Hi, I’m Sammy Haywood and you’ve signed up for Cumulous Monthly, a monthly newsletter on all things cloud related. Just kidding. (Although I could very easily write such a thing.) You’ve signed up for the Making Hay newsletter, which has no explicit theme and threatens only to inspire you to one-click unsubscribe.
As, I’m experiencing another lockdown (from a differing vantage point) this week, these words by author and activist Alice Walker are cause for reflection:
“Some periods of our growth are so confusing that we don’t even recognise that growth is happening. We may feel hostile or angry or weepy and hysterical, or we may feel depressed. It would never occur to us, unless we stumbled on a book or a person who explained to us, that we were in fact in the process of change, of actually becoming larger, spiritually, than we were before.”
Overall, the past year has been kind to me. There are so many moments I can look back on with joy and contentment. But it was the difficult times that first challenged and eventually changed my default attitude towards a lot of things.
Friendships, relationships, work, money, health, privilege, consumption, ownership – the way I assign meaning and priority to all those things is vastly different now than it was just a years ago. And I don’t think it’s just part of ‘growing older’.
Intellectually and emotionally, I spent large chunks of this past year coming to terms with the ecological and societal catastrophe we have created / inherited: trying to grasp the scale of the problem and the uniqueness of the moment, acknowledging the anxieties it triggers, and turning that discomfort into something productive and useful.
For me, Australia’s recent fires were a particularly traumatic event that provoked lots of unpacking and repacking.
Despite (or because of) these dark clouds, there is a growing sense of awakening. A feeling that we are – willingly or not – inching closer to the cusp of something new, something different. If you squint hard enough it looks like hope (some call it the Great Turning), although the pessimistic part of me remains sceptical. As I’m looking ahead to the next year of being me, I know one thing is certain: the internal remodelling will continue. As Alice Walker writes:
“Those long periods when something inside ourselves seems to be waiting, holding its breath, unsure about what the next step should be, eventually become the periods we wait for, for it is in those periods that we realise that we are being prepared for the next phase of our life and that, in all probability, a new level of the personality is about to be revealed.”
All right, on to the links and things. - Sam
After watching this short film on how much data private companies are able to gather about you, you might be forgiven for thinking that, never mind some far flung future, we are living in a full-on dystopia right now. The set design, the acting, the positioning of the tables, the see-through table tops, the laptop vs. notebook…this was really well done.
I didn’t believe that I needed to hear Cate Blanchett saying “I love you” over and over again while looking right at me, but now that it’s happened I could not imagine life without it. (She also says “I don’t love you” several times but we’re going to ignore that.)
I was aware that the microwave oven was invented by Raytheon’s Percy Spencer in 1945. What this video presupposes is, maybe it was invented to thaw out frozen hamsters? There’s a moment, I won’t spoil which, when you’ll say “Wait, you did what?” and feel a little chill.
The LoFi Cafe has been running in an open tab on my computer for over a week now. A collection of Japanese-inspired “chill beats”, ideal as ambient music for work/study. Don’t miss the different channels by clicking on the title in the bottom left corner.
Some of you may know that I have a bit of a thing for self-described oddball Beau Miles, one of my favourite (local) YouTube storytellers. (Favs include his A Mile an Hour and Junk Cabin videos.) His new book is about “conscious experimentation with adventure, making meaning and inspiration out of tins of beans, bits of rubbish and elbow grease.”
Everything is becoming paywalled content. What happens when all the good information and art costs money and the only stuff that's still free is disinformation, propaganda, and bullshit?
The secret of joy is the mastery of pain.
– Anaïs Nin
“Always remember that the crowd that applauds your coronation is the same crowd that will applaud your beheading. People like a show.”
― Terry Pratchett
Thanks for your time, energy and presence in making it all the way to the bottom.
Spelling mistakes, glaring omissions, furious rants or grudging tips of the hat, I welcome it all.
Till next time, be well.
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I acknowledge that the culture showcased here owes the roots of its theory and practice to traditional and Indigenous knowledges, from all over the world. We all stand on the shoulders of many ancestors – as we learn, and re-learn, these skills and concepts. We pay our deepest respects and give our heartfelt thanks to these knowledge-keepers, both past and present.