Thrive Global
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Thrive Global

Launching from a New Raft

When I was on my honeymoon in Puerto Rico I had the fortunate experience of traveling to the island of Vieques. As well as the intrigue of purchasing mandatory wild horse collision insurance while renting a Jeep for island travel and delighting in home-baked bread every morning at Hix Island House, we had a more illuminating and transcendent experience: new moon kayaking at the magnificent bioluminescent bay, Mosquito Bay.

I am a traveler and I do not live in Puerto Rico. Yet, in the short time I came to love the place and in our two weeks of travels on both Vieques and the main island, we went off the beaten path more often than not and saw the beauty and care in each long term, family-structured community. The structure of island communities is raft-like: it floats and it persists. An experience from our new moon kayaking night on Vieques stays with me to this day — and I write this in on another new moon day, many years later — we tied our kayaks together. By tying our kayaks together, we formed a raft. By forming a raft that was stronger than the sum of its parts, we created a new jumping off point, a stable base from which to leap into the darkness and to explore. I find it an apt metaphor for rebuilding in Puerto Rico and other areas of the southern United States and Caribbean.

Today we are creating a new raft, a new vessel, a new launch point for exploration. It is this book, Anthology House, which takes you, reader, on a tour of visionary ecological thought and inspiration from ten authors of four continents, and through it we share this taste of a new set of views. The writing and the profits from the sale of the anthology will benefit Habitat for Humanity’s “Habitat Hammers Back” initiative to assist in rebuilding hurricane hit areas of the southern United States and Caribbean, including Puerto Rico.

How does a book like this help? It relieves some stress in holding the raft together by shining a light on possibility. How does visionary ecology as a concept in play into rebuilding houses? You’ll just have to buy a copy of the book and find out.

Thank you,

Maia Kumari Gilman, Curator, Anthology House
Founder of ASEI Arts, A Salon for Environmental Inspiration



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Maia Kumari Bree Chowdhury

Maia Kumari Bree Chowdhury

Architect | Artist | Author #adaptivereuse #architecture #mixedmedia #ecofiction #solutionsjournalism