"I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it."
~ Groucho Marx


Michael Waters

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Social consensus is a liquid, ever-changing thing. While it appears to have some constants (death and taxes) everything else seems able to transform its standing. I have been watching for 15 years the social regard towards coffee containers - disposable versus ceramic/own mug - and can now say a cycle is almost fully turned.

Styrofoam and paper cups came in as a massive advantage to the businesses using them, especially institutions like hospitals and schools. During the late eighties and nineties, they slowly became symbols of wastage, pollution and the 'disposable economy' and every good citizen was encouraged to either bring their own mug, or at the least, use the ceramic cup at the coffee shop. One of my favorite cafes even placed a smale 'eco-surcharge' for a to-go paper cup.

I chanced across some research in the mid nineties that took me by surprise. When one weighs up all the factors - especially manufacturing and transportation energy use, and then nightly sterilization with boiling water for ceramic cups, and then the eventual breakage and landfill destination, it turns out that unless you use a ceramic mug 3,000 times, it is the more wasteful of the options. Both paper and styrofoam (made mostly of carbon and hydrogen) break down in a landfill, while ceramics last millions of years...

Over the years, when I would bring this up at a cafe counter (I like talking) suspicion would be my main response, but in the last five years, especially with twenty-somethings, I find the viewpoint is well received as matter of fact. Paper cups are now becoming the eco-friendly option...

Why do I bring this up? It kind of distills for me the notion of good and bad, not so much as being 'in the eye of the beholder', but more specifically as directly related to the intent of the beholder. Do you intend to keep paper out of landfills, or to use less energy....?

And this has been my principle theme in what it means to approach any creative art as a pathway to your deeper self - to where your intent is the measure. It is worth a long piece of pondering as to why one feels like creating art. And if one can actually arrive at that intention, and the truth behind it, the whole effort can entirely change, even a complete about-face to what one imagined.

Next time you order a coffee, think about your intention!!!

Michael

Kinobe at Hollyhock!

May 31 - June 5

 

Journey through the heart of Africa with story, music and dance. Begin with singing, add some dance, then mix in the unique sounds of the kalimba with exuberant, joyful drumming.

Discover region specific instruments, both melodic and percussive as you sing, dance and drum. A skilled teacher of Ugandan song and singing, Kinobe draws on his experience in African and world music to teach new techniques, styles, and compositions. As the workshop progresses, Kinobe will add African dance steps, kalimba, and drum parts... More...

 

Gabriola Island ~ Sechelt ~ Victoria ~ Saltspring Island

May 24, 25, 31 and June 1

Allannah Dow, Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos and I will play four shows this Spring! I am absolutely intrigued by the sound that arrives when we meet. Here is a video of our last show - there are more in the Video section of my website. If you are able to attend, this is an amazing collection of artistic achievements - The monastic traditions of Japan, the symphonies of London, the deep forest of British Columbia.... Hope to see you there!

Facebook Event: Gabriola Island Sechelt Victoria Saltspring Island

 


This Spring I will release The Farmer's Cathedral, the compositions which have been born from the second of the two songs I wrote after playing for twenty years (see compositional map here).

I planned to release it last year, and some of you pre-purchased it. If you did, please let me know!
Here is the Title Track