Thursday, June 9, 2011
I suppose I should give more thought should be given to energy considerations, green ideas and the like. I found some of the magazines of the time, the depression years in the USA full of very useful ideas many of which we used when I lived on a commune in North Carolina.
There were a lot of independent discoveries too, when you live close to the earth and food supply and have to carry water and electricity, build heaters and cut wood, read by candle light...
One especially interesting idea was a a series of flat mirrors arranged in a parabola shape that focused into a smaller parabola of flat mirrors at a right angle- much too powerful to use directly unless one wanted to melt some metal.
Ways to have the stream, regardless of efficiency for anything free beat nothing, pump its own water from the flow of the stream.
All the windmills. Pumping up water beyond 40 feet... Black Walnuts and Buckley's valve, oil and water, the days heat flows in at day but does not leave into the chill of night.
Other mirrors or shiny surfaces that when arranged in spirals made things rather warm from a wide range of angles of the sun. Would work for satellite television too but it was all we could do to make a few batteries for the radio at night or tune in shortwave on the am band due to the great reception near the thick wires of the lightening rod system.
Broken glass or lenses full of water and the wide spectrum of colors we learned to focus a thousand ways... or some appear to the arts of the East, dragons, tigers, turtles, and the phoenix rooted in the land, the ritual of our colors raised as a morning flag fading in the sun or its yellows washing out as we danced in the rain somewhere its soupy warmth between the liquid and the gas.
A sheet of newspaper over a board and struck like with Kung Fu it breaks easily- guess the grumpy guests thought our host was teaching me how to do such arts and showed respect but it was just ordinary physics.
The shower, lifting the water, heating the water, timed with the sun, no need for even the fallen branches that each day was enough to heat the coffee.
All the back to the earth hippies who saw their world as a garden full of flowers and not the disaster of the well gone foul ... only in their dreams before they squandered their free hold or in the era the family farmers lost them after generations since the revolutionary war- the first to go were the black family farms.
But we all have dreams I guess, all the hours not just of tents and sleeping bags, but of the geodesic domes that could be done with space age glues so not to leak now.
And the stars, the starlight on a moonless night lighting the way equal to 3000 full moons.
Or the mind quiet enough that we could see so to search for the little lost girl, know her safe in the chill and warmed by the hound dogs that left with her as if a blanket. Neighbors who put away minor differences to help each other in the search.
Science, acorns on the metal roof in the fall, the music of dawn and dusk or eclipse or all night the mocking birds- it there for our imaginations to freely use at the foundations, and to show us that we need not fear when the candles burn out- to walk through the woods at night.
* * *