Launch of my new website.

Today, I transfer my website to one powered by green energy and with no adverts. Please follow this link and you will be very welcome! Thank you so much for your continued support. With fluministic love, Ginny x

http://www.seasonalight.com

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Patientism; of place, flow and beyond-perspective.

 

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Photo by me.

“These people have learned not from books, but in the fields, in the wood, on the river bank. Their teachers have been the birds themselves, when they sang to them, the sun when it left a glow of crimson behind it at setting, the very trees, and wild herbs.” —Anton Chekhov, A Day in the Country.

I have been watching old man heron on the Glamorgan Canal, of late. And a dainty little egret at Llandaff Weir. Their organic curves and soft feathers lull me into their lives. I long to communicate with them, if only by brief mutual gaze.

I try to imagine being Ardean; hollow-bone legs feeling the bite of cold in the shallows, and my neck long and lythe. I extend my wings and feel a sharp lift from a northerly breeze, whilst peering deep, with one eye, into a shadow I cast. If there is a silver flash in the black, I will tuck-in my wings, slowly extend my neck until my bill is stock-still for the kill.

A heron’s life may at first seem pragmatic, embracing hunting with a quiet determined grip. Lauded by old masters of our economic system founded on the protestant work ethic, pragmatism is the hard work upon only what is known, the empirical only, a practical boundary to action. That is, until, something better comes along. But from where does this ‘better’ come from? And then we have to shift. Are we ready?

Pragmatism. I hear it from many science-oriented souls. This or that goal is to be achieved only by what is known to them, rather than by what could be. Such a limiting view of what it means to be alive.

Look again at heron and little egret. They are searching, looking for something better in the deep flow of life. Today, I will overestimate heron and little egret. And here’s why.

They aim high for their catch. Always. And higher still. This is not rooted in pragmatism, but in patience as beyond-perspective.

Relay to humans. As Frankl says,

“If we take man as he really is, we make him worse. But if we overestimate him … we promote him to what he really can be. So we have to be idealists, in a way — because then we wind up as the true, the real realists.”

In the rain below the weir, little egret finds her own pattern in the chaos. She’s perfect. Her white chest feathers ripple to the volatile air whilst she prowls around, looking for a meal. She’s a carnivore of the shallows, of molluscs, small fry and rock-borne insect life. In the lee of this cacophany of liquid weight, she’s light on her stilt-legs across rocks and recovering foamy streamers flowing south. Heron has his skills. But she is quicker. I rapture in adaptations ~ they require imagination and foresight.

This way, that way. The flow of the water. The ruffle of a breeze. Slip-rocks, and deep pools.

She has her own beat as time whirls around her. I am captivated by her simple strategy. In order to catch fresh food, her patience is dynamic. She uses her bill to its fullest, all the senses available to her right now through to the beak-end and its alignment to potential or actual prey. It is her knowing of body to perfection. It is her niche and she lives it, dasein-daily. (Heidegger)

“From a sensory ecology perspective a bird is best characterized as “a bill guided by an eye.” (GR Martin 2017).

At the weir, there’s a dialectic underway. There’s cacophony and whisper, the smash of a river rolling over man-made edifice and then, little streams pulsing through rocks to shingle hemlines around willow islands. There are plastic sheets and childrens cars and balls and other city objects tangled in the wash-through. Tweavelets weave monofilaments of polymers as well as duff. We leave our marks in anti-fluministic ways. And yet little egret is fluministic in her devotion. Her binocular eyes are wide open, and key is alignment to a potential, the beak and beyond, like a snooker player staring down a fine-crafted cue to an imaginary, glinting ball ready for a pocket.

She is patient. Patience is a verb. It is not incapacity. It is not nothing. Neither is it death. It is keeping the opposite alive. Senses are alert to the main chance not yet happened, deep in the flows ahead. The process of patience requires imagining ~ the vision of seeing in advance the potential and most efficient main chance in space and time. Imagine all the little fishes…

In the slowness of the canal, there are potential fish in the shallows old man heron can skewer with his face-spear. But he has to remember and imagine what he is looking for. He has to find the best spot to find the right fish. He’s devoted to it. Watch him! This is his dasein-daily, a primal nature of ‘being’, simultaneously engaging with this world. After a while, it’s time to move on and he seeks to fly upstream to a better spot (with such elegance). How do better things come, were it not for this vision inside his head for a better spot, and a compulsion to fly there, freely? He imagines what he is looking for ~ all the little fishes ~ then goes to find them. It is an essential part of his act of patience in survival.

Patience is not simply the ability to wait. One has to be observant, present. It requires memory and imagination. It requires beyond-perspective. There are multiple things going on. Patience can even be endurance, a painful dasein-daily, for a richer state of being in the longer run (pati – latin, to suffer). If we are never tested, how do we know ourselves fully? Right now, heron and little egret own a deliberate sense of expansive perspective on the scale of things in life. Hunting fish is patientism- what I do now has consequences – I am fed and the fish is dead. The efforts may pay off in results, a full belly. But I am also patient in observation, presence and hunger; a virtue, but with great reward (given abundance due to me). Heron and little egret are applying themselves, in duty and with hope, within and without, to the ever dynamic flow of interconnected life.

So, no thank you. In being always pragmatic is to always compromise (in consequence and in virtue). To always compromise is to lower expectations. Sometimes, compromise is no where near enough. One needs to raise the game to beyond-perspective. Like the heron and little egret.

That patience is beyond-perspective.
That patience is not waiting idly, but putting phenomena into beyond-perspective.
That beyond-perspective becomes a state of daily-dasein.
Potential obstacles can be the instrument of action (the bill, the beak).
That heron is patient in stealth.
That little egret is patient in dynamism. She adapts to her own beat.
That humans may learn from ardean patientism.

Humans may learn from ardean patientism ~ be ready to the fullest in the river, to strike for that main chance. Look for better, fuller, abundant places to be present. Aim for a great deal more than the limitations of pragmatism. Even in the smallest of things.

Pope Gregory the Great expressed patience as the guardian of all virtues. We might consider that in our anxiety to complete goals, we forget about this valuable point of view. Ecologism, fluminism, cultivation of love in space/time means the integral beyond-perspective required in being patient. Think big.

The dialectic is there too, yes, setting out to save what we continue to destroy, because we are a society of reaction and not of considered response. We can change this too, by being patientist. Realise that accute ardean potential within us all, primed for imagining the moment of exquisite action in the flow of all life. Patientism.

~~~~~~~~

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Language of Flow: The Need for Neologisms and Introducing Spring Theory.

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Photo by me.

(dissertation extract, in continuing the ideal of co-operation, symbiosis and mutualism into, and of, language)

6.0 Language of Flow: Fluminism, Introducing Spring Theory.

6.1 The Need for Neologisms.

Two particular yet simple words, love and ecology, are my inspiration in the creation of my own neologisms ~ fluminism, and then sanguimund and praximund, the latter two as constituent parts of the former.

 

As to both words, love and ecology, as lexicons combined, they are complementary. One word is a positive emotion and the other a rational science. Like life itself, it is the combination of both affect and rationale which our brains assimilate as moral constructs and in the choices we make every day. The word fluminism brings them both together, and from it flows an ethic by which we may choose to live.

As part of my research into the meaning of these words, I have investigated the philoso- phy of language. What are words in relation to reality, experience, meaning or truth? How does a word (or two), become an action? Wittgenstein and Searle said human ex- perience and language are structurally linked. Words are integrally part of experience. Searle once quoted early French philosopher, La Rochefoucauld, famed for his acidic aphorisms:

‘There are some people who would never have fallen in love, if they had not heard there was such a thing.’

I’m not so convinced. If one is blind and mute, does love never come? Culture does in- fluence experience, there’s no doubt, and language is also a part of culture. Like all, love and meaning are both ‘nature and nurture’, with no separation.

I do not think language between any living species makes this world. Rather, all are a part of the same world and interconnected. As a form of life, neither is language some- thing separate (Wittgenstein). I do not see language as transparent either, as Russell suggested. We are not transparent because of our ability to communicate in words, far

from it! There will always be hidden depths where unique identities and consciousness are concerned and there is beauty in this complexity.

In Wittgenstein’s later work, then Austin and Searle, a distinction between meaning and intention via utterances began to emerge as a focus. Objectifying, naming, categorising, taxonomising; these are functional to us, how we humans interpret life, or as Searle put it, the systems of representation we bring to bear upon things. Words are neural con- cepts, but they do not singularly define language. Once formed, there is a kind of clo- sure of an openness, as Hilary Lawson asserts in response to Rorty and Derrida’s works on relativism, in that they crystalise into a headline, or as he describes… ‘language clos- ing the world into things.’ Lawson’s video art movement demonstrates the openness side, which I interpret (ironically), as a state of inquiry without resolution. Words may only attempt closure in collective meaning, by officiates of companies that publish dic- tionaries or taxonomists working on genetic data sets. Words, like species themselves, have a certain porosity about them, in nuance and imperfection of full meaning, again a beautiful thing in itself.

Yes, by grouping words together, we can be more or less certain about clarity of mean- ing, and all is related to intent and consequence, even the obsurd. A poem may be delib- erately open. But a key to a map must indicate, at least, some closure on what the words mean. They may also seem closed in our own unique minds and verbal expressions.

If I write or say the word, “table,” and you read or hear me, you’ll probably envision your own idea of what a table is. My idea of a table will be transformed by your own memories and experiences. It may create a feeling. I can’t help but feel (feel, being key), that feelings and emotions have been set aside in the analytics of language. My grandmother’s table had a certain smell, of bees wax and lino and the word table makes me think of toast for breakfast in her kitchen. Your idea of table might make you feel very different. The word, “dog” may mean pure, unconditional love to me. But to oth- ers, it may instill fear.

 

In psychology, particularly in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy 84, this may be re- ferred as cognitive fusion, where words come preloaded with meaning and effect be- haviour. Sometimes these feelings are invalid in relevance to our states of being in the present. They can be distressing or deceiving. But by understanding the brain is plastic and neural connections can be either thickened or thinned, behavioural therapies, such as action and commitment or cognitive behaviour can help shift either the meaning of words or the feelings that arise from them.

Each person, therefore, holds language both uniquely and in common; a dialectic. The same word swapped into the mouths of others transforms. It is a kind of flow of under- lying meanings and feelings. I cannot agree with Lawson, therefore, that words are clo- sure. Words are, instead, like magnets, attracting, repelling, fusing and defusing emo- tions from each person and their life trajectory. There is evolution, and over time, the culture and meaning of a word can inherently change beyond recognition. Language is a living thing and connects us, like mycelium networks in the woodland floor, in multiple, dynamic patterns. It can also be something to which we devote for the good of the bios- phere. We can approach language as fluminists.

Making the interconnections is what is most meaningful. Language is connectivity, rela- tionship, whether it be verbal, body movement, chemical or electrical. When it is for good, not bad, then it may then be argued as a flow of love. In unison with my ethic, fluminism, I perceive language, like music, as flow. It is a living thing (the dead neither speak nor read).

Art and artistic expression, musical pauses, or the hidden meanings beneath the subsur- face of poetry can keep to the idea of openness (Lawson) or mystery. But I think, with affect, all is never completely closed.

Together, the words love and ecology create something compelling, larger than the sum of each word. It goes to the root of what I understand. In creating neologisms, the poten- tial is even greater. They are like linguistic finger posts, in that they convey hope in the focusing of minds to a new or previously overlooked idea. I create the word fluminism from my own deep understanding of love and ecology as interconnected life flow, but I pass it on to others and hope for boundless contributions to intent, meaning and conse- quences.

6.2 Introducing Spring Theory

 

Neologisms are not only ‘speech acts’ (Austin, Searle. 85), in declarations, but also loaded in potential, like compression springs. A word is formed, deliberated, received, where- upon as the ‘other’ is attracted and jumps on it, meaning springs forth in different direc- tions each time, or by chance, the same. Different interpretations are ‘felt’ (affected), because each have lived different lives. Before long, we are realised (Weir) within our own understanding, and living as fluminists by simply ‘being,’ as in the existence of the universe. I would like to call this ‘Spring Theory’.

Heaven knows there are enough theories. But in physics, string theory is where point- like particles are replaced by one-dimensional objects called strings. It describes these strings propagating through space-time, interacting with each other. Flow. In fluministic Spring Theory, I wish to plant seeds of ideas, evoke imagination and hope. 86

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

84. Hayes, SC et al. Action and Commitment Therapy 2nd Ed. Guilford Press, New York. (2012) p 20

85. Searle, J. Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language. Cambridge University Press: Cam- bridge. (1969)

86. Snyder, C.R. The Psychology of Hope: You can get here from there. Simon and Schuster: New York. <https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=dCWv9MYZ580C&dq=Hope+psychology+snyder&lr=&gt; (2010)

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Love and ecology as an integrative force for good, and as resistance to the commodification of nature and planetary harms: Introducing Fluminism. Ginny Battson, 2018.

I have decided to publish my complete Masters dissertation on environmental ethics here, the culmination of years of research and thought. But it’s just the beginning…

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Photo by me.

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awarded: Distinction.

 

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A Noiseless Patient Spider

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Photo by me.
Poem by Walt Whitman
A noiseless patient spider,
I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.
And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.
~~~~~~~~~
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“Attempts to ‘green’ capitalism, to make it ‘ecological’, are doomed by the very nature of the system as a system of endless growth.”

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To speak of ‘limits to growth’ under a capitalistic market economy is as meaningless as to speak of limits of warfare under a warrior society. The moral pieties, that are voiced today by many well-meaning environmentalists, are as naive as the moral pieties of multinationals are manipulative. Capitalism can no more be ‘persuaded’ to limit growth than a human being can be ‘persuaded’ to stop breathing. Attempts to ‘green’ capitalism, to make it ‘ecological’, are doomed by the very nature of the system as a system of endless growth.
~ Murray Bookchin (Remaking Society: Pathways to a Green Future).

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Cancer, journeymen.

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“When I mean abnormal cells, I do mean cancer.” In one sentence, the consultant moulded my existence into a finite entity. I felt shocked, blood pumping furiously through my neck.

He went on, and as he did, I sat back in the chair and tried to take stock. A flurry of questions then fell out of my mouth. My ex husband sat next to me, with his own questions too. This was a gynaecologist, not an oncologist, so most of his answers were short and unsure.

Memories of my father’s death from small cell lung cancer flashed through my mind. Then all went slo-mo, an oil slick of emotion, suffering my senses to numbness and the whole thing rendering me flightless. I can’t remember much else, but with a business-like handshake, I found myself being driven the road home on a bright Summer’s day, bound in a tide of sticky, suffocating fear.

“I don’t want to die,” I said to Adam. He was so good with me. And still is. We planned a way of telling our daughter, but softly, so she could adjust. That’s not how it went. She’s that bright Summer’s day, and quickly garnered the brevity of how I felt.

My mortality; she stayed with me for days. She left no space, her eyes, blue-ice cold, fixed on me and in my face. Anxiety gripped me. I panicked, so upon invitation retreated to my brother’s house two hour’s drive away near a forest, itself under threat. There, with gratitude, I found a sanctuary, with birds and newts and damselfies. Over those few days, I also found myself some kind of steady state.

Cancer does not like oxygen and a healthy immune system, so these things I can work on. It revels in stress, and I’ve been stressed for a long while. Strong, close relationships are so important; many of mine are lost, unresolved or just not physically present in every day life (the cons of cyber contact). I downloaded the Headspace App and still keep it very close, fixed now on meditation as a calming influence each day.

But inevitably, there followed a return to Cardiff. Difficult discussions, drives, phonecalls, delays, CT scans, waiting rooms, more delays and and generous GP intervention to speed things up (she too has been through something similar, the power of shared experience). The day I had my second CT, I was given my radiotherapy tatoos. Three prussian blue dots now decorate me, hip to pubis to hip. I was aligned and ready for the machine, ten years to the day after I found my mother dead from suicide.

That same day, the radiotherapist, without hesitation, told me straight as he fixed a canula into the top of my hand for the IV contrast…”You’re a lucky girl.” Organs by which I produced my daughter (womb, ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix), a fibroid that caused anemia, and a tumour of self-defeating, once-multiplying, highly undifferentiated cells, are now away from me, unable to hurt me or my loved ones.

“Someone on high has intervened,” he continued. “Radiotherapy, chemotherapy; you’ll look back at this as a blip in life. Next year, you’ll be getting on with life again. Leave this to us. We know what we are doing.”

I told him about my mother and the ten year anniversary of a death I wished never had happened. He smiled, with faith. “You see.” And he looked up.

The machine whirred around me, in black and red circles.

“Lucky girl.”

…with the thought, I love my daughter so much. I want to be with her growing up!

The incidental finding of a grade three Stage 1B sarcocarcinoma in my womb after hysterectomy for a fibroid in May, means my lymph remains untested, but the scans show no spread, no swelling, no inflammation. Uncertainty still clings to my wings, however, in the idea of micrometastasis; rogue cells that may find traction again, somewhere, sometime. It’s a mental ache within me like the ghost of that suffocating oiled-bird.

I begin all ‘sterilising’ treatments next week. A six month insurance policy, the premium of which I must pay in side effects and some long term risks. I’ll take all the help I can get, and with much gratitude. I’m certainly not the first, and won’t be the last. That’s what I am learning, and fast. We are all journeymen.

And my mortality? She occasionally averts her eyes, especially when I remember the radiographer’s words. The day he spoke to me, on that mind-mark of an anniversary, I emerged from the cancer centre into the sunlight. I looked high up in the sky. Gulls were riding thermals, wings out-stretched, no slick and free of oil ~ they too are journeymen.

Again, gratitude. And with a deep love for all life.

~~~~~~~~~~

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Vitanance

The Holy Bible. Genesis. Chapter One. 26. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”

“Human beings are empowered to exercise dominion over nature and even to be participants in creation; and yet, at the same time, there are strictures against idolatry, which is a kind of overreaching and confusing human beings’ role with God’s.”
Michael Sandel

I have been pondering the word dominion; a word to describe the human shadow cast about our wondrous planet like a suffocating inversion of smog. Post-pagan spirituality and the far-reaching tentacles of capitalist ideals seem to have combined to culminate in plutocracies formed in dominance hierarchies as opposed to circular relationships and complexity. Consequential value-prejudice and subsequent decisions based on those values brings great pain and suffering to certain human groups, to microbes, to blue whales (and all life). Fluministic processes that perpetuate life itself break like glass. Exploitation of the many by the few has been the false summit. Any belief in a Logos of nature to be founded in aggression and competition by the few over the many may well be the single biggest conscious mistake our species has ever made.

Dom ~ a religious hierarch, a man.
Dominus ~ the master of the house, nus meaning ownership or relationship.

Dominion – the sovereign or single power over territory, the subjugation, therefore, of all others.

Human dominance being a wrong in itself, and stemming from a male oriented hierarchy.

I propose a counter, a word that rids itself of hierarchy between all living beings, at the same time, affirming life as relationships.

Vita (latin) ~ life.
Vitanus ~ Life is relationship.

Vitanance being the right in itself, stemming from diversity, proliferation and of the complexity of all life.

How do all life forms relate to this living world of over 4 billion years in the making, a complex flourish of organic processes? With vitanance!

~~~~~~~~~

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Cupilustria

 

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Photo by me

cupido ~ yearning (Latin)

lustri ~ wilderness/dens of wild beasts, wood, forests (Latin)

 

As I sit here in the city, thinking, confined by recovery, I am yearning for the wild.

I want to be where no humans live, where they are rare, where I can go in for a walk and feel peaceful eutierria with other species, interconnected and free.

Cupilustria is a deep feeling that is bridged to my awildian imagination. Special places are conjured in my mind, gossamer images overlaying and underlaying the slate roofs and brick chimneys I see through my window.

I close my eyes and engage all my senses. Then I begin to plan my escape.

~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

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Emotion, swift, thermal. (tweets)

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