered species such as the Tasmanian devil. Archaeological sites dating back 30,000 years – testimony to the earliest human settlements in the region – can also be found in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

In June 2013, the previous Australian government extended the UNESCO World Heritage Site by 170,000 hectares to a total of 1.58 million hectares, or 6,100 square miles.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott wants to put an end to that, however. Liberty Voice reports that during a dinner for forestry workers, Abbot declared that too much of Australia is “locked up” in protective areas. He sees “green ideology” at work and asserted that “the environment is made for man”.

The Prime Minister called for 74,000 hectares of the World Heritage Site to be delisted as soon as possible. In his view, this would involve “minor boundary modifications” affecting areas that had been logged previously and thus were not worthy of protection. Conservationists are alarmed and disagree strongly, pointing out that 90 percent of the area is ecologically pristine primary forest.

On February 1, the government submitted an application to the World Heritage Committee. If the application is accepted, not only would 18 of 58 giant eucalyptus trees lose their protected status, but entire valleys and forests as well.

Australian environmental organizations are doing everything possible to stop the government. Please support their struggle with your signature…Click here to sign.

Body and Soul

April 4th, 2014
The Temple of My Desire - Veronique Maria

The Temple of My Desire – Veronique Maria

The practice of Druidry encourages a more intimate relationship with the earth and this, in turn, enables us to deeply explore what it means to be embodied. Our experience of being physical beings in a material world encompasses a spectrum of sensations and emotions, from intense joy to deep pain and sorrow. The strength of Druidry is that it seeks to embrace and value all of these and in doing so, potentially brings us into a mindful relationship with life and self.

An artist whose explores this relationship between the earth and the body, and the depth, richness and beauty that embodiment can bring, is Veronique Maria. She has made sculptures and earthworks; massive, richly textured canvases and, more recently, wonderfully sensual and beautiful films that she calls ‘moving paintings’.

Veronique Maria creates her paintings by firstly getting in touch with a particular feeling and then allowing that feeling to work through the body onto the canvas via texture, colour and form. The images are layered over time with a depth of textures that make them appear three dimensional, as if they were taking shape and rising up from the canvas – ideas birthing into form; emotional experience embodied in paint and clay.

Her most recent work has moved into film and explores the nature of Ritual – of how these simple acts performed with mindfulness connect the earth and the body with spirit, helping us to feel a part of ‘the natural flow of all things’.

I include here a film of Veronique Maria working on a project of large canvases, inspired by the creation of Mountains. It is fascinating to watch and listen to her speak about the process. Please do check out her website too. Click here to watch her beautiful  ‘Moving Painting’ and for links to her other films.

Hedge Church Cosmic Mass

April 3rd, 2014

Author and OBOD member Mark Townsend is setting up an Open and Eclectic Mass in his home town of Leominster next Sunday. Mark wants to provide a welcoming space for those who have not felt comfortable or accepted by the mainstream Christian churches: ‘It’s not to make ‘converts’ or ‘money’ – but to offer somewhere for the many dis-effected by mainstream Christianity to break bread together and plug into the divine mystery.’ A lovely idea and held in a bar too! You are very welcome to join Mark and he has promised some interesting music to accompany the service – from Bowie to Kate Bush with a little Mark Bolan and Pink Floyd for good measure!
hEdge Poster

The Rapture

April 2nd, 2014

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All summer
I wandered the fields
that were thickening
every morning,

every rainfall,
with weeds and blossoms,
with the long loops
of the shimmering, and the extravagant-

pale as flames they rose
and fell back,
replete and beautiful-
that was all there was-

and I too
once or twice, at least,
felt myself rising,
my boots

touching suddenly the tops of the weeds,
the blue and silky air-
listen,
passion did it,

called me forth,
addled me,
stripped me clean
then covered me with the cloth of happiness-

I think there is no other prize,
only rapture the gleaming,
rapture the illogical, the weightless-

whether it be for the perfect shapeliness
of something you love-
like an old German song-
or of someone-

or the dark floss of the earth itself,
heavy and electric.
At the edge of sweet sanity open
such wild, blind wings.

~ Mary Oliver