Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Ice Bucket Crystals



Ruminations on the 'ice bucket challenge.'
We didn't have any ice, the freezer being packed with garden and hedgerow bounty (without which winter will be lean in this house.) It was cold enough, being from the outside tap, we figured. Misgivings were not about the temperature of water. There are sides to things, of course. An ice crystal is an appropriate image.
Clean water is a luxury of living and a staple; this is what makes it treacherously easy to overlook how lucky we are: we who have this undemanding access. My tomatoes, my cat, my dog, myself, all have this effortless level of supply. I may be frugal with bath water but there it is: I am bathing in drinkable water. 
Of course, here, we are aiming to live more naturally, there are plans for a filtered rain tank: I would have an outdoor bathroom, a dry toilet (some people aspire to gold taps, for me the dry toilet is a sign of success) and the permaculture sensibility is a living growing phenomenon, I can't work out quite if this is off-topic, but it seems wrapped up in it, vaguely.
First I must ask and answer this question:
Why did I tip four gallons of clean cold water over my head?
My students get to ask me to do a lot of silly things and I would indulge them: I ask a lot of them, in training, blood, sweat, tears: they give. So I give.
Water fights: they happen here: we love them. They are no less wasteful. We could claim it nourishes the fruit trees but they don't really require it.
Charity: in an ideal world, everything needed is provided. Meanwhile, I don't mind to help. It doesn't have to stop me thinking of bigger ways to change (hence the thoughts about the rain filter, perhaps.) 
Our donations are for The Children's Hospice, because there is a personal link. There is (our student) Ellen's little brother Arthur, born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy: there is no cure, no saving him: there is only this quiet refuge to go to, in which one submits with much needed support to the inevitable death of an infant. 
Not all the tears we share with our students are because of training. 
We share our stories- that's what is not always apparent from the multitude of clips of wet gluggy faces proliferating this week's social media. 
We can bond, there's a thought worth pursuing, and if we can bond we can make change happen. It is not such a simple bandwagon when you lift the hood, perhaps; in there are some intricate cogs of grief and hope, even under some of the hammiest showmanship. And yes of course some people have done it without donating or having a clue who to give help to or why possibly because they don't care and some people have ignored it with a similar thoughtlessness. Stupidity is part of the human experience. But that is off-topic. There is fun to be had in helping each other, and doing it for our selves is sensible. We should keep trying to help each other, because of or in spite of, whatever cogs are turning. Difference need not hurt. There is no one accurate point of view, only this beautifully edged composite.
[Additional extras: We have added a donation to Water Aid for our challenge. I do not oppose the work to find a cure for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is a devastating condition. I do oppose experimentation on animals in laboratories, not because I don't value human life but because I think it is too horrible a price to pay, and in itself devalues our worth. Also worth recording: thanks to Mr Grandad's response to dousing himself in liquid cold, our eldest grandson learnt his first swear. Bad Grandad!]



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