Tipping point: dreams of children

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm taking a rest from preparing a presentation that I'm giving in Melbourne as part of the Tipping Point conference, "Art and climate change – re-imagining a global future through dialogue and action".

I'm writing about our household's art practice based on our transition from oil-based consumer ideology to relocalisation, and I've been thinking a lot about Zephyr, our eight year old, and his very particular role in augmenting change. Zeph often starts a sentence with "when the oil runs out..." or, "when I get a horse I'll build a cart and...".

By the time Zeph is ten he'll know how to build a shelter, light fire without matches, forage for wild plants and mushrooms, grow potatoes and corn and sunflowers, hunt for rabbits and fish for perch, all unassisted; all as a matter of pleasure and necessity.

Zeph already supports our household resource supply in many ways, and this role has been significant to his development. He's never babied, he makes his own lunch (carrots, pumpkin seeds, and sourdough honey sandwiches), and loves to lead a 'bush bash' for an hour before school. His wild to cultivated ratio is about 50:50, something we will continue to celebrate and nourish.

He ran off the top of his bunk bed a few nights ago, fleeing from a nightmare. Remarkably he landed without broken bones or even a scratch, and he said he remembered nothing the next morning, except for the frightening dream itself.

Whatever happens this century, Zeph, as your parents we will ensure you have the tools for resilience, to participate in this world and be present and connected, not fooled by abstract money markets, not fearful of the long descent, and not reliant on exploiting systems such as transported resources. By only consuming local resources you will understand the value of things and how to look after them and assist, where you can, in their processes of renewal.

We will support you to grow your beautiful imagination so as you will always create your own responses and solutions, even to your nightmares, and be resourceful in helping yourself, in community with others, move towards a more just, relocalised world.


Peter said...

A beautiful piece - there's a lot here for reflection. And there's alot of courage in embarking on new models of childhood. Best wishes, Peter (PS: posted this on my facebook page - imaginal)

Donna said...

wow ! this is a place i am as a single parent, to 2 incredible imaginative beings, 2 and 5, just stepping into. We have just left behind a life of 4 walls and regulated routines into 1of travelling oz spontaneously as guided or directed by the universe and our higher selves ! Will be developing a blog on our journey and also a travel website on what works and what doesnt ! LOVE your parenting values and am working in that same direction of instilling a sense of self-help and worth to achieve whatever is possible in the most sustainable ways with confidence, respect and trust in the environment around us (mother earth dependent rather than man made ! ) So far after 2mths the girls are more dependent on their books, the environment with pots and pans to make soups and their writing and drawing, rather than dvds, dolls houses, man made toy kitchens etc ! YaY to creating better communities and ways of living for our next generations, this can only continue to pass down xxxx Donna, Genaveve and Summer-Rain. travelparenting@gmail.com

Glen Dunn said...

Hey Zeph. You running off your top bunk from a nightmare reminds me of when I stayed at a friends house about a year ago. That night I went to sleep in my friend’s studio. I had this dream where I got out of bed, walked to the sliding-glass door of the studio, opened the door and stepped out into the night. The door was two meters above the rocks below. (The deck had yet to be built). I dreamt that I was falling. Then I dreamt that I hit the rocks below. Then I think I woke from this dream butt naked on the rocks. I remember thinking, well, okay… and went back to sleep… on the rocks! I dreamt that I climbed up the studio wall, back through the door and went back to bed. In the morning (when I really did wake up) I discovered little trails of blood leading from the rocks, to my bed, to my knee. It was really weird but kind of fun. True story. Hope you caught a fish Zeph. X

Permapoesis said...

you're a natural born blogger glen, i look forward to the day you start your own. yes, we caught three fish that afternoon. one with an undigested yabby in its tum.

wow back to you donna! what an incredible achievement to get as far as you have already. incredibly brave stuff. look forward to dropping in on your adventure from time to time.

and thanks peter, thanks for your social warming.

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