Is it possible to take inspiration from anything as the beginning point of writing a blog or a piece of creative/reflective writing?
Right now my toilet cistern is hissing at me. It's been hissing for a few weeks now as precious water flows constantly down the slightly stained porcelain walls through the S bend and on a journey ultimately to mix with waters polluted by poo and pee and other waste products.
Can I learn anything from this?
At the most practical level I have learnt that toilet cistern valves are not as easily sourced as I'd presumed. Two weeks later and a series of excuses and my local Tradelink plumbing shop still can't provide me with a simple piece of rubber. I could have flown to Malaysia, tapped a rubber tree, cured the sap and shaped a perfectly ordinary seal in the same time.
Of course I'd still be cursing and ruining the world on a number of fronts. One, the piece I would have made would be too big or too small or the wrong shape or too rough and I would have made no progress at all. Two, my trip to Malaysia would have added tons of carbon to the atmosphere and, so, more than counter balanced the good I am trying to achieve by stopping the leak. Three, let's leave three to your fertile imagination, because mine has run dry.
On the spiritual level I have learnt that acceptance of life's S bends, while challenging, can lead to an inner harmony and this, in turn, is good for one's bowel movements. I have also learnt that a calm reply and a logical account of progress to date can sooth the ire of those to whom saving the planet (not to mention the dollar cost of wasted water) is of paramount importance.
Finally, and there is always a final irony in most things (though I am told my friends in North America - the USA in particular do not get irony), my hissing toilet cistern has chosen to coincide its flush and flow with the release of tens of thousands of megalitres of water, not officially waste water, but certainly wasted, from the Wivenhoe Dam west of Brisbane to reduce its capacity to 75%.This is a precaution against a possible repeat of the January 2011 flood which devestated the community.
Are my efforts in vain. Can one person's cistern make a difference? Is the Kyoto protocol wasted on me? Did it ever get signed? What has waste water got to do with global warming? Answer: it can help keep things cool - for a while?
And to answer my opening question: The answer is yes. But the value of the result may very likely be questioned.