Archive | October, 2015

One of those good and tasty autumn days in Istria

12 Oct

Good people have time.
– Duško Radović

On a day like this, the above quote pops up in my mind a lot. If I try to persist being in a hurry, everything starts to work against me. What I learned to do is to hear the very first signal and stop pushing myself. Pushing would only make me nervous, I wouldn’t get anything done, anyway, my day would be ruined.

So I said to myself: “Relax and allow the beauty of life to touch you. Let go off all the worries. That’s what life is all about on a day like this.”

Days like this are worth living for. That’s when I am able to really look around and let immense gratitude flood me. I am alive! Life is amazing! Not because something changed on the outside, but because my eyes suddenly changed and became capable of seeing this.

Thank you David for the watermelon, wild leek and quinces, thank you Jure for the pumpkin, thank you mom for carrots, mangold and parsley, thank you Lovro for mint and lemon balm, thank you nature for everything!

Thank you David for the watermelon, wild leek and quinces, thank you Jure for the pumpkin, thank you mom for carrots, mangold and parsley, thank you Lovro for mint and lemon balm, thank you nature for everything!

In the morning I went for a meeting to discuss future plans for Network for Revival of Istria. For more than half an hour we weren’t productive. We talked and talked … mostly about various methods how to preserve olives. Ah … At first I was a bit nervous, but then I relaxed and reminded myself: “Hey, it is one of those days, remember?”

Take it   e a s y

On the way home I stopped at a Smoke bush, which was, mysteriously enough, still covered with fluffy growth — from which it derives the name. This fluffy stuff is my favourite natural bathroom tissue. I picked quite a lot – I’ll have exquisitely enjoyable ass-wiping for at least a week or two!

When I came back to Pomjan I went to collect old bricks for the stove that we’re building at Hrvoji. David wasn’t home. But his mother walked out from the house to greet me and we talked for half an hour or more. She explained where she was born, how she grew up, how their farm had many cows and pigs, how her father got his first job, how he hunted partridges and pheasants so they always ate well. Simple but well. The best was hard bread with freshly skimmed cream and a little sugar on top, she said. For a long time she spoke how grateful she is to my mother for helping her recover after pelvic fracture, encouraging her, giving her strength. Our conversation went on and on …
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Trajnost je preprosto skrb

11 Oct

K trajnosti lahko pristopimo na dva načina:

1. stvari naredimo takšne, da trajajo čim dlje
2. skrbimo za stvari, kakršne so, da trajajo čim dlje

Naše stopnice v Naravicah, na primer, nikjer niso narejene povsem trdno. Domači smo se naučili po njih hoditi tako, da jih ne razmajamo. Ko se to le zgodi, je popravilo preprosto in hitro. Takšne stopnice terjajo skrb in vzdrževanje, da trajajo.

022_OdklopStopnice2

Druga možnost bi bila, da bi si vzel veliko časa in energije, prinesel večje, lepše kamne, celo uporabil cement, in bi stopnice trajale zelo dolgo, ne glede na to, ali bi jih vzdrževal ali ne, ne glede na to, kako bi hodil po njih. Zavedanje in pozornost pri tem nista potrebna. V primeru velike obremenitve, ob kateri bi se stopnice poškodovale, bi bilo potrebno veliko energije in truda, da bi jih popravil.

V primeru št. 1:

  • mi ni treba negovati odnosa do stopnic, saj me prenašajo, ne glede na moje ravnanje z njimi
  • stopnice prilagajam svojemu koraku
  • stopnice ustvarim – ko se uničijo, jih razdrem in še enkrat ustvarim na novo
  • za to potrebujem občasno veliko količino (ustvarjalne) energije
  • trajnost lahko gradim nišno, ni mi treba upoštevati širše okolice

V primeru št. 2:

  • moram do stopnic negovati skrben odnos
  • svoj korak prilagajam stopnicam
  • stopnice vzdržujem, redno poskrbim za majhna popravila 
  • za to potrebujem stanovitno vlaganje majhnih količin (pozorne) energije
  • trajnost moram graditi celostno, integrirano v naravno trajnost širšega okolja

Današnja družba se loteva trajnostnega razvoja pretežno po paradigmi št. 1: naredimo nov, bolj trajnostni avto, naredimo novo, bolj trajnostno hišo, novo elektrarno in vse ostalo, od filtrov za cigarete do kmetijske politike. Naj novo izpodrine staro!

Meni bolj diši trajnost, pri kateri skrbno ravnam s stvarmi, ki jih imam, in jih porabim do konca. No, o tem sem nedavno že pisal.

Zdi se mi, da prva trajnost, da bi bila resnično trajnostna, nujno potrebuje še sposobnost skrbnega odnosa. Le tako lahko naredi stvari z optimalnim razmerjem med energijo, vloženo v ustvarjanje predmetov, in energijo, vloženo v vzgajanje ljudi, da s temi predmeti zares skrbno ravnajo.

Prva paradigma se lažje prodaja, ker je skladnejša z obstoječo ekonomijo, v kateri stvari ne smejo trajati prav dolgo, ker potem potrošniki ne bi kupovali novih. Zato so danes tudi dolgotrajne stvari narejene le na prvi pogled robustno, vgrajen imajo rok trajanja.

Menim, da je druga paradigma, ki zajema zavestno skrb do vsega in odmik od potrošništva, ključna za trajnostni razvoj.  Ko to pišem, ugotavljam, da je pravzaprav pred tremi, štirimi deseletji tovrstne trajnosti bilo na pretek, le da ji nismo tako rekli. Rekli smo ji gospodarnost, preudarnost — in preudarnost je takrat še bila krepost.

Airports do all the work, airplanes take all the glory

5 Oct

Airport is such a fascinating conglomeration of human genius!

Without understanding how things work, how they work inter-connected, how interconnections multiply and serve different purposes; without setting up standardized agreements on the global scale (how to measure time, distances, values …), without discipline to follow these agreements, there would be no airports.

Airplanes are merely carriers of people and goods, they are as much as an envelope is for the letter. What we want is to get the letter from point A to point B, and that requires an envelope, a stamp, a mailbox, post-offices, postmen etc. For us to get from point A to point B through air it takes an airplane, a ticket, some gates, terminals, shuttles, fuel, a luggage service, a pilot, a navigating system, a runaway etc.

So here we are now: only 112 years after brothers Wright succeeded in flying for the first time in human history propelled by an engine, there are 93,000 flights every day transporting more than 8 million people and 140,000 tonnes of stuff.

Only a few decades have passed from figuring out how to shape the wings appropriately, to using airplanes in warfare, and a couple of decades more to using the airplanes for public transportation.

There is _so much_ cutting edge technology in a single airplane, connecting with more fascinating technologies on the airport. Taking off and landing seems so effortless with all the modern technology. The precision of airplanes taking off and landing one by one in a long queue in the sky is staggering.

It is no different in the airport building itself. The largest airports are some of the busiest places on earth, employing tens of thousands of people to serve the endless streams of travelers.

Aeronautic science has affected so many aspects of our lives. The need for aerodynamics and for packing constituents as compact as possible brought about smooth design. Now we can find similar design in practically every industry. Just look around right now and you’ll see it in your mobile phone, computer screen, furniture, tables, newspapers, machines, tools, cars …

The ultimate influence of the air transport is that it made us over-emphasize the quality of packaging and neglect the contents. So now we have lame, dumb people flying around in top-notch machines, staring at 50 programs on mini screens –clueless …

It used to be that people with a mission, a calling, a reason would put on their travel gear, and travel until their legs hurt — that was a lot of content in a plain envelope. Now we only watch movies about such travelling in sequels until our butts heart.

That’s why travelers with genuine calling and rich soul don’t fancy commercial flights: too much of an envelope! The envelope like that will certainly suffocate their free spirit.

Whenever I walk through an airport I think to myself: “Haven’t they taken it too far?”

I feel like a tweet, written on a piece of toilet paper, packed in a truck-size cast-iron envelope.

Fuck that! I’m a novel! I like to travel envelope-free! I want everyone I meet to be able to read me. I want to be able to read them.

Travelling shouldn’t be just seeing points A, B and C. It should be seeing as much as possible between these points as well.

Air travel robs us of that, as convenient as it might seem. I’ll continue to use it when necessary, I admit; but I hanker more and more to travel by foot to places close to my home and my heart, to connect with people of the ground, not with people of abstractions.