Saturday, 14 October 2017

Empowerment and Resilience

Permie workshops are coming thick and fast. Yesterday's workshop was called 'Empowerment and Resilience' and going over my notes, seems to be telling us to - be encouraged and be flexible. The world may be going one way but Permies are meant to resist the world and set up their own commune. No hold on that's hippies. Finn just basically warned us about the coming apocalypse.

The old guard may not want to change but we can't change people who don't want to change and are not willing.  So let's just do our own gardens and encourage one another where we are at. Small and slow solutions right? So what if the church wants to expand their building. Just do the edges first, value the margins. Right?

One of the problems we have right now is with the mammoth supercity. Everything was a lot easier for us Aucklanders in terms of sharing and caring when Auckland was decentralised and we had some authority over our own patch. Another issue is renters and bad landlords. We have lots of people wanting to care for the land and keep it for future generations yet the Council don't see that as important - they just see it as a moneymaker. I think basically you can make a tidy earner by just buying and selling it and dividing it into smaller and smaller portions. Everyone seems worried over their own retirement but you know what...from what I've seen at retirement villages many of the old folk aren't actually truly enjoying their retirement. They seem to sit around in groups with nothing much to do and complain about their ailments and reminisce about the good old days. Swearing at us gardeners for not instantly tidying up their gardens they have left in a mess through neglect. But maybe I've caught them on a bad day. On other days they listen to ABBA and attempt to do Zumba. Money money money...

I don't know, its hard not to judge. If, God forbid, there is a fire or some other natural disaster or the volcanoes erupt those oldies are not going to be able to get out of their apartments in time. They'll be queuing at the lift and blocking the fire entrance with their walkers.  The gates, which only work electronically, will keep them locked in. I foresee all these hazards, the buildings are leaky, and yet, living as they do, they can't see their shoebox lifestyle cannot be sustained. I had this eerie feeling that they had banished the children from their fancy six storey apartments in a way they didn't really want them around. Trying to do something simple, like having a raised bed portable kitchen garden for their cafe is JUST TOO HARD. Health and safety regulations they say, and no we can't grow our own veges or herbs and serve them at the cafe. For some bureaucratic reason that I cannot fathom.

What does it mean for a Permie. Well maybe if they sold or better yet GAVE some of their apartments or land to younger people to live and work in (who can help them out!) maybe we would not have such a crisis. The meek shall inherit the earth, the rich can have their monopoly board mortgages and crumbling hotels. Nobody can really get out of jail free unless they stop playing the game. Permies refuse to play the world's game.