Na het afscheid begin deze maand van PRIMO komt geleidelijk de reflectie. Het terugkijken en vooruitdenken. Balans opmaken. 15 jaar bouwen aan een vereniging. Van niets naar iets. Nu overgedragen. “Loslaten is het devies”, dat ik van alle kanten krijg. Mooi, maar klinkt eenvoudiger dan het is. Iets op het niveau van de ziel. Geloof in een betere wereld, dat ook.
Natuurlijk heeft afscheid ook iets weg van ‘vakantie’ of van ‘sabbatical’. Uiteraard ook van klussen in huis, in te tuin werken, kinderen, kleinkinderen, boeken lezen, fietsen. En tenslotte, van mijn archief (nader) op orde brengen, met daarbij vooral oude documenten screenen en wat weg kan of moet, ook daadwerkelijk weggooien.
Dit is mijn eigen wall-art: Stepping Stones. Een plekje zoeken ergens op het schaakbord van het systeem der samenleving. Reflectie en vooral de tijd zal de weg wijzen. Eerst eens lekker gaan zitten.
Freedom is one of the highest personal values. Thinking of society – with all free people – as a mosaic as large as a chess board. Imagine the colours of thought or belief (Pantone Quiet Gray), of physical movement in sport, dance, travel and leisure (Pantone Leather Brown) and of expression in art and culture (Pantone Pastel Yellow) together.
A palette with just the core indicators of true freedom. No blue (government) and no violet (politics) on the horizon.
Today was a rainy day, finally. I look out my window and see the city lights in the far distance, through the palette of raindrops, while reading some articles about the latest financial developments due to Covid-19. Well, an interesting view on the threshold of the near future, of tomorrow.
The predictions, to be frank, are worrisome for the coming years and more difficult after 2 years from now. I know the government can print new money very easily or borrow it relatively cheaply. It can spend budgets on all individuals, communities, civic organisations and companies which are in (desperate) need of support. We know all these spendings at the end will have to be refunded and paid back by citizens, companies and lower governments like municipalities. It is unavoidable to find new balance again. The awareness under public leaders, city managers, CFO’s and concern controllers is growing – “Houston, we have a problem” –, because cash registers are deflating rapidly.
Where a romantic late evening view with a good glass of wine can cross the thoughts on a new financial strategy for local government and the city. Same picture, two perspectives: that of home sweet home and the other one of the need for a sparkling and financial solid public strategy. A reflective mood.
Following the Sustainable Development Goals, Climate Change is despite Covid-19 not forgotten. More so, the last is seen by scientists, managers and experts as an omen what we can expect when we keep disrupting the Earth ecosystem. Goal 13 is Climate Action: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. This goal has 5 targets:
Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries.
Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning.
Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.
Implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible.
Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries and small island developing States, including focusing on women, youth and local and marginalized communities.
My personal expression of climate change is displayed above. I imagined the canvas of our world as a chess board with 8*8 fields and estimated the most hurt ecosystems due to change: coral reef (Pantone Living Coral ) and tropical rainforest (Pantone Forest Biome). Government (Pantone Imperial Blue) is a tiny spot on the canvas and is not doing too much with many public leaders which are still in denial of what is happening (why? Interest and stakes!). Government, steered by people we as citizens elect to be our representatives (how difficult can it be!), need to take the lead. But, to be frank, its influence anno 2020 can not be marked as substantial. Storm (Pantone Storm Gray) is coming.
It is a personal art impression – or maybe better an expression of an impression – to remind me that we will loose precious life if we continue this way. The myriad of life is so abundant in coral reeds and tropical rainforests, we can hardly imagine. If you have seen it, and understood, you fall in love immediately. And if this happens you want to protect and want to stay it forever. I am in love, still (it is actually since 1978, the year I met Professor Roelof Oldeman and with him discovered the forest, almost 32 years now).
I am a realist, not a pessimist. I hear you thinking. But I did my homework as Wageningen University ecologist. Believe me, storm is coming, if we keep sitting on our hands. Maybe this small expression is a small contribution to one of the targets of this sustainable development goal. The colours of climate change are printed in my mind.
Cultural heritage (Pantone Pastel Yellow) is the felt DNA of society. It most of the time contrasts as a light in-depth perspective on past days with the hectic world of the city of today (Pantone Chili Pepper). The governing system with its rules and regulations (Pantone Jet Black) comes in. The white fields (Pantone Snow White) are the opening spots to the new world, the pristine fields to be discovered.
It is this composition that comes into my mind when society is ignited to reorient and even redesign itself when society is at the brink of rewriting and rethinking its own history, its past, but more than that, it’s future. Society changes in color palette from heritage pastel yellow into dynamic chili pepper, the hot variant.
Can someone gets lost in the city? I do NOT mean the romantic kind of lost, on a late evening wandering through the city of Paris with your love in search for your hotel. Not the philosophical, in search for existentialism, the Jan-Paul Sartre or Albert Camus-like kind of lost.
I do mean the type of isolation or loneliness kind of lost. Yes it is so possible to get lost in the city, to get disconnected from the fibres of the city, to be erased from the chessboard of life. This is how it could feel like.