The Emergent Urgent

The Emergent Urgent, Photo by me.

I think it’s time we looked at time scales in terms of ‘doing’. The reality is the need for immediate change. Today. That everyone is not participating today is complex, but there’s real truth in urgency.

The use of the word ’emergency’ has been severely compromised. I have read on Twitter a defense of using the phrase ‘long emergency.’ A long emergency is about as useful as a flying brick,  a nonviable dialectic – AN OXYMORON. People need to understand the urgency, in mitigation and adaptation.

Western techno-industrial values, competition, fear, consequential life-styles and the general global devaluation of life for markets, that lead to habitat loss, emissions, poverty, racism, failing democracy, dictatorship, xenophobia, North-South divides, nationalism ~ please feel free to add more ~  are failing all living beings.

What we have are emerging urgencies, and we’d do well to articulate and address them.

One such Emergent Urgent is to spread the news that the globalized financial sector is not going to save lives. We must create a local, bioregional flow of support for one another and all life. We have to stop giving up our power, and giving Power excuses to wait or knock back decisions into the laps of our children and grandchildren.

Compassionate and immediate transitions are possible. COVID19 shows that immediacy is necessary, and can happen street to street. Successful countries have acted immediately and, in good part, compassionately. The same it is now on action to slow the Climate Bomb.

This is not apart from the moral imagination required in creating new/ancient world orders based on the ethics of care (in the natural sense), though we do need more. Lots more.

We already have a pool of understanding between us on some of the key changes forquired in all aspects of society, enough to begin (it’s already begun). But too many are holding on to the natural capitalist ethic, the ‘ecomodern’,  and new billionaire colonialism; perpetuation of capitalist failure ~ dominantly white, eurocentric and male. It’s harmful.

The response to the climate, ecological and human empathy/imagination crises (Earth Crisis), is The Emergent Urgent.









Bees to seed, and Black Lives Mattering.

Image by me ©2020

The nature of nature, is where blooms transform to seed. It’s not an ugly process, far from it. It’s life-process. Does it begin with the egg of the solitary bee who pollinated this flower?

It’s not a catastrophe, but a sacred process. Look further to ecological death, and life. It’s love. We may look at our own bodies in the same way. Don’t fret about flowers ‘going over’. They are beautiful.


Anxiety grips me again, during just a handful of days this time. Matter builds as crystals from the process of evaporation, and all the little thoughts become sharp and transparent.

I have been observing my balcony flowers going ‘over,’ their delicate petals beginning to wither and curl, as if kissed by poison. As the draw of their shapes and colours fade, it would be easy to cut them off to keep things in check. The beauty, or love, is ever more enduring than the colour or scent of the blooming flower. The work of the bee or the fly has set in motion deep changes within ancient organs that sustain life. Nothing is going over, moreover, everything is beginning.

The fertilized seeds are beginning to swell, the baha sucked back through the veins of each petal, and up from the roots, to grow new seeds. This flow, this transfer of love in the form of metabolites from flower to ovary, is for-newal.

When a flower is cut dead for the sake of what we humans deem tidy, or aesthetic, or out of place, what worth are we assigning to the plant and seed? Or the bee and her egg? Life is growing inside, at first shy, but then erupting to ripe moments of genetic and evolutionary potential.

Black Lives MatterThree black women founded this now global movement. Two identify as queer, and one has worked for a long time in the field of domestic abuse. Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi. Remember their names.

Like bees, all three have set in motion a beautiful but painful blooming, of instilling the will of justice and love inside so many more. Ripe seeds of empathy are broadcast widely. With sunlight, good soils and pure water, these efforts are growing into powerful new relationships in the face of many wrongs.

Every black life matters. The oppression endured over this last 400 years has forged survivors like diamonds. Their lives materially and spiritually matter to us all. George Floyd and hundreds, thousands, millions, of black lives have been cut dead, stolen from their loved ones and buried deep. Millions have lived in fear, incarcerated, and disenfranchised.

I want to acknowledge that pain, and my white British ancestral role in its coming. It must now leave, as it should never have been. It’s a personal and public struggle in which we all need to be willing and able to participate, from bee to seed.

I’ll end with Professor Cornel West’s words said in public discussion this last few days, still raw from the death of Breonna Taylor, a medical carer herself, who was shot to death by a militant police force, in what was supposed to be safe sanctuary ~ home.

“We can’t bring her back, but the memory will empower all to keep fighting.”










Spennowan, more spider than spiderman.

Spider and silk, photo by me.

Spiders intrigue me.

There are more than 48,000 species of them around the globe, some yet undiscovered by humans, and all of them, bar one that we know of, are predators. They are hugely diverse, reflect all spectrums of light, and are individually character-full.

I am being lured into their web of life.

Araneae are air-breathing invertebrates, with eight legs, fangs to inject venom, and spinnerets that extrude silk. Silk is a protein fibre, and used to create food traps, nests, egg coverings, and air transport systems. Imagine if we, through our own bodily secretions, could produce all these things: fishing lines, bed linen, baby blankets, and parachutes. There are at least 7 types of silk-making glands, and all spiders have at least three. Some silks are stronger than steel for their weight. Spiders are an essential group of living beings (predators are essential), who may live deep in caves we humans will never visit, and float as high as the clouds when ballooning across continents. They have their own microbial symbioses, most of which we still have little idea. Some spiders are crucial for distributing fungal spores. In rainforests all around Earth, some larger spiders rely on narrow-mouthed frog species for survival, and in utter reciprocity.

They can fish, fly, cave and row. The largest family jump. Some can sing, dance, and vibrate.

The diving bell spiders live in bubbles underwater for most of their lives.

My booted foot was once challenged, briefly, by a female Sydney funnel-web spider, the males being the most venomous in the world, and, in my view, both most fearfully angry. And unforgettable.

But the vast majority of spiders are harmless to humans. Most are solitary, though some are social. Some females cannibalize their male mates. Some males offer gifts in the hope of sparing their own lives. Some even fake them. Some mothers offer up their own dead bodies as food for their offspring.

Spiders have been evolving for some 300 million years, and are powerful, intricate and exquisitely adapted. Their relevant-stimuli (emotional responses to you and I) are basic, understudied, yet apparent. And they do feel pain.

I want to credit these rainbow warriors with a special kind of wisdom. Spider Wisdom, more spider than Spiderman. To have such wisdom is to be fiercely beautiful amongst all other life ~ to be spennowan.

I offer this to all fellow humans right now.

(S)pen – PIE root to draw, stretch, spin

Gnowos – PIE root wise, to know.