The Wider Context
Photo thanks to BBC, Reuters and AFP
Here I am back in New York, after a wonderful three weeks in UK. I saw family, met loved friends, danced tango at a Tango Mango in Devon, went to a party organized by my son to connect me to friends in the community where I lived for more than a decade, attended a long weekend training course on group facilitation skills run by Cuddle Parties, went for walks, ate at restaurants, and generally had a good holiday time. I am nourished and recharged, and ready to tackle the challenges still before me.
As I watch the news, I feel both humble and grateful. I see the people of South Texas and the Caribbean who have had their homes washed away, along with literally all of their belongings. I see the Rohingya people in Myanmar persecuted in the hundreds of thousands by persons claiming to be Buddhists. These are just two striking, current examples of the struggles of people around the world.
Not only do I have no doubts about having a roof over my head every night, I am eating healthy and tasty food (almost) every meal, and I get to do a project that inspires me and others around me. My body is blessed with good health, ( I only occasionally forget the word I am trying to think of). I do not need to worry about the safety of my family, nor to bribe police and government officials. Not only can I access the Internet freely without censorship, but I can speak and write what I think. I can talk to whoever I choose; discuss whatever subjects I wish; even date (almost) whoever I choose - depending, of course, on their consent.
I am sure that many of us get caught up in the troubles of our daily lives. I have certainly slipped into that trap many times, such that we lose sight of our good fortune. Well these news items have lifted my eyes up and reminded me.
And, of course, I hardly need to say that witnessing the devastating effects of natural disasters has only strengthened my resolve to make the planet a safer, better place today and for future generations - my sons and those to follow. Though volumes are sure to come out on the relation between climate change and these historic storms, the climate change science gets clearer by the week. It is letting us know that the future of our beloved home, the earth, is by no means secure, by no means a given. We must be vigilant as a loving parent, fighting for its preservation.
On that note, the good news is: WE HAVE APPROVAL.
One step at a time.
We now have official approval for the amended design. All the efforts of the team to resolve conflicts between the different issues of the project and the various regulations set by the building department, have borne fruit.
Oh, and for those internationals among you who looked at the screenshot of the approval, the date means 1st September 2017. Remember, the Americans do dates in a squiffy way.
For those of you who havent visited the website recently, come and take a look. Not only do we now have members of the team included, but I have updated many pages of the design and the issues we are tackling.