Working outdoors at Windgrove, rather than in some walled office or studio, provides me with ample opportunity to observe Nature-as-Teacher and find multiple examples of biomimicry to support my work as artist and environmental activist/philosopher.
For those readers new to the word, biomimicry is the examination of nature to emulate or take inspiration from in order to solve human problems. Teaching a Leonardo da Vinci course at Schumacher College two years ago, I used his study of birds to enable human flight as one such example.
Take this potted cactus growing on the back porch. The problem I have at Windgrove is possums getting into my garden and demolishing everything. The cactus tells me to build a defensive network similar to its defensive external structure.
Therefore, this past week neighbour Steve and I installed twenty five 3 meter tall hardwood posts into the ground as the first stage in creating a protective enclosed area 12 meters wide by 12 meters wide.
But what about the idea of “cultural biomimicry”? Can the cactus provide clues of a psychological value to help solve the way the world’s dominate cultures think and act?
Anyone with half a heart and a modicum of intelligence understands that the world is being plundered beyond recognition. Whether from over population, resource depletion or pollution, the earth’s once thriving environment has become critically endangered.
Call it left brain thinking, mechanistic science, religious fundamentalism, economic greed or political indifference, the core of this systemic problem has been the slow, centuries long disempowerment of women.
Not women per se, but the feminine aspects of life; aspects equally available to men, but — to our global and individual detriment — refused entry.
However, as much as I lament the lack of the feminine in our world, castration of the male energy by pussy power is not the answer. As in the Hindu religion where the Lingam and Yoni represent the inseparability of male and female principles, a balance of the two is called for. Hence, the enclosure poles act as a phallic defense protecting the womb like raised garden beds and their soft, juicy inner sanctum of green growth.
And, of course, after three long days of heavy lifting, my sore yet certainly masculine body benefited from an immersion into a steamy tub where scented oils and misty conditions favoured by Aphrodite released all tension.