Author: Anahita in Love

3 Books and 1 Emerging, Ancient Field

“It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.” Henry David Thoreau, Walden 3 Books and 1 Emerging, Ancient Field In light of recent developments in artificial intelligence — acknowledging that computer programs can now create art, music, and literature — it is comforting and invigorating to center ourselves in the essence of our humanity, which reaches far deeper than the creation of things… Book 1 Biophilia is the work of evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson, published in 1984, in which he posited “that our natural affinity for life—biophilia—is the very essence of our humanity and binds us to all other living species.”(1) Book 2  Building on the biophilia hypothesis, social ecology professor Stephen Kellert wrote Building for Life: Designing and Understanding the Human-Nature Connection among other …

Biome sweet biome

Where do you live?  If you were asked this question while away from home, you probably would mention your city or state. If abroad, you would likely mention your nationality or the country in which you live. If you encounter someone from your own city or town, you might talk about your neighborhood, your Kiez or quartier — maybe even your street or building. Where do you really live? Something has been missing from the framework: a piece that references and connects us with nature. Your biome. If you do not know about your biome, you are not alone. We could all improve our ecoliteracy (i.e., the “knowledge of the environment necessary for informed decision-making”). A biome is “a community of plants and animals living together in a certain kind of climate”, also known as a bioclimatic landscape. Do you share yours with water buffalo, i’iwi, monkey beetles, snow leopards, bridled nail-tail wallabies, Atlantic puffins, monarch butterflies, oriental sweetgum or pine oaks? Find out more here: Ecoregions 2017 © Resolve ! Knowing about the flora and fauna in your biome is …

Sustainable. But have you ever been to Baden-Württemberg?

What makes a building a green building? Green buildings are designed with sustainability goals and fulfill specific criteria in their construction, maintenance, and life cycle — designated by certifications such as LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) from the U.S. Green Building Council or the DGNB System (Deutsches Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen) from the German Sustainable Building Council. For those looking for entry points and a general understanding of how a building is actually a sustainable building though, it helps to consider models and look at details.  “The most sustainable building in the world” Earning a platinum certificate with the highest DGNB certification score achieved thus far, the building known as the Eisbärhaus (Polar Bear House) in Baden-Württemberg, Germany proffers many mindful details. These include: building material choices, such as using recycled concrete in the reinforced concrete-wood hybrid structure; energy efficiency solutions, such as a battery storage system for storing the electricity generated by a photovoltaic system — to use when needed; and a software system, which controls various features in response to current local weather conditions — and …

Timeless in Tuscany

It’s 3 o’clock on a Saturday. Saturn-Day, as in Saturn, the great teacher. We’ve arrived. The grandfather clock behind the reception desk stands still, frozen at some previous, unspecified 4 o’clock. Looking closely, I make out the phrase on its face: tempus fugit. “Sed fugit interea, fugit inreparabile tempus, singular dum capti circumvectamur amore”  Virgil, Georgics “Fugit inreparabile tempus” (It escapes, irretrievable time), wrote the poet Virgil — later expressed in English as: time flies. While time may fly, it can also stop for a spell. Also not flying on this day: our luggage — left behind by the airline along the way. We check in and then go to the center of this piccolo villaggio, hoping for a shop with swimsuits. Aha, a shop: Fata Morgana. This is the Italian name of the Fairy Morgana, the sorceress Morgan le Fay in Arthurian legend. Fata Morgana is also the name of a mirage of sorts, visible above the horizon, once believed to be fairy castles conjured up by witchcraft. Now known as an “optical phenomenon.” They are sometimes seen …

Lucid Dreaming

What distinguishes lucid dreaming from dreaming? What makes a lucid dream – lucid? Why explore and develop this skill? How could it contribute to better health and well-being?  To begin exploring this, let us first land upon a story shared in the Zhuangzi, by the master Zhuang. In the “Butterfly Dream”, Zhuang Zhou dreams of being a butterfly, happily fluttering around. He awakens from this vivid dream and – pauses, wonders – is he Zhuang Zhou who dreamt of being a butterfly? Or is he a butterfly, dreaming that he is Zhuang Zhou? “The Butterfly Dream” of Zhuang Zhou is a dream, recalled — and a portal through which we can move between the concepts of dreaming and lucid dreaming. Psychophysiologist Stephen LaBerge specializes in the scientific study of lucid dreaming. He describes lucid dreaming as “fully reflective consciousness during unequivocal (REM) sleep” — and also simply: “dreaming while knowing that you are dreaming.” When you become aware that you are dreaming, myriad new possibilities emerge in your dreams. Applications being explored by lucid dreamers include: …

If Ewe Know, Ewe Know

Night and Light and the Half-Light The Gaelic seasonal festival Imbolc takes place halfway in the cycle between the winter solstice and the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere (1 February in the calendar of days).  It is a celebration of the returning of the light, or the returning to the light, depending on one’s perception. (After all, does the sun really ‘rise’ in the east and ‘set’ in the west?) At this time, some will walk ‘round holy wells. If we tune in, we sense the days getting longer. The stretching glow of candles in the home softens the breath in the evening. Sparks. Fresh energy. These spheres ripple into our fields, always present if not always acknowledged, until they reach the graspable routine of 24 hours, in the lived experiences of our circadian rhythms. Responding to the light and the dark, these biological rhythms affect our health by influencing hormone release, body temperature, and rest and digest functions. Our internal circadian clocks need to adjust and readjust to remain in alignment with external time, …

In the Margins – Poem #9

| In the Margins – Poem #9 – From the pages of Mary Windermere’s Book of Exotic Fish -M.J. Heinrich | …Come true In the absence before your presence, I called for your essence; Permanence greeted me Your entrance—alchemy— Humans in the Garden of Eden (We were singing—softly; Silently conferring:  Is it getting late to be falling in love— in the holy beginning?  Or is it nearly time  to be rising in Love—  and leaving this level of Heaven?) Pondering these words on our island; immersed in the crystal green water, I open my eyes—smile and wonder—  indigo orange fish Remind me of a wish… Feature photo by Marta Dzedyshko