The story of an ecological firebrand.

Jytte Abildstrøm / januar 4, 2018

The story of an ecological firebrand.

404 404 Civilian

It started in my home. I was born in 1934. My parents met by playing four-leaf piano and I already got a violin at the age of 7 – the music and the word has meant a lot in the life that I still live. What are the consequences of the words we say – the words we read. What is the consequence of our actions – our ideas, inventions, upsets, experiences, education, etc.?

Henrik Nordbrandt once wrote the poem: Invention – about offinvention. Once you have invented something, is it then possible to offinvent it? Some inventions create more problems than they solve.

We have received some “gifts” when we are born: EARTH, AIR, ILD, and WATER. I already understood that in 1940, as my father became unemployed and thank god my grandfather knew a farm at Stevns. where we came down every summer and helped and gained respect for the Earth. Meanwhile, my parents read hymns, folk tales, for example, the woman in the mud ditch, and my father said, “She came back to the mud dich to make a better start and not as revenge.” They also read H.C. Andersen for us. This matchless platform has characterized my life.

I mention some experiences that have embossed my view of life. Chaplin’s film “Modern Times” Jacques Tatis film “Mon Oncle”. I say cautiously that we should help each other in the future to get a better balance between the 4 elements and between the people and the technological development.

During the war our little garden was filled with peat from the wild moss, and I asked my dad how long to dig them up without putting anything back – it was for the one oven we had in our home. Well asked, my dad said. My mother visited a cousin in England in 1923, who had been married to a director who had a coal mine. The experience was not beautiful – here came the same question. Later in my high school I visited a pen venue in England, whose father made electricity on a coal power plant – she died of tuberculosis – it was also a very scary experience. Later I read “Green was my childhood day”. How will the future be if it continues – THEREFORE renewable energy in both spiritual and physical life.

In all modesty, I started playing children’s theater with handcuffs and folk tales in 1964. It happened after a few years of amateur revue and other revues that I got a trip to London in 1962. I randomly picked up a tourist brochure and there was a handheld puppet theater with folk tales. I met Mr. Phillpott, who for 40 years had traveled around England and played for everyone. He inspired me to the extent that I got the recipe for theater and dolls. I saw his exhibition in London by dolls from all over the world especially the East. I bought 10 books home about the East’s myths, dolls and masks. Such a joy I got of that trip.

I found employees in every possible way, attitudes to life tied us together and we wanted to start an adult show. We did that in 1969 and moved into the Riddersalen. Imagine I was there for almost 40 years with life-provoking theater for children and adults. I can mention the returning Christmas show “De underjordiske” through 23 years, which has a wonderful act about the Grain Mother, made of the last sheaf that was harvested. It was at the venue for the autumn party as it meant happiness and fertility. In our performance, it was gone, some said pity but two said it should be found otherwise we do not get happiness and fertility and they found it. It was “De underjordiske” who had put the people to the test to make their eyes clear to the true values!

Our child theater was asked if we would like to be ambassadors in the environmental year 1987 and we said yes, as we had the courage to expand our knowledge not only spiritually but also with action in the environmental year. We theater people met a world that had begun to think about the consequences of our inventions and ways of living. Such a revelation …

I had been in a training course in Järna at Stokholm in 1987. I lay in tents between the 5 lakes that cleaned Järna´s wastewater with water stairs and different contents in the five lakes – they cleaned better than the water purification plant. I learned to plant trees – I read about water supply forests. On the course that was only for forestry people, I met a philosopher who said I should meet Flemming Abrahamsen – an autodidact Danish architect.

After the environmental year and our tour with Klods Hans and lectures, my parents helped me buy a colony garden in Copenhagen. And Flemming helped me build a Finnish stove where the smoke does not pollute, and you can cook at the heat, as well as a compost toilet that does not use drinking water and separates urine and faeces. I used the urine – 1 part of urine and 8 parts of rainwater under the fruit trees. Fæces is composted with leaves and fades and under the privet hedge. Hans Jørgen from Solarventi in Thorsø helped me build a solar collector, and I had a bath from a barrel of water over my head which was connected to the solar collector. When water is cold it runs down and when it is hot it runs up – without electricity.

I got a solar cell with battery for the two lamps for reading. I collected rainwater. I made a hole in the kitchen wall, the water from the sink ran into a bucket, so I could water the flowers. I made compost and got the agronomist Jørgen Løgstrup to send two men and together we made a small 3 x 3 m root zone plant to clean the bathing water.

In 1996, the Cultural City, Jørgen, Flemming and I got the idea to make an ecological inspiration house at the theater in a building where our workshop was located. The building was not protected – then you cannot make renewable energy – strange??? Flemming designed and by a miracle we were allowed. The carpentry company Egen Vinding & Datter built it with the aid of many firebrands.

At one of my many lectures, I met some firebrands who invited me to a conference on “cradle to cradle”, which Michael Braungart had started. Now it’s called the Danish “cradle to the cradle” movement AND thank you for a good course in connection with buildings.

23 years ago, my eldest son Lars, together with a friend, started an organic community and I am member no. 7. When there were 48 members they drove around and found the place where it is today, in the Trekroner area. It is called Munksøgård and we are 100 families. It’s us who inspired the developer Monberg and Thorsen to build ecologically. Our houses are made of wood – insulation of paper wool – walls of unburned clay stone – the separation ladder – we collect urine and fertilize the soil – we collect rainwater and use it in the washing machine in the common house, the rest goes down into a rainwater lake – a heating plant with a pellet lighthouse – a sand filter to clean sewage.

Remember we have waste sorting that grows bigger, but we do not manage it – let me just mention plastic – the fishes and the oceans. We really need to help each other in the future with how we deal with our everyday lives. Imagine if hospitals made a big greenhouse for their hazardous wastewater, so it could grow palms – we do not eat them. The factories along our roads, they should themselves clean their wastewater in eg root zone plants. My son Lars made many years ago just an industrial plant in Sweden and it still works and all plants should ONLY have renewable energy. Every evening I fold my hands and ask Monsanto in America to stop production of fertilizers and pesticides that descend into our groundwater – like the Indian lady Vandana Shiva said 10 years ago to Coca Cola in America, STOP BUYING THE WATER OF INDIA. Industry means that groundwater in India may have been used in 10 years!

Hurray I just say to Preben Maegaard’s efforts from the Folkecenteret at Hurup in Thy and now Søren Hermansen and Samsø Energy Academy and think of all the NGOs. The “DET FÆLLES BEDSTE” – which takes place every second year. Go to Brenderup Højskole where Steen Møller from Friland on Mols has completed his invented house – 80 sqm, it costs 6.000 DKK a year in rent.

In all modesty I try to think about what I’m saying how I shop. If we all thought of how we can do something for future generations everyday – I think we would be a lot of firebrands for a beautiful future – and it’s about enlightenment and finding the balance in our way of life in the future. Good luck with all of us.

Jytte Abildstrøm, artist