Space & Excess

We express ourselves through excess. We also survive on excess. What we do with things that are surplus to requirements says a lot about how we live.

Excess is a bunch of things. Not just any bunch, though not far off either.

Excess can be words, but it’s more often gestures. All that energy thrown off by the sun. A more efficient star would recycle that energy. Perhaps that what black holes are: no excess. But nature hardly work that way. It prefers to send energy everywhere, where it does things in other ways, for other purposes.

Fruit is by nature excess. All those berries. Any one of which could be a new bush. Most of which goes to feed other creatures, us included.

A stalk of grass grows as per its own requirements, then dies, becoming excess, and gives over to some other process and purpose.


Natural Connections

Notes for an outdoor game.

We want to facilitate thinking about connections between parts of nature. This is a game of categories, places, processes and things. It works by relating randomly-chosen things to each other.

Water is one category, and the rain cycle is a process within that category. Water might also be streams, ponds, puddles, nourishment for plants and animals, ice, snow, rain, and so on.

Animals is another category, be they invertebrates, birds, mammals, insects and so on.

The words (and/or pictures) each have a card. The cards are shuffled and turned face down. Someone picks a card and explains what it is. The next person picks a card and thinks of a way to explain the relationship to the first card. If it’s a close relationship, the second card is laid next to the first. If it’s a distant relationship, the cards are kept farther apart.

What connects a mouse to a cloud? How does one affect the other?

Maybe the cloud helps keep temperatures steady, and makes life easier for the mouse. Or maybe clouds stop birds of prey from seeing the mouse, and it can live longer.

At this point, there aren’t any other rules, so the game can be very flexible in the way it’s played. That’s an option worth exploring.