I have landed in the most wonderful home in Bonn. The COP is in full swing. But today I do not go to the big gatherings filled with interesting people intent on making a contribution.
Instead, I have the opportunity - which I have been craving for over a week - to have a full day of writing/work/catch-up in relative quiet. I am fortunate to rest-work in the peace of a beautiful home on a relatively quiet German street. My host goes between skype calls, work, practicing the piano and walking the (adorable) dog, who likes to sit beneath his stool when he practices. My roommate will go to some of the events I won't make, and will tell me how they go. A friend whom I've not seen for years came by last night and we talked over hot cups of chai - tomorrow he is co-organizing a major interfaith launch around simple living. A beautiful meal was set on the table, and I helped to clean the dishes.
I'm grateful I've been to enough conferences to trust that I don't have to do all the things all the time, and to be enough part of a community that we can participate in sharing work, food, fellowship, and music together. Of course, I'm not organizing any major events, so it is easier for me. But still, this is a far cry from the girl who used to try to go to all the events when she attended global gatherings - and wound up on the floor with a huge headache and a handful of business cards she never used...
Today, it is the music - Brahmes and Beethoven in the old capital of Germany - as much as anything else that reminds me most of all of why we are here: the music seems to blend so well with the mountains, and the trees loosing their yellow leaves on a cold November day.
"Bio-Culture" is a big term not used nearly enough. The word is an attempt to integrate two ideas usually kept separate: nature and culture. We are not just humans creating culture. We are not just humans impacting and impacted by nature. To create culture is to engage with nature; when we engage with nature (eating, cooking, wearing clothes) we are engaging with culture. The music of a place reflects, on some level, that place. This is not fantastical. It is real. As real as the ways the vibration of music touches the ear of dog and bird and the lady on the couch alike.