May Peace Prevail on Earth

November 16, 2015

If family stories are true, my father started primary school at 18 years of age and went straight through to a master’s degree in accounting.


He arrived in America by boat and, like most immigrants loved his new country. More often than not his eyes would well up with tears when he sang America’s national anthem.

Throughout his life, though, he felt the pressure of being a foreigner in a new land. His surname Adamov was changed to Adams, not because he was ashamed of his heritage, but discrimination against “foreigners” wouldn’t allow him the freedom to move up the social/economic ladder as quickly as his desires and needs to support a family wanted to move along.

As a young lad, my father spent the entirety of WWI in Serbia. As an adult and because of what he saw and experienced of war, he shunned conflict and worked hard to make friends of Catholics and other people outside his historic ethnic Serbian Orthodox religious biases — even marrying my mother, a Protestant.


“Within every wound their is the seed of hope.”

Our global society is being severely wounded. And tested.

Every culture, including my “adopted” country Australia, has an unconscious xenophobic fear of immigrants, asylum seekers and those newly arrived. It rises to the surface when stirred up by the insanity of terrorism, but also by shock jocks, politicians and religious leaders looking to promote their particular world view.


My father chose peace, forgiveness and compassion over millennia of fear, distrust and hatred of “The Other”.

Make no mistake, my father had some wide fault lines in his character after experiencing what he experienced as a youth. But his chosen path — however rocky — was towards Peace.

I can do nothing less than honour him and the path he chose by walking this path myself.

Perhaps, even changing my name back to Adamov?


On Saturday the first of three cactus flowers (among many) started to open. Watching these, as Georgia O’Keefe would view a flower, I photographed their progress over three days. The poem at the end adds another element to this photo essay on “Nature as Teacher”.






You ask why sometimes I say stop

You ask why sometimes I say stop
why sometimes I cry no
while I shake with pleasure.
What do I fear, you ask,
why don’t I always want to come
and come again to that molten
deep sea center where the nerves
fuse open and the brain
and body shine with a black wordless light
fluorescent and heaving like plankton.

If you turn over the old refuse
of sexual slang, the worn buttons
of language, you find men
talk of spending and women
of dying.

You come in a torrent and ease
into limpness. Pleasure takes me
farther and farther from shore
in a series of breakers, each
towering higher before it crashes and spills flat.

I am open then as a palm held out,
open as a sunflower, without
crust, without shelter, without
skin, tideless and unhidden.
How can I let you ride
so far into me and not fear?

Helpless as a burning city,
how can I ignore that the extremes
of pleasure are fire storms
that leave a vacuum into which
dangerous feelings (tenderness,
affection, love) may rush
like gale force winds.

Marge Piercy


Zaki and the Goddess

November 3, 2015

Standing as sentry to a new world of ethical behaviour, she’s youthful, if not young; strong, determined and committed to helping asylum seekers be treated with the love they deserve.


The many shoes that were strewn at the entrance to my home this past week — with the exception of Zaki, Victor and myself — were the footwear of 14 women. All holding within themselves the strength of Artemis: the Goddess of, and the very symbol of action.

The presence of all these women gives proof to what Sharon Blackie writes about:

“I believe we need to find our way out of the Wasteland, and I believe that women hold the key.

While there is mutual respect between the two partners – between the goddess and the king, between the land and the people, between nature and culture, between feminine and masculine – then all is in harmony and life is filled with abundance. But when the contract is broken, the fertile land becomes the Wasteland. And so it is that today we find ourselves in an ailing world, cut off from our roots. So we find ourselves in a Wasteland of unbelonging; in the throes of a worldwide environmental crisis of our own making which threatens the existence of so many species on this planet.”

Sharon Blackie, author of If Women Rose Rooted


What’s not unusual about the above photo is that it shows the predominance of women doing the grassroot’s work of the world.

Whether environmental, social, economic or spiritual, the leading figures or gurus doing the talking — but not necessarily the walking — are usually men.

The real work, however, happening behind the scenes, out of the lime light and in cities across the globe is being done by young women, middle aged women, older women, mothers and grand-mothers.

Self promotion is not in their vocabulary. But service is. And transformation.

Astrid and Jill, who have facilitated Ecoevolutionaries Wildheartfulness Journeys several times at Windgrove, were present once again for a three day retreat for the coordinators of the Welcome Dinner Project for asylum seekers and the Joining the Dots NGO.


The flag iris pops out of the ground at this time of year. Its visual strength lies in the grouping of the collective. In many ways, we are all dots and somewhat insignificant, but as a whole we can affect great change.

zaki roaring

And the endearing focus of this weekend was Zaki. A loving man. A courageous man. A sometimes fearing man. A hopeful man.

Zaki is/was from Afghanistan and fled to avoid being, not just persecuted, but executed. His arrival by boat is viewed by our two major political parties as “illegal” — which it isn’t — and his ability to remain in Australia is not guaranteed.

He is a more-than-shining-example of the good that refugees and immigrants can bring into a foreign country. His work ethic is enormous. His commitment to volunteer work is enormous. His heart is enormous.

Two weeks ago Zaki won the International Student of the Year Award. Being Muslim, he wouldn’t partake in the traditional bubbly. Instead, we popped open a non-alcoholic champagne and had an equally joyful celebration.

Welcome group

Women are at the forefront of most volunteer and social/environmental activist organisations. The ratio this past weekend was 14 women to 3 men. As Sharon Blackie hints at, women hold the key to bringing about change. My hope is that eventually many more men will join with them in bringing about this change.


Look closely at this microscope and you’ll see that the cobweb I was looking at six months ago has taken over. A fairly good indication of it not being used.


Bad house keeping? Possibly, but more likely that I just haven’t had the time to pursue indoor activities, much as I would like.


My studio is also a mess, but no cobwebs here. Instead, there are three projects on the go: the carving of ‘Present Time’, 29 more Gaia Evolution Walk posts to be sanded and drilled out before placement, and, a green basketball backboard being prepped for the neighbour kids.


Speaking of kids, in the past few months I’ve had constructed a bus turnaround for school trips coming to Windgrove.


And, school trips mean a place to pee. So, two new outdoor toilets. Nothing flash, but the view into the bushes is pleasant enough.


Then there’s the resident artists who stay in the Peace Bus. To make their stay “slightly” more comfortable, I finally got around to installing a gas heater in the bus and an outdoor shower.

Hopefully, the electrical conduit and water pipes are attached correctly to their respective operational units and not crossed up.


Well, Steve seems happy enough with the result of his handiwork.


And this weekend I covered up the trench with pavers all the way to the toilet. Looking good, I think.

Maybe now, time to dust the house? Oh, I forgot. The veggies need watering.


New discovery

October 5, 2015

I’m sure people have seen the remarkable photos taken of planet Pluto as the satellite New Horizons zoomed past last month.

Before the flyby, the best image of Pluto was just a few pixels.


If you haven’t seen the newest photos, Google for them and be amazed. Isn’t science and technology wonderful with what can be done when money isn’t spent on defence budgets?

NASA is now sending the New Horizons spacecraft toward its next potential target, a planetoid within the Kuiper Belt that lies a billion miles beyond Pluto’s orbit and it will take over three years to get there.

In the meantime, little me has become inspired. In my backyard I have been focusing my attention on a very unknown small astroid circling somewhere in the vicinity of Pluto. Nobody has paid it much attention. Until now.

For several days last week, hard as I tried to focus, my little Kodak box camera wasn’t very good at getting a real detailed image of this planetoid,. Sort of like the early image of Pluto.


So I upgraded to a Nikon Superstar with “imaginative imaging”. Boy, am I happy I made the switch. Just look at this photo I took yesterday in early afternoon as the camera pointed up into the heavens towards my very own special astroid.


Brilliant, yes?

And what is that mysterious circular grey patch with wiggly ridges possibly thousands of feet tall. What made them? Signs of life?

And before NASA takes credit for this image now that I’ve publicly released it, I am going to claim naming rights.

From henceforth, this planetoid’s nomenclature will be: Lemonoid within the Compost Belt.


If art is your life

August 17, 2015

To Millie

And to all young artists who are at the beginning of their hopefully long, most times rewarding yet sometimes torturous, career in the arts ……. some hints.

For the young who want to

Talent is what they say
you have after the novel
is published and favorably
reviewed. Beforehand what
you have is a tedious
delusion, a hobby like knitting.

Work is what you have done
after the play is produced
and the audience claps.
Before that friends keep asking
when you are planning to go
out and get a job.

Genius is what they know you
had after the third volume
of remarkable poems. Earlier
they accuse you of withdrawing,
ask why you don’t have a baby,
call you a bum.

The reason people want M.F.A.’s,
take workshops with fancy names
when all you can really
learn is a few techniques,
typing instructions and some-
body else’s mannerisms

is that every artist lacks
a license to hang on the wall
like your optician, your vet
proving you may be a clumsy sadist
whose fillings fall into the stew
but you’re certified a dentist.

The real writer is one
who really writes. Talent
is an invention like phlogiston
after the fact of fire.
Work is its own cure. You have to
like it better than being loved.

Marge Piercy


Speaking of love, you must love your art as dearly as towards a person.

In my home, next to the dining table where I can view it daily, is nestled a tiny, fairly faded post card reproduction of ‘Pygmalion and Galatea’ by French sculptor Jean Leon Gerome. I keep it as a reminder of the power of artistic intention.

Basically, the painting is of an ancient myth where the sculptor Pygmalion falls in love with his own artistic creation. This love is so strongly felt that the sculpture literally comes to life.

My personal interpretation of this story is that, as artists, you and I have to love our work with such an intensity that what we create becomes embodied with a life that is as viscerally connected to us as with our own children.

To be frank, most people will have no understanding of what this means and they will continually, from ignorance, refer to our works as though they were just objects or things. Certainly, nothing imbued with heart or soul.

But be kind to these people, as they know not what they talk about.


Lastly, you should familiarise yourself with “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke. Beautifully descriptive and insightful, here’s a taste:

“As you unfold as an artist, just keep on, quietly and earnestly, growing through all that happens to you. You cannot disrupt this process more violently than by looking outside yourself for answers that may only be found by attending to your innermost feeling.”

“Allow your judgments their own undisturbed development, which, like any unfolding, must come from within and can by nothing be forced or hastened. Everything is gestation and then birth. To allow each impression and each embryo of a feeling to complete itself in the dark, in the unsayable, the not-knowing, beyond the reach of one’s own understanding, and humbly and patiently to await the dawning of a new clarity: that alone is the way of the artist — in understanding as in creating.”

Stay true to the muse that resides within you. A great life awaits.

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