Posts Tagged ‘environmental imagery’

Going Deeper

Monday, April 9th, 2012

My colleague and friend, Dr Andrea Neal, of Blue Ocean Sciences, sent me this very cool piece on Tom’s Shoes (who I really admire) today.

It is very in theme for this blog series. Many of us are looking at ethics and architecture these days. It is essential if one really wants to make an accurate difference.

In surfing, being accurate is 90 percent of the battle in being competent and thriving. (I frequently relate everything back to the oceans)

To be there and successful in surfing you need to know the Architecture of the Earth and have skill. If you do that, your experience is challenging, rewarding and allows one to move forward without a serious hold down or wipe out. The best way to survive in challenging surf? Choose a wave that you know you can make. Don’t wipe out. Simple eh?

But you would be amazed at the number of people who refuse to apply these basic principles to things which they choose to support or believe in.

Flow

Flow

Here is how I see it:

Architecture, and really great design,  begins with the Philosophy of the designer.

In Nature (which was designed by God) you see this, the brilliance of great Architecture, as well as the heart of the philosophy being espoused.

Herein is contained both the problem and it’s solution.

It is not easy.

But it is simple.

God is Love.

Use Love as your benefit quantifier.

Watch what happens.

Seth Godin absolutely nails the validity of an accurate voice in his Blog today “Is Everyone Entitled to Their Opinion?”

Here is a fantastic piece on Man and Nature, by Frances Moore Lappe entitled “How to Think Like an Ecosystem”.

Drew Kampion states: “Life IS a wave”¬† So choose wisely. Or you may find yourself on one of these, below.

Beautiful Closeout

Beautiful Closeout

Beauty

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011
Beauty

Beauty

 

One of the linchpins in the success of my imaging career, has been the ability to recognize and communicate beauty. Sounds simple. The reality is far from that. The reason being, is that beauty is a complex subject, and really has little to do with obvious and apparent physical attributes.

Take the image above. Pretty girl. I made her prettier with my skills as a photographer. But what makes this beautiful, is understanding. Me taking the time to understand who and what she is, made me want to pursue working with her.¬† Jentry is the daughter of two¬† remarkable parents. She is a dancer with discipline, talent and creative vision, and has what I like to call: “purity of motivation”.

In other words, she “gets it”. That makes her inspiring. This translates to real beauty. You cannot forge beauty. It may be counterfeited to those who only see in the superficial tones¬† communicated in today’s highly compromised value systems. But true beauty will always be above corruption.

That is probably why I attach myself to the Ocean so willingly. It is difficult to corrupt that. It goes on. Powerful and Beautiful in it’s intricate workings and purpose. Water is life and carries within it the energy signature of the universe.¬† When we experience beauty, it resonates in the human heart in much the same manner as a string plucked or stroked on a musical instrument which vibrates and exudes sound.¬† Beauty is like that: pure in tone and motivation.

Blue Pulse

Blue Pulse

My phone rang early yesterday morning. I was online and engaged in a written conversation with Dr. Ed Brenegar about corruption in our culture. Ed is a very educated member of a global leadership community. He always seems to be on point and is generally writing what I am thinking .

The voice on the other end was my friend George Orbelian, who was ringing to speak with me regarding an event being put on by Tre Packard of the Japanese based Environmental action group, Pangea Seed.

Pangea is putting on an Art event in SF, and had sought some help in promoting it. I had suggested Tre speak with George, who is a loved and connected member of the SF Community, and heads a plethora of Organizations.

George is a busy man. He always gets right to the point. “David, what can you tell me about Pangea?” I went straight to the heart of it. I knew what George was asking. “They endeavor to change the perception of Japanese culture through Art and Inspiration, George. Being Japan based, they understand cultural tenets and know that in order to implement real change, the head on approach to Environmental Activism that we use in American Culture is ineffective. Pangea has what I would call a very pure approach. They communicate the beauty and importance of preserving sharks and other marine life, in building a healthy ocean and country. They get it.”

Eternal

Eternal

“That is perfect. Okay I know what to do”. George is like that. We all should be. One needs to check behind the facade these days. For often, what appears to be beautiful and pure, may be something else by the time you see it, than what it was when it was born.

I asked my friend a question. “George, are all Environmental Govt agencies and NGO’s corrupt? I mean, is that just the way things are today? ” (George heads up Project Kaisei, an NGO Environmental entity).

I gave him a brief account of a locally based NGO that was founded on the premise of serving the poor, and what I had recently learned about the leadership, one of which is paid a 200K annual salary.

Majesty

Majesty

“Let me tell you a story” George quietly launched into an account of some close friends of his, who had gone to India to do some humanitarian work. In process they found themselves in the facility of a world famous organization headed up by a global religious figurehead. What they saw there perplexed and alarmed them.

In the facility was a large  room being used as a nursery. Against one wall of the dirty room was a huge pile of toys apparently discarded and untouched. In cribs throughout the room where infants. Grimy, marginally cared for. George began to choke up and explained that this was difficult to talk of. He went on.

“As my friends began to pick up and meet each child, they realized that the children were being left in there. They were never taken outside. They tried to make a difference in caring for them. But it was obvious what was going on. (George describes in intimate detail what those aide workers saw. Chokes up more)

“Thanksgiving was a few days away. They figured that maybe they could help by easing the lot of the women in the religious order, who were a part of the operation. So each member of the party picked something to cook and on Thanksgiving, they brought the people at the orphanage a beautiful traditional American Thanksgiving meal.

As they brought it in, one of the workers there, realizing that the group was trying to do a good thing, took them aside and explained something. The people of the Religious order ate like that every day. A prestigious Hotel chain catered all of their meals. They also told them this: “And you see some of those unkempt babies? Those neglected, discarded children? Some of them were born to the members of the order.”

In tears, George explained “Everything goes this way, they are all bad. But they generally do not start out that way. It is just the process that organizations go through.”

In tears as well, I got it.

Beauty is an honorable state of being. The pretty face of the warm fuzzy thing you thing you feel compelled to “save”? Well, you may have just fed something corrupt. In not looking, and not endeavoring to see, you may have contributed to something evil.

No one wants to abuse babies.

People are what matter.

Be the solution.

Seek beauty.

Whisper

Whisper

 

When we do this, if we do this, we take the lead, and engage the creative process, rather than becoming a part of the destructive process, also known as entropy. That should matter greatly. It cedes to accountability and responsibility. Our organizations need this.

Click on any of the images below to toggle through as a slide show.

Canary in a Coal Mine: An Environmental Manifesto

Saturday, August 6th, 2011
Canary in a Coal Mine

Canary in a Coal Mine

 

Etymology

An allusion to caged canaries mining workers would carry down into the tunnels with them. If dangerous gases such as methane or carbon monoxide leaked into the mine-shaft, the gases would kill the canary before killing the miners.

 Noun

canary in a coal mine

  1. A warning of danger or trouble yet to come.

 Synonyms

I have long been aware of the role of the Ocean in the Ecosystem, that is the environmental engine of Spaceship Earth, and realized my Tribe was a canary in the coal mine of industrial development, by virtue of being surfers and water people, and have always felt a deep and abiding responsibility to learn everything about our planet, and how it functions, in minute detail.

I read Silent Spring when embarking on my education in Environmental theory in 8th grade. It was not in the curriculum. It inspired me to study Science and look at everything as a part of a broad ecological picture. Many today do not understand relationships in Nature. It is important. Otherwise you may think your choice of a cause helps, when in reality you just shot the earth in a foot.

Brown Pelican Dino

Brown Pelican Dino

A living dinosaur. Special. Vital that it be here today with us. Not everyone knows that the usage and eventual banning of DDT, was based on questions posed in Silent Spring. DDT was never intended to be used here originally. Banning it saved the Pelican, the Bald Eagle, and Us. Thank God for curious people, research scientists, and publishers willing to give them a platform.

But frequently, we miss out on engaging larger line items, that make even something so important as biohazards, like pervasive toxins in our ecosystem, of far lesser importance . I think it is human nature to do so. But really, we ought to engage those bigger questions and issues. To not do so, is to invite more Chernobyls, Fukushimas, and accede to our potential role in a real life Armageddon.

Because you see, the Earth will live on. It is we who are here on it so briefly, which may not. What we choose determines the fate of our children. Look around at that: the children of the Earth. Ponder them.

Today ego, money and lies drive the Environmental Movement. That became our reality when we  abetted the championing of the life and welfare of our planet, to and allowed it to become a Political issue and springboard to power, rather than one of Scientific or Moral contention. The potential expense and loss created by this terrible choice of paths is so vast, it is paralyzing in its scope.

Not many look at the business acronym of ROI (Return On Investment) We all should. Sure as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, we will reap a harvest of both malfeasance and destruction from this great moral faux pas.

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A California Opus

Saturday, July 9th, 2011
Napa Orange Gold

Napa Orange Gold

Chapter 5 in the California Series.

I have not always lived in California. My Dad was going to college on the GI Bill in Milwaukee Wisconsin, at Marquette University. I had never asked him why, being from Hawaii, he chose the Mid West. He met my Mother there. That was where my two Brothers and I were born.

We were sick a lot as infants. The family pediatrician had told my parents that our Hawaiian genetics may have been to blame, as we did not tolerate the cold of  hard, Midwestern Winter very well. In fact, I ended up in the hospital. I remember the experience vividly. It was a bleak time of laying in an oxygen tent in a ward, and staring out a third floor hospital window, looking at the City, watching.

Eventually, the family moved to California where my Father explored his career as an Engineer. My parents bought a home in Whittier California.  The design of the first computer, as well as launch of the Space program, became a regular part of our household, via my Dad’s work.

In some ways, we were healthier in the warmer climate of California. However, a problem arose. I developed allergies. Those caused a lack of energy, and attendant respiratory problems. I began getting injections twice a month (one in each arm), which helped alleviate the symptoms. I still get a phantom muscle ache, when I think about those shots.

I recall days where one could not see the nearby foothills, which created the basin in which Whittier is located, such was the density of the smog prevalent in California in the 1960’s. It had been around this time that the massive citrus groves disappeared from the area, being replaced by housing tracts and strip malls. Part of a methodical, concreting over of the Los Angeles area.

I was already a swimmer at this point, having learned to bodysurf, ride foamies, and inflatable mats, at the beaches in and around Newport, Huntington, Palos Verdes and South Bay. I swam for a local AAU team. But those allergies were a persistent problem. The only time I had true respite, was when we were at the beach.

Due to my diminutive size, and sort of sickly nature, my parents decided that I needed to wait to get a surfboard. By this point, it had been a topic of discussion for a couple years. But my water activities, which included fishing and diving, kept me pretty busy.

I craved those idyllic long days at the beach. I have fond memories of ten hour days in the water,  a piece of chicken, or a few rice balls, snatched on the run, from the picnic lunch my Mom would have made, very early that morning, as she loaded up the white 1955 Chevy wagon, for the long (to me) drive to the beach. I had fallen for California.

Timeline

Timeline

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World Oceans Day

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011
Me for the Ocean

Me for the Ocean

This is another in the blog series on  California. Ch 3.

Today is a movement generated day called World Oceans Day. You can read about it’s History here.

More years ago then I care to admit to, I had a couple custom board shaping appointments with two men. One board was for Tom Pratte. The other was for  Reed Wolpert. As we chatted together in two separate shaping sessions, both men told me about a concern that they had.

They each saw California as being engaged in a very dangerous trend. It was the walling off of the Coastline by development, and closing of historic access ways to the beach and Ocean to surfers, and ultimately loss of those grandfathered access ways to the public at large. They, along with a few other men, committed lives and assets to stopping this. I remember our conversations well, as they took place in my shaping room in Santa Barbara California. This was in the birth period of the Surfrider Foundation when they, along with Glen Henning, founded the group. SR was later lead to prominence by Rob Caughlan.

The organization has changed dramatically over ensuing generations. Suffering as many well intentioned valiant organizations do, from a process called Mission Creep.¬† Both men are gone now.¬† The same problems persist with Ocean and Coastal Access.¬† It shrinks. Even more so as that Organization foundered in it’s original intent, in process of becoming a sort of PAC, as many NGO’s are want to do.

For Surfers, and the rest of the Ocean Tribe, EVERY day is Ocean Day. But I sure appreciate the concept and well meaning intentions, none the less, of the people who founded it.

Kaleidoscopic

Kaleidoscopic

Lets keep the access to our Oceans open. Lets regulate the ones whose words and deeds destroy it. Seek sustainable solutions to utilizing it’s rich resources, and while we are there, if you happen to see a bit of trash, simply pick it up.

This piece is called Walk On The Ocean. It is timeless, and a message from my Community on this Golden Coast. The group was a Santa Barbara Icon. Toad The Wet Sprocket.

Sovereign Queen: Rincon

Sovereign Queen: Rincon

The Ocean is our lifeline. We should all cherish and rejoice in it. A pretty simple, yet equally vital, avocation for some, but a way of life for many of my friends. It joins us all together in a baptism which imbues life.

We ARE the change. I think both Tom And Reed would appreciate that. Thanks to all of the rest of you who do as well.

Rejoice

Rejoice

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.

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