I'm looking for people who would be interested in participating in urban nature walks as a means of thinking through our relationship to our environment and our community.
Every summer I spend a month or two in Europe; every autumn I return to Calgary and my heart sinks.
It seems, that, despite decades of prosperity and a very large number of well-intentioned efforts, this city just gets more and more like a generic North American suburb with each passing year: of the three main downtown neighborhoods I loved 20 years ago, only Inglewood has retained a unique personality.
It's Film Festival time; let's look at it this way...
In the movies, actions and events trigger emotions and drive the plot (preferably towards a resolution that involves the liberal application of high explosives). But in life, it is observation that triggers thought, thought that shapes emotions, emotions that motivate actions (and resolution comes in the form not of destruction but of finding a new equilibrium).
So perhaps what we need is fewer activists, and more thoughtivists.
Let me try to clarify what I mean by this.
Most people will agree that thought is of little value if it's not followed up by action, but few bother to examine that proposition from the opposite angle -- what is the value of action that is not preceded by thought? Is "Just do it!" a viable philosophy, or just another consumerist war cry?
I see "Thoughtivism" is a prelude to activism but, like a Chopin Prelude, something which might be capable of standing on its own...
These days, my thoughts tend to dwell on ambient journalism, virtual graffiti, what Baroque art (painting, architecture, and gardening) can tell us about modern America's opposition of city to nature, the relationship of a sense of place to a sense of community, the tensions between big data and the individual, and how new media can be subverted to accommodate old ways of thinking.
I would very much enjoy meeting anyone with a similarly twisted range of interests, and curiosity.
A friend has pointed out that this approach to recruitment is a bit of a long shot, for Calgary.
By way of apology to all those who find the above confusing or pretentious, I refer them to Pascal's Wager, and to Dylan Thomas's (less easily Googled) introduction to his collected poems:
"I read somewhere of a shepherd who, when asked why he made, from within fairy rings, ritual observances to the moon to protect his flocks, replied: 'I'd be a damn' fool if I didn't!' These poems, with all their crudities, doubts, and confusions, are written for the love of Man and in praise of God, and I'd be a damn' fool if they weren't"