a). this website
The word ‘sumptuous’ comes from a Latin word meaning expenditure, which was adapted in C16th to refer to something on which much expense had been lavished or that had been produced at great cost. The dictionary definition of the word in its current use includes, ‘lavish’, ‘splendid’, ‘expensive’ – even ‘extravagant’ – but it maybe should also include an aesthetic dimension too.
An assumption in setting up this weblog is that the world – planet Earth, the places where we live, all the people and living things with whom we share this existing – is sumptuous! We could understand it as having been produced at great cost. Lots of striving, lots of stretching boundaries, brilliance and innovation, many deaths, disruptions and dissolutions, many sacrifices, a great deal of suffering, incredible heartache, numerous dreams, lots of work, miracles, a whole lot of money – you get the picture – have gone into the world to make it what it is today. I think it can reliably be described as special.
This blog suggests the world and its life is too special to waste.
Humans are in a unique position in history, able to unleash the power of exploding stars, able to communicate instantly across wide geographies, able to show compassion, create beauty and develop relationships with all manner of things. Mistakes happen, sure, and are often only understood as such retrospectively. Shit happens too. But another explanation for why there might be environmental degradation and social stress could be that people and the world around them are, plain and simple, just not valued enough.
So how to remedy this? Well, alongside good analysis and discussion, I’d suggest these attributes –
- creativity, artistry, and imagination;
- developing a sensibility of place;
- developing ‘body awareness';
- appreciating multiple perspectives and, in tandem, practising ‘systemic facilitation‘ and developing what some have termed ‘epistemological awareness‘;
- appreciating history;
- imagining possibilities based on things that already exist;
- practising the ‘art and science’ of good conversation – see diagrams logged in the ‘good communication?‘ page – which, I think, entails being attentive to others and being open to revising one’s perspectives; and,
- developing the crafts of good storytelling.
And I aim to reflect these in this blog.
(By the way, if you recognise the banner artwork, and know where it came from, then I’d be grateful if you’d let me know! I downloaded it from the www and can’t remember from where or whom… The full picture is of a nautilus.)
Thanks for visiting. If you’d like to contribute a post, get in touch – fmeynell [at] gmail [dot] com. And suggestions for how to improve the blog would be welcome.