Things I love

Things I Love: The Overview Effect

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The world can be a cranky place sometimes and it’s so easy to get lost in disapproval. So I wanted to do my part to make things a little sunnier by shining a light on some things I love. I hope to make this a regular occurrence, because it makes me happy and hopefully it will make you happy too.


The Overview Effect

I first learned about the Overview Effect when I watched this short film and it blew my mind.

The Overview Effect is an illuminating experience brought on by viewing the world from space. It’s the change of mind many astronauts find themselves going through that has them seeing the world as a single, united organism. A thing to be cherished as a whole. Borders seem insignificant and the world is seen as a delicate, fragile place in need of our protection and care.

What a marvelous thing.

It is my sincere wish that anyone (corporate leaders and politicians alike) making any decisions for our planet could go to space and have the benefit of this effect. In fact, I think everyone could do to benefit from it. How would it change us as a species if we could only step back and see how close we are to each other, how much we depend on each other and the ecosystems of the world for our survival? Would it make us better people to see the tiny, ‘pale blue dot’ of our earth from a distance? Would we come to cherish our home and our neighbours more? Would we think before tossing litter on the ground, yelling at someone for cutting us off in traffic, or eating another creature for dinner?

Call me idealistic but I think it could make a difference.

Something has to before it’s too late—don’t you think?

Luckily for us there is something called The Overview Institute which seeks to share the experiences of the lucky few astronauts who have been able to benefit from this perspective. I love the idea of an institute dedicated to the Overview Effect and I hope they have success in getting their message across. It’s vitally important that we see the world as a whole, look up and wonder, and reach out and help.

Image from: Nasa’s Deep Space Climate Observatory

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Story Notes

Story Notes: Remembered in the soil

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My story ‘Remembered in the soil’ was recently published over at Purple Pig Lit, a fantastic webzine filled with surreal and fascinating prose and poetry.

To read the story just head on over to Purple Pig Lit!

Because I love to know about the origins of a story from the writer’s perspective, I thought I would share some notes about this story with you.

Spoiler Alert: There are spoilers in the story notes below. So if you want to read the story with fresh eyes check it out first at Purple Pig Lit before reading the notes.

About ‘Remembered in the soil’

I love the idea of nature speaking to us; coincidence and our pattern seeking minds coming together to form spiritual and meaningful ideas out of nothing.  This story came from a crack in the sidewalk by my house, a thing that I was sure had shifted since we first moved in a couple years ago.

It got me thinking about what the earth might say if it had the chance and the things that get left behind in the soil.  I’m currently reading about geology and geography, so this story has even more meaning to me now.  Imagine what we are walking on—who knows what’s buried right beneath our feet?

Nana’s story came out disturbing and alien despite it being related to the earth.  I think it’s fitting.  We live on the planet, we bury our dead in the soil and we feel an almost simian connection to the ground beneath us, but there is so much we don’t know about our surroundings and our origins.  We have so far to go in truly understanding our planet and so in a way it is alien to us.  But ultimately, as hostile and mysterious as it is, it is our home and it is the place (as Nana discovered) that has sheltered us for so many years and will continue to shelter us for so many more to come (we hope).