Posts Tagged ‘desert’

Allan Savory: How to green the desert and reverse climate change

March 14, 2013

“Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert,” begins Allan Savory in this quietly powerful talk. And it’s happening to about two-thirds of the world’s grasslands, accelerating climate change and causing traditional grazing societies to descend into social chaos. Savory has devoted his life to stopping it. He now believes — and his work so far shows — that a surprising factor can protect grasslands and even reclaim degraded land that was once desert.

The cry of the desert

May 24, 2012

As soon as he arrived in Marrakesh, Morocco, a missionary decided he would stroll through the desert at the city’s boundary every morning. On his first stroll he noticed a man lying on the sand, caressing the ground with his hands and leaning his ears towards the earth.

“He is mad,” the missionary said to himself. But he saw the man every morning during his walks and after a month, intrigued by that strange behaviour, he decided to approach the stranger.

He knelt beside him and asked, in broken Arabic, “What are you doing?”

“I keep the desert company and offer solace for its loneliness and its tears.”

“I didn’t know the desert was capable of crying.”

“It cries every day, because it dreams of being useful to mankind and turning into a huge garden where people could cultivate, flowers and sheep.”

“Well, then, tell the desert it accomplishes its mission very well,” said the missionary. “Every time I walk here, I am able to understand the true dimension of the human being, as its open space allows me to see how small we are before God. When I look at its sands, I imagine the millions of people in the world who were raised alike although the world isn’t always fair towards everyone. Its mountains help me meditate. As I see the sun rising on the horizon, my soul fills with joy and I get closer to the Creator.”

The missionary left the man and went back to his daily chores. To his surprise, he found him the next morning at the same place, in the same position.

“Did you tell the desert everything I told you?” he asked.

The man nodded.

“And even so it keeps crying?”

“I can hear each of its sobs,” answered the man, his head tilted towards the ground.

“Now it is crying because it spent thousands of years thinking it was completely useless and wasted all this time blaspheming God and its own destiny.”

“Well, then tell the desert that despite having a short lifespan, we human beings spend much of our days thinking we are useless. We rarely find the reason for our destiny and think God has been unfair to us. When a moment finally arrives in which we are shown the reason why we were born, we think it is too late to change and keep on suffering. And as the desert, we blame ourselves for the time we have wasted.”

“I am not sure the desert will bother to hear it,” said the man.

“It is used to suffering and it can’t see things differently.”

“So then let us do what I always do when I feel people have lost faith. Let us pray.”

Both of them went down on their knees and prayed; one turned to Mecca as he was a Muslim and the other joined his hands in prayer, as he was Catholic. They prayed, each one to his own God.

The next day when the missionary resumed his daily walk, the man was no longer there. The ground where he used to embrace the sand seemed to be wet as if a small spring had formed. During the following months that spring grew and the city’s residents built a well around it.

The place is now called “The Well of the Desert’s Tears”. It is said that those who drink its water will be able to transform the reason of their suffering into the reason of their joy and will end up finding their true destiny.

Posted by Paulo Coelho on his blog.

Changing World

May 5, 2012
The Dewarists - Changing World - Monica Dogra

The Dewarists – Changing World – Monica Dogra

When you find your roots, when you understand who you really are, everything becomes really easy. — Monica Dogra

British-based Indian musician Shri, joins singer-songwriter Monica Dogra and folk collective Rajasthan Roots in the desert of Jaisalmer.

Monica Dogra a musician in her own right coordinates The Dewarists, but for Changing World she joined in the collaboration.

The resultant song Changing World is a fusion of rock and ethnic folk.

The backdrop is the desert landscapes of Jaisalmer and its surrounding villages.

Growing up Shri only knew traditional Indian music, then going to college, where he encountered rock music, he asked ‘what is that boom boom boom in the background?’ Hey man, that is bass. A bass guitar became a must have, only he came from a poor family, and so he made his own. He then developed a style of playing it with a bow.

Solo Dreams by Shri is worth a listen.

When Shri took up the guitar, he was told by his uncle that he was a disgrace to his family. Ten years later when Shri was touring the world his uncle had the good grace to come to him and say sorry, he was wrong, his family was proud of what he had achieved.

Paulo Coelho wanted to be a writer. Against all odds, he followed his dreams, he became a writer.

Shri wanted to be a musician, Against all odds, he followed his dreams, he became a musician.

We all have to learn to be like Santiago in The Alchemist, to realise our passions, to take risks, to follow our dreams. We have to learn to shun the advice of those around us who wish us to conform, be like everyone else.

Again and again what comes across with The Dewarists is the passion the musicians have for music.

Monica Dogra knew from an early age that all she wanted to do was play music.

Music comes from the heart, it is to communicate with the Soul of the World.

Amazing, sit around a camp fire in the middle of the desert and compose music.

The Dewarists make music because they love music. Fuckwits debase themselves on X-factor, wanna be worthless celebrities.

The final song, very existential.

Strange, how this morning when I awoke my first thought was must read The Zahir. The Zahir is set in the desert.

Everyone sat around the desert camp fire jamming, I thought of my lovely friend Carolena Sabah playing Athena in The Witch of Portobello, where she dances around the camp fire in the desert. It is through dance Athena communicates with the Soul of the World.

Do we paint the desert with our music or does the desert paint the music?

The Dewarists is an exploration of the different musical genres in India, the boundaries between, crossing those boundaries and creating a fusion.

A free download of Changing World is available from The Dewarists on facebook, click like, enter e-mail address and you will receive a link to download an mp3 file.

If would be great if The Dewarists uploaded all the music to an album on bandcamp, where the music would then be available for download as high quality lossless FLAC. [see mp3 v FLAC]

Dingle Bay Bananas

July 12, 2010
Dingle Bay Bananas

Dingle Bay Bananas


– bananas
– brown sugar
– liquor (Malibu or Cointreau)
– butter
– cream or ice cream
– fresh strawberries or raspberries


Slice bananas and cook in a hot pan in butter. Use under-ripe bananas as ripe bananas will turn to mush. Sprinkle on a little brown sugar to caramelize.

Flame with liquor to seal in flavour.

Serve with cream or ice cream. Add a few fresh strawberries or raspberries if in season.

Thanks to Peter O’Connor of O’Connor’s Secret Garden Bistro for the dish which he demonstrated at Alton Food Festival.

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