I took a stroll after an intense snow melt which caused pools of water to form on the sidewalk.
As I was taking photos of the reflections of the trees in the puddles, an old woman told me that she was happy to see that I was taking photos of the puddles and asked if I was photographing for the Daily. I told her I was not doing it for a publication, but for my own enjoyment at the beauty of superimposing the organic outlines of the trees naturally over the fabricated canvas of concrete.
She went on to tell me that this flooding did not used to happen. She attributed it to Evanston paving all of the alleys where they had previously been gravel. She said that the sweeping change of making formerly permeable surfaces impermeable was not a sustainable solution, because it did not allow for the water to sink into the ground and be absorbed instead of pooling on concrete.
She said that she had been in the area a long time, and she tanked me "for listening to an old woman like me" - it was interesting because I was so thankful that she had shared this bit of information with me. It reminded me not only that we have much to learn from others, but also that the oldest members of our community have access to informational longevity - "the way things were, or how they were done, and the outcome" .
This tied into a discussion at the coop in which we spoke about how past history informs our decision in the present, and when it was appropriate or beneficial to the group to deviate from the inherited procedure. I came away from the discourse thinking about how knowledge out outcomes and process/result relationships was what was important, and oftentimes one can make the claim that 'there is a reason that it is done this way'. However, it is important to consider that one should not do something simply because it was done in the past, but evaluate each action anew within the context of one's own experiences and inner moral compass and questioning.
The concept of impermeability/permeability is also important to consider, especially when considering systems and group dynamics (gd). Gd imparted to me the realization that a closed system can easily become stagnant and incestuous; and that healthy systems are open and interpretive. This is not to say that they are flexible to the point of being steamrollered by the loudest dissenting voices, however, that one needs to constantly challenge oneself and one's perceptions against the input of others.
For how do we know ourselves, if not in relation to others?
In language, do we not we define what an object is in terms of all of the things that it is NOT?
Are there any truly closed systems? Is the broadest overarching system a closed one? Are we locked in an endlessly cycling, repeating, regenerating pattern, or is there evolution? Does evolution imply a level of change consistent with an open system?
of note: 'no time like the present' - the arms of the clock tower were ripped off in the snowpocalypse. As one walked passed during the howling winds and snow, one could see that on another face, powers unknown were turning the hands backwards - a deeply impactful experience conveying the triumph of nature over man made structures, even the god that we make of Time.
indicator species: lichen - often the first living things to enter an area, they can survive in climates that most other living things would be unable to inhabit, they produce soil by breaking down rock, amphibians - due to their think skin, they are easily affected by environmental conditions.
our indicator species around the planet are not doing well....and indication that we are not going about living on this planet correctly and that we need to change our ways to maintain the balance and cycle of all things.
just look at the bees....