Thursday, July 3, 2008

Earth Hour

Remember that one evening where millions of people turned off their lights and unplugged their computers and televisions for one hour – all around the world?

I had first heard of this event just a week before. I was attending a school assembly at Matthews Hall Private School where I had spent the morning teaching my once a month environmental art workshop. A teacher who was in charge of the school’s ‘Green Team’ told the assembly about last year’s – first ever! – event in Sydney, Australia. Citizens were asked to volunteer for a one hour event on a certain date and a certain time to simply turn off the lights and unplug anything that is not necessary. 2008 was the second year for this – now global – event.

It did not bother me when I heard someone say “What good will it do?”. I felt no sorrow or pain when I heard stories of people turning on all their lights and hairdryers during this time to protest this event. All I felt was a swelling of happiness. Times are changing so rapidly now… Only forty years ago Canada created its flag and a whisper about a thing called the ozone layer. Twenty years ago the whisper became a murmur. By the end of the last century our global culture became quite abuzz about environmental issues and now it is impossible to go even one day without hearing or reading about this old life support system of ours.

And now!!!!... millions and more people joined in the creation of a global living art sculpture: a strong and empowering symbol for all to marvel at with wondrous delight.

My wife and I enjoyed a candlelight dinner, then I played a song on my guitar and then we took our dog for a nice walk into the twilight. Upon returning home we noticed that our 60 minutes had become over 100 and then we only plugged in the stereo to listen to a vinyl record. It was my favourite Moody Blues album ‘The Seventh Sojourn’.

Here are the lyrics from "I'm Just A Singer (In a Rock'n Roll Band):

I'm just a wandering on the face of this earth
Meeting so many people
Who are trying to be free
And while I'm traveling I hear so many words
Language barriers broken
Now we've found the key
And if you want the wind of change
To blow about you
And you're the only other person to know
Don't tell me

I'm just a singer in a rock and roll band

A thousand pictures can be drawn from one word
Only who is the artist?
We gotta agree
A thousand miles can lead so many ways
Just to know who is driving
What a help it would be
So if you want this world of yours
To turn about you
And you can see exactly what to do
Please tell me

I'm just a singer in a rock and roll band

How can we understand
Riots by the people for the people
Who are only destroying themselves
And when you see a frightened person
Who is frightened by the people
Who are scorching this earth
Scorching this earth

Music is the traveller, crossing our world
Meeting so many people
Bridging the seas

I'm just a singer in a rock and roll band
I'm just a singer in a rock and roll band
The Moody Blues

For more info on The Moody Blues link to their website:


Since that day we continue to keep electronic equipment unplugged when it is not in use.

I painted this picture to celebrate this event. Ideas about clocks, rhythms, pulses, heartbeats and our world inspired “DISCERNIBLE”


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