Rob from Project Brainstorm meets Tim Winton and Doctor Karl

Mount Warning - soaking up the solar for an eternity
The most beautiful thing about life for me is the people that I get to meet along the track and especially those individuals that at random points when the planets are definitely not aligning for me have been the inspiration to keep me walking.

From the long term, on-going perspective my sons Kris and Cameron since their individual entries to this very amazing planet, have both shown me the true meaning of life. I've had the opportunity to be soberly present for all their personal milestones and watched them thrive on the challenges of reaching into manhood as they made their own tracks out into the greater world. I bought them their first musical instruments and they repay that gift one hundred fold by continuing to invite me to listen to them share their songs.

My boys are an ongoing source of inspiration for me as they bring back their stories of what they find out there and share them with me. There was a time when I acted like money and things were more important than love. A time when hearing Harry Chapin's song 'Cat's in the Cradle' always sent a vision that would haunt my heart.  In recent times when I have needed physical, emotional and moral support the most, my kids have been there to stand me up to my full height.

And I've got good mates, too numerous to measure or mention here, that have turned up in many places up and down the track and blown on the embers when I'd thought the fire had gone out completely.

Then there is Susie. We met in August last year when we both thought we were looking for something else and in our individual ways we stumbled into the love that only the truly great poets can express so fluently. A love that in a modern day relationships is left off the balance sheet completely unless it can add something to the bottom line. It is this love that allows me to hear the whispers from the trees and to talk back to them. Where eyes are windows that need to be always open and can be cleaned with tears any time you like. And this kind and generous love has taught me how to smile first thing every morning and to smile that same smile as I say goodnight. Susie has shown me the practicality of keeping life simple and the peace and joy that comes from intimate and honest sharing with one other.

So about here you might be wondering what the ramblings above has to do with Project Brainstorm, Tim Winton and Doctor Karl.

Well Project Brainstorm is a Renewable Energy company that my business partner Luciano and I started back in November 2014. Together we thought that we could make a different sort of difference to a world that was turning blue on coal dust and getting totally ripped off by grid operated energy suppliers. We combined our interesting collection of work-life skill sets, pooled our limited lump of working capital (I sold my much loved VW Transporter), found a couple of likely business partners and ventured forth.

Along the way since those sweaty summer days of 2015, Luciano and I have learned a lot about the responsibilities of giving birth to a built from the ground up, grass-roots Commercial Solar PV business. Our two original solar energy alliance partners grew too quickly and imploded. And that turned out to be good thing because it led us to new, more like-minded partnerships that have allowed the vision for our business to expand and grow, initially in our local community and now to adjoining communities, where business owners have looked up, seen the sunlight and cried out,

'I think I should do the right thing and start harvesting this shiny, clean, fresh stuff every day!'

And one solar panel at a time, these individual solar awakenings of the educational variety, has given us the opportunity to make our world a little bit cleaner and greener.

And as for Doctor Karl? He is just a scientific legend in Australia and a hell of a decent guy. He steps up to the plate with governments and sceptics and shares his scientific standpoint on Renewable Energy in a way that a child can understand. (unfortunately it goes over the head of many politicians governing Australia). Project Brainstorm just happened to meet up with Doctor Karl for a conversation at a local lean, green, renewables conference and couldn't resist the opportunity for a selfie.

Tim Winton doesn't have much at all to do with Project Brainstorm except that I have read every book that he has ever published. I love his prose and his poetic use of metaphor. And how he lets his characters describe a personal sense of place in their landscape. Of that indigenous idea that we can never own the earth and his courage to disclose so much of his own personal journey to inspire fledgling writers and artists to stay true to themselves. As a reader his wisdom resonates with me. And as a humanitarian and philosopher he makes an active contribution.

And a couple of weeks ago I finally got the opportunity to meet Tim in person at the Maleny launch of his new book, 'The boy behind the curtain'. You can call me a 64 year old groupie but I wanted to shake his hand and get him to sign my copy of his new book. I asked him for some words to inspire me to finish a manuscript on my experiences working in an asylum seeker centre in Switzerland.

When Susie and I were outside in the floating mist that often paints Maleny at night I took the time to read the words that Tim had written.

'Keep breaking the silence'

So if you enjoyed this story why not go and have a view of the Project Brainstorm Facebook page,  give us a 'like' and share us with your friends.


Rob - On the Sunshine Coast


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