Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Go wild decluttering - Permaculture makeover in the jungles of Shibuya

My current design challenge: Permaculture makeover of RuuRuu and Q's vast garden, rich in self-sewn trees.

Shibuya Crossing by Altus

Its an 8 minute walk from Shibuya Crossing. Which kinda makes me wonder how my life got to be this interesting. Right now we are gathering designers to attend weekly creation planning parties, so if you are in Tokyo, Come.

Our first task, as always, is to define 'Zone One', then give it back its power.
Zone One is that that area that is just a hands-reach away from where you spend time, and here you place things that need your attention, things that are in danger of being forgotten, put off, and whithering.
Here I put my seedlings, my hand sewing, and my grant applications (with a helpful pen). Here is where I realized my Japanese text book should be, and the result is that an indolent, not-very-bright lady like me has a job writing magazine articles in Japan, and an international life.

This zone, like a lively river, needs to be in constant motion. If you don't tend to the task this week, you probably won't next week either.
The power of Zone One dissapears if its clogged with 'non-active' objects - magazines you will not read, , tools that you left in the rain, the half-dead aloe vera plant you could use, but never will.
This is when we start telling painful truths, and send things to the bin or to Zones 2 or 3 or4 for infrequent use or storage.
Mui the artist and aspiring Pirate of Creativity, with Dad Q and participant Sofuku

So I call out 'I need somebody who is overly kind', and give her the secateurs, with instructions to send a misplaced plant to its next life, via the compost heap. Some people generously see the value in everything, every broken down crummy object. I love these people, but don't want to spend time in their gardens.

Every plant and object got scruinized and we got the owners to get into a conversation, somthing like this:

Do we still love each other, take care of each other?
Are you being your most useful self like this, or better off composted?
How about a nice, peaceful holiday in storage, till you are wanted?

The presentation workshop was 'Breathing life into interiors: Permaculture for a Clear, Motivating Home'. We looked at all the clever passive gadgets and customs in David Holmgren's Ingenious home. We Looked at my Beautiful home in Canning St, and the Permaculture design tricks that made it work so well, that attracted the very people who made it beautiful.
Then we looked at how we can use Zoneing and other Permaculture tricks to get us to succeed in three things:
One lovely, challenging thing to achieve in the next 2 months
One lovely, challenging thing to create in the next two years
One stubborn problem we will finally dissolve

Sofuku got me into her 'hug the earth' project.
She photographed me hugging her beachball of Mother Earth, and then gave me the chance to write Her a letter. All these years I've been standing on her, made up of nothing but her, and I've never yet had a chat with her like this. Thank-you Sofuku, for giving me a chance to talk to my Mum.

Mui and RuuRuu at afternoon tea, pondering what nook of their palatial home to Permaculturalize next. With her Parisian Hat Parade coming up in the Autum, she is going to need all the support her ordely, richly creative house can give her.


Kate said...

Come you said..... if only I could, I would. I have not been back since 1979 when I was the first non-Japanese many in rural Japan had ever seen...How I would love to be there now. Have fun Cecilia!

kathleen said...

I am so excited to see some urban permaculture in Tokyo. We move there at the end of December, my husband just got a job downtown. I'll be two days short of my PDC when I leave. I will try to find some way to officially finish it before I go. I'm used to a 200 square meter garden. eeeeekkkk.

Cecilia Macaulay (Tess) said...

Kathleen, I`m sure you will be a blessing to Permaculture in Tokyo, Its a great place to start.
``Get your back doorstep perfect, then expand from there`` is one of my favorite Bill Mollisonisms.

Make sure you bring your teaching materials, and run your first PDC workshop. Join WWOOF to meet great people

Kristine and Michael said...

Wonderful blogs you have. Very inspiring.