Thursday, April 10, 2008

The rains in Arkansas this spring have been relentless. We had more rain last night and this morning, so the creeks, rivers and reservoirs are full to the brim and each drop that falls is headed downstream. Bill Sherret, whose steam engines I showed last week is a reporter for the national weather service, and like a few life-long learners among us has a weather station in his back yard that allows him to accurately record rainfall amounts and other interesting weather conditions.

We once were a nation of observers with each taking account of conditions and planning their lives in accord with nature's circumstances. Now as human activities have brought us to such extremes of weather conditions, we may once again be required to find value in our own personal observations and actions.

I have been enjoying the polls and your responses at right. The great thing about these small polls is that they encourage us to reflect, and consider our own expertise. I particularly like the poll at right on sawdust therapy. This is an area that we find strong agreement and yet, the value of the arts in achieving emotional and mental health has never been studied or measured for effectiveness. We spend billions on drugs to alter consciousness, control depression, with countless harmful side effects, but there is not enough money to be made from involvement in creative arts for profit driven research to take an interest in it. The other interesting thing is that the creative arts tend to empower participants, training us in acute observation, and building confidence. That can be a dangerous thing. What if we became creative, well informed activists instead of complaisant consumers?

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