Canyons of Courage: Stone Guardians of Urban Life.

I’ve got a photo of rocks on Langi Beach, WA, but which I’m unable to trace to any particular spot, certainly  not in Western Australia, as far as I can ascertain. Nevertheless, the rock formations are stunning, as if earth energies frozen in time are listening to prayers for grace led by one particularly large stone.

So I’ve worked on the image of these stone formations with Toolwiz, then superimposed them on an urban landscape to reflect the concept of stones standing as guardians for earth energy in cities and built-up areas around the world.

The concept is indivisibility between urban and rural landscapes, however separate they may seem to be at first glance. All energies are interwoven and particular rock formations act as channels of earth energy and as guardians of urban life.

Rock Whispers

I created this from a photo my friend took in the Giraween National Park in the far north of New South Wales.

In the original photo, there is a rock with the clear shape of a mouth and from this I had the image of rocks whispering their magic and ancient knowledge to us over the eons, not necessarily in the words we humans see as necessary for communication, but in colours, images and rock art.

Honour the Earth/Honour the Water Protectors

I found the original image of bison on the move in Pixabay (where you can pick up free images) and it reminded me of the bison as part of our earth heritage and appearing at Standing Rock as the Water Protectors were standing up for clean waters. So it’s not just about honouring the earth, but also those who are standing up to protect the waters around the earth wherever action is needed.

Creating New Communities

creating-new-communities
Creating new communities: concrete canyons in the background, a big wheel representing fun and leisure, and a sweep of orange fire to represent the explosion of creativity a new form of community can give birth to.

I’ve had an interesting couple of days: I felt the urge to create a wrap for a Pink Danburite stone I’ve had for ages in my crystal collection and it’s helped clear the fog head I’ve had from fibromyalgia as well as get clear about my present direction.

Added to this, a friend commented that when I was taking things quietly due to the fibro fog head (it feels like you’ve got cotton wool in your head when you get this flare-up, a condition common with fibromyalgia) I was extremely creative and knocking out art like there was no tomorrow.

So I’ve been reassessing my priorities: to slow down, enjoy my art, and focus on a few areas to share what I create. For years I’ve religiously posted art pieces on FineArt America and Artflakes  Europe, with no results whatsoever. There are so many artists posting on these sites that people finding your art is like finding a needle in a haystack. So I’ve decided to focus on just sharing my art on my Facebook timeline, my Facebook page and Instagram. Far less pressure.

But in reachng this decision, I’ve also been thinking about the current upheavals we are facing in our societies – Trump in the US and white nationalism/KKK revival;  Brexit in the UK and a rise in racist attacks; extreme right-wing groups sticking their heads up in Europe; rise of anti-refugee sentiment – and wondering if there’s another perspective other than fear and resistance.

When you think about it, we are living in a time where huge changes are taking place in Western society. The contradiction between the growing poverty of the great majority while a small elite gets ever richer can’t be camouflaged any more. More people are getting even more poor, while a very few are hogging the wealth produced by the majority. Wages are being driven down, working conditions are going backwards at a rate of knots, and job security is being ditched as short-term contracts with lousy conditions and zero-hours contracts are booming. With the right-wing governments in the UK, the US and Australia, political leaders are pushing tax cuts for huge conglomerates and super-wealth individuals, dismantling health facilities for the great majority, while prattling on about raising taxes or cutting social programmes for ordinary folk.

What is interesting is that out of all this turmoil are signs of the changes which can herald in new types of participatory communities because people are being compelled to take up action on their own behalf. You see it in town hall meetings; in community groups meeting to support refugees and asylum seekers; people helping the homeless and disadvantaged; co-operative ventures; and mutual support rather than the focus on the individual leading to divide and rule by the corporate elite.

It’s a far cry from when we used to go and vote, dust our hands, and congratulate ourselves on having voiced an opinion at the ballot box. EXCEPT: corporate parties rely on this lack of action between elections to usher through legislation which greases the road for big business and not the rest of us. So it’s time to grow up – to realise that the ballot box is not the saviour of the people, taking independent action is.

If you look back through history you’ll see that changes in the means of production – moving from an agrarian to industrial economy in our own immediate history – have led to hardship for working people as new ways of production inevitably lead to job losses and upheaval. Such changes have always been met with resistance as workers have fought to defend working conditions.

But what would happen if we seize the initiative, recognise that new technology is revolutionising our lives, and actively work to make these changes benefit us instead of trying to hold back technological progress and still dishing up more profits for the already super-wealthy billionaire class?

It seems to me that subversion is the name of the game. If you try to fight on the battlefield established by the corporate elite, you are facing an uphill battle because they have politicians in their pockets and legislation which effectively enforces the rule of the billionaire class while screwing the rest of us.  We can develop boycotts as a strategic weapon; support each other by building more community organisations; look to working less hours but with income which meets our needs; building creative outlets so that, as people have more leisure, they can access those outlets; establishing home businesses; supporting local businesses.

This of course is just a wish list because things come into being as people learn, organise and RISE UP!

But just to keep you with a smile on your face, here’s a list posted on Facebook – enjoy:

“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it looks like Trump is actually making America great again. Just look at the progress made since the election:
1. Unprecedented levels of ongoing civic engagement.
2. Millions of Americans now know who their state and federal representatives are without having to google.
3. Millions of Americans are exercising more. They’re holding signs and marching every week.
4. Alec Baldwin is great again. Everyone’s forgotten he’s kind of a jerk.
5. The Postal Service is enjoying the influx cash due to stamps purchased by millions of people for letter and postcard campaigns.
6. Likewise, the pharmaceutical industry is enjoying record growth in sales of anti-depressants.
7. Millions of Americans now know how to call their elected officials and know exactly what to say to be effective.
8. Footage of town hall meetings is now entertaining.
9. Tens of millions of people are now correctly spelling words like emoluments, narcissist, fascist, misogynist, holocaust and cognitive dissonance.
10. Everyone knows more about the rise of Hitler than they did last year.
11. Everyone knows more about legislation, branches of power and how checks and balances work.
12. Marginalized groups are experiencing a surge in white allies.
13. White people in record numbers have just learned that racism is not dead. (See #6)
14. White people in record numbers also finally understand that Obamacare IS the Affordable Care Act.
15. Stephen Colbert’s “Late Night” finally gained the elusive #1 spot in late night talk shows, and Seth Meyers is finding his footing as today’s Jon Stewart.
16. “Mike Pence” has donated millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood since Nov. 9th.
17. Trump has succeeded where thousands of history teachers failed – now everybody knows who Frederick Douglass was.
18. Melissa FREAKING McCarthy.
19. Travel ban protesters put $24 million into ACLU coffers in just 48 hours, enabling them to hire 200 more attorneys. Lawyers are now heroes.
20. As people seek veracity in their news sources, respected news outlets are happily reporting a substantial increase in subscriptions, a boon to a struggling industry vital to our democracy.
21. Live streaming court cases and congressional sessions are now as popular as the Kardashians.
22. Massive cleanup of facebook friend lists.
23. People are reading classic literature again. Sales of George Orwell’s “1984” increased by 10,000% after the inauguration. (Yes, that is true. 10,000%. 9th grade Lit teachers all over the country are now rock stars.)
24. More than ever before, Americans are aware that education is important. Like, super important.
25. Now, more than anytime in history, everyone believes that anyone can be President. Seriously, anyone.”

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Ancient Times

la-vie-en-rose

I created this from a photo I had in my files of channel country in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Firstly I played with the image to highlight the mystery and magic of nature (see below).

Then I played with that image on ToolWiz and eventually found a gizmo for double exposure, ending up with the above image. I called it “La Vie en Rose” because it reminded me that, in all the challenges life offers us, something of beauty always surfaces in small or large ways which remind us of the miracles we can encounter in this thing called life.

channel-country

And of course, I had to include the French songstress, Edith Piaf, singing “La Vie en Rose”.

Past, Present, Future

Past, Present, Future

I was thinking about the fact that the past has influenced who we are now, and who we are now will influence who we will be in the future.  Similarly, we stand on the back of our ancestors from time immemorial (hence the hand graphic to illustrate generational links from way back to the Stone Age) while future generations will stand on our backs.

If there’s a future Earth for future generations. I seem to be banging on about the future of this planet quite a bit, but it’s soul-destroying to see the advances made in Australia being wound back the present bunch of dinosaurs in government.

Given the science behind global warming, it beats me how politicians can pretend that climate change doesn’t exist. I’m quite sure history will look back and condemn those in government ranks and those in big business ranks who put service to profits ahead of the future survival of Mother Earth.

Thank goodness for all those taking action in small and big ways to preserve our earth so that future generations – our children, our children’s children, and so on – have an earth to inherit. I express my gratitude to all eco-activists because they’re gutsy, dedicated and have the foresight to take action now.