“In our time of disturbance and radical change, we are crossing a threshold, a portal, or an unseen bridge from one world to another. It could be said that the bridge is either collapsing beneath us, or being made as we walk together, in the long twilight hours when one civilization gives way to another.” ~ Geneen Marie Haugen
“Let’s drop the notion that we can manage our planet for own comfort and profit – or even that we can now be its ultimate redeemers. It is a delusion. Let’s accept, in its place, the radical uncertainty of our time, even the uncertainty of survival.” ~ Joanna Macy
We live in times that require us to stay awake and aware, to deeply review assumptions, re-assess and re-define values, beliefs and behaviours.
Like the caterpillar and the cocoon, we don’t know what the future brings. But we do know, that for us to have a chance as butterflies, we need to actively embrace transformation.
This is my corner, where I share my own experiences navigating the three “stories” of our time, as Joanna Macy calls them: Business As Usual (BAU), the Great Unraveling (GU) and the Great Turning (GT).
We all inhabit a bit of each one of them. Even those who have chosen to be off the grid and leave “the system” still carry these stories: they are present in our conception and upbringing, in the daily interactions with other beings, technology, food, energy, news…as activist Pat McCabe (Woman Stands Shining) said, we need to ask ourselves what do we consent to, every-single-day…there’s nowhere to hide, we are already here, we are all colonized.
But it didn’t start with us and may not end with us: we carry the stories from many ancestors: their oppression and privilege, their complexity, the things they did to survive, all their pain and joy: all create both the burden and the gifts we inherited and carry.
These exercises and practices (through blog posts, shared resources from other peoples and places, offers to work together and more) are my own exploration through the ups and downs of trying to choose one of those stories: the Great Turning, while knowing very well that the other two won’t magically disappear.
This Poem by Mary Oliver summarizes my view and choices:
My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird –
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,
Which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.
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