Today friends and family gathered to celebrate the life of Catherine. Human meaning, being human, the richness of human interaction, to me is not about the grand gestures, but the small pieces. Acknowledging a familiar face elsewhere in the group. A shared laugh in recognition, a small story, shedding a tear in response to someone’s voice breaking up over a tiny anecdote. Catherine’s art displayed around the church, photos from her life being projected. Remembering the conversations we had out on their deck last June. It was very good to be part of it.

Except I wasn’t really. Because the celebration took place on Prince Edward Island, an ocean and five time zones away, and I was at home on my own couch.
Except I really was, and so were some three dozen others from across North-America, around Europe, and Indonesia, amongst which other dear friends of ours, visible to each other in the chat window.

Thanks to the live stream that Peter set-up he enabled us all to participate. Technology was our mediator this afternoon, as it was when I ‘joined’ Oliver’s birthday last year. It once more made true what I’ve held for years, that empathy can flow over copper wires and fiber optic cables. Beaming us into the presence of Peter and Oliver and all those around them, to be witness, to share, and to show and confirm ourselves to each other as being part of shared community. I am grateful it could be that way today.

Bookmarked Putting pigs in the shade: the radical farming system banking on trees (by John Vidal)

Serendipitously came across this on a mailinglist (UnCiv), which gives a practical example of using increased diversity of life as a coolant, as described in Novacene. Although this farmer in Portugal fears he might be too late.

A farm in Portugal is showing how the ancient art of silvopasture – combining livestock with productive trees – may offer some real answers to the climate crisis

The Guardian / John Vidal

The tree of life is not a tree but shaped like this. Read this article which puts archaeons on the right hand branch, bacteria on the left, and us with all other eukaryotes as a result from a unexpected joining of a bacterium into an archaeon.

Lovelock mentions this in Novacene, where he basically uses this to support his thesis that on the known universe’s timescale there is too little time for alien species to have evolved. We are alone he says.

(found via Jeanie McGeehan)