Solace In Times of Uncertainty
Amidst the constant uncertainty of life, there are no answers found in measurables. There is no assurance to uncertainty in Qanta (https://safetydifferently.com/todd-conklin-quanta-risk-and-safety-conference-2019/ )! Technique, mechanics, behaviourism and data offer nothing for persons when faced with struggles, unanswered questions, suffering and loss, harm and pain – there is no comfort in data. When faced with uncertainty, pain and risk, there is no solace in the discourse of Safety (https://safetyrisk.net/three-lessons-in-how-to-be-unprofessional/ ), zero or engineering.
Whilst Safety runs about spruiking the delusions of certainty in data, zero and prediction (https://safetymanagement.eku.edu/blog/using-predictive-analytics-to-predict-and-prevent-workplace-injuries/ ), people on the tools know this is nonsense (https://safetyrisk.net/first-report-on-zero-survey/ ).
When we face the big questions, wicked questions and tough questions, even words can’t help. But there is always Poetics. Poetics is about all in life and being that is NOT measurable.
I live in an average suburb in Canberra under the canopy of Mount Taylor. Canberra is a designed city where the value of community and people is prioritized above Technique. Most suburbs are designed so they cannot be driven through, one can enter in and out off the freeway and this keeps the traffic to a minimum and the focus on those who live there. Canberra is also a city where green spaces, bush and bike tracks are regulated and this creates what we know as The Bush Capital. I discussed this design in the book Real Risk (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/real-risk/ ) particularly my suburb on pp. 30ff.
Amidst the uncertainties, isolation and struggles of Covid there is so much solace and strength to be found in walking, movement and embodied presence in Nature. On one of our walks recently, we noticed someone had set up a ‘Poettree’ (see Figure One. Poettree ACT).
Figure One. Poettree ACT
You can find this new site here: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/poetreeact/
What a brilliant idea. Amidst the struggles of Covid when uncertainty reigns we can be comforted at the Poettree, pause, reflect, find heart love, calm the storm and walk on. What happens to us as we pause is that Poetics speaks to us. The metaphors, similes, personification, rhythm, rhyme and flow connect and resonate with us as if in song, we get drawn out of our own petty internal focus and resonant with a bigger picture. I have discussed Poetics before and its relevance to safety:
We don’t know this person who has done this but obviously they serve us and think communally and so offer this gift to those who walk, reflect and listen. The person who started this Poettree also doesn’t know who they help, comfort and care for. None of this can be measured and yet when we pause in the presence of the Poettree we are enriched, find solace and help when we feel unsafe.