Sunday, September 27, 2015

How to share a vision

Last night, in preparation for tonight's super moon eclipse, I reread my crib sheet on how to photograph the moon. Then I took my camera and tried to follow the instructions. I had previously tried to get decent pictures of the moon and had a long string of failures. This time I was determined to succeed or know the specific reason why. It tuns out that one of my biggest sources of prior failures was skipping over some basic instructions on how to use my camera because "I didn't need to know that right then." I never went back to fill in the missing pieces of fundamental knowledge until yesterday. Here are the results (not perfect, but better than anything I'd previously accomplished):

"full" moon
"full" moon
Photo by J. Harrington

With that successful "planning" effort behind me, and the Pontiff's recent visit in mind, plus the adoption by the United Nations of "Sustainable Development Goals," I started thinking about Minnesota's current successes in sustainability, or lack thereof. Up north, mining and forestry are in serious doldrums and we're offering public subsidies that put more value in shareholders and executive pockets than jobs on Minnesota payrolls. On Minnesota's western and southern boundaries, bumper crops are likely to yield, at best, a break even year for agriculture. But, the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area is like The Little Engine That Could, pulling the state's economy ahead. Right? Yet we see more and more stories about racial inequity, economic disparity keeps growing and we can anticipate that it will be decades before water quality standards are met through the state, if they ever are. Then, to top all of that off, we have someone like K. Kersten offering commentary to the effect of About the Met Council's stamp on housing: Do we really want to live like this? and far-sighted leaders like Peter Bell quitting in a huff over a public citizen committee devoting too much time to naming rights for a Minneapolis Lake. (How much time do you suppose the Vikings deveoted to getting naming rights to their subsidized playground?) It all reminds me of the saying about "any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a real carpenter to build one" (Thank you Speaker Rayburn). At least we haven't yet seen a proposal to put them up for sale the way state parks in Wisconsin are headed under that state's anti-labor, anti-progress leadership.

Minnesota Design Team's "Shared Vision" graphic
Minnesota Design Team's "Shared Vision" graphic

Now other conservative crazies have forced a premature departure of the Speaker of the House, leaving the administration to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent. Let me make this as clear as I can. I believe that, in a democracy, the common good is more than the aggregation of what's good for each individual. The first Nobel Prize won by a women in Economics was awarded for creative thinking to that effect, about creating value with and managing the commons. I wonder if any of the members of the Citizens League Metropolitan Council Task Force are familiar with Elinore Ostrum's work (much of which is based on managing water supplies). I also wonder how many, if any, of those members have knowledge of or experience with integrative design and the story of place. I know Minnesota has talented design leaders, many of who have been involved with the Minnesota Design Team. Maybe that team could visit the Task Force and offer some suggestions based on their experience with multitudes of Minnesota communties facing issues similar to those faced by the Legislature, the Council, and the League's Task Force.

horse vision

clock reads 7 at all hours
juncos make selves known in the snow
this time dawdling
I write in horse, but I see in athabascan
when it’s time for elevensies, the clock reads 7
what telling fortune therewith
time is a thing that gets spent, like youth, $ and desire
n/t so lovely as a cardinal against the snow
or a tree w/ fruit on it
by the time I have ceased to write this
it will already be 7
adjourned to the park
n/thing will come of n/t
starfish creaked in the wood
lurid amulet    w/ a fish onnit
sign reads SEVEN all day & at all hours
the dogs curse each other from afar
in dog language
when did the word corrupt begin to take on a moral cast?
horses see in wide angle, and have a much wider periphery than humans,
but with a blind spot in the very center
so if you want to be sympathetic to a horse say sucks
about those blinders
or if you want to make fun of a horse, tell them
they can’t even see whats in front of their face

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