Re-Think Everything ~ And Know the Place for the First Time


We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time
.”
~ T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

Note: this post belongs to my other blog. Please follow my other blog if you want more posts like this one.

Yesterday evening, VS (the Transition group I’m involved with) hosted a movie-night where we watched “Transition 2.0”  for a second time since our group was formed back in 2012.

It was an interesting session for me (I was the facilitator): since last November, I have been experienced an emotional roller-coaster in relation to my own role in “Transition” and my position on the state of things such as climate change, resource depletion, economic collapse, inequity, etc. While “preparing” myself for this, I wasn’t feeling very inspired… What would I say? What activities to include? How to inspire others if I am not feeling inspired myself?

But once again, life came up with its own surprises: this has been a pattern all my life; there is always something new around the corner, even within those areas we think we have already exhausted. This pattern is my continuous source of strength and hope and what keeps me “doing” things.

First, just a few hours before the movie, I received the confirmation from David Holmgren’s team to go ahead and translate David’s last piece: “Crash on Demand”…a controversial but interesting call (and view) of what is the state of our predicaments as specie, culture, civilization or however you want to call it and what to do about it. While I haven’t yet decided where I stand on this (Crash on Demand is surely a very controversial piece and many authors have already expressed their own opinions, including Rob Hopkins, the co-founder of Transition, you can see a list of reactions further below in this blog-post), I still feel it is a honour to be able to translate a writing coming from somebody I admire and respect so much as David Holmgren. It also reaffirms my belief that Permaculture is not just a passive endeavour entertained by a few radical gardeners around the world, but a way to see life, a philosophy. And that there are moments when we have to stop dreaming and planning and face the monsters with courage in our hearts. Tough decisions are to be made if we are truly and honestly concerned for something more than our own wellbeing right here and right now.

Then, I received an email/newsletter from Charles Eisenstein  called “The Small Invisible Things” where he describes the work of thousands of caring (but many times invisible) people “doing the invisible work of service that actually holds the fabric of our world together”. (People who gets “little appreciation or reward for what they do”) and that reminded me the research I’m doing for the upcoming BCCDA conference, where I aim to show the work and worth of thousands (if not millions) of individuals and groups (many under the mainstream radar) who are successfully working towards social and environmental justice, regenerating landscapes, creating meaningful jobs  resilient and local economies.

It was in the middle of this internal debate (where do I stand in all this as both an individual and somebody who works with community projects and vulnerable people? What do I do with my sometimes dominant dark-side?), when I started watching the movie along with other 20-30 people attending in a cold winter night.

And then I saw them and the miracle made its magic again: all these small but wonderful heroes and heroines: and, unlike the first time when I watched this movie, I recognized them! I saw Chris Condello, working with youth and gardens and I smiled as he is not just one of my followers but also somebody I can consider my friend as we dedicate our lives to similar things (gardens, people, life); I also saw Sophy Banks, who blogs about Inner Transition and whose teachings we explored when I took the Transition training online last year…and then I saw other concepts and projects that are now part of what we do at the local Food Action Coalition, the local emerging Organic Food Co-Op, or are part of my future plans as a Permaculture learner and teacher.

When the movie ended, I facilitated a circle and shared the amazing Permaculture Principles deck cards created by Gaia Craft team and invited people to share their own experiences with “Transition”: young people in their 20’s shared their experiences and frustrations for having been told the world was theirs and now facing a huge mess with rampant youth unemployment and student debt. The not-so-old ones shared their own feelings and experiences with unsustainable lifestyles and their frustrations with a government that doesn’t plan (nor care) about the long-term or the wellbeing of many of its citizens.

And while I was there, I realized that this is what I do, this is my role: to listen to people’s stories, to allow them to talk about their fears, frustrations, hopes and dreams in a safe environment…my role is also to promote this and encourage them to connect with each other. And my role is to do this with a honest face, without “happy” or misleading words, with an open heart and with humility, because I am just one of them.

There are many scary things ahead. I have been really sad and concerned lately for the state of the world. But watching this movie, being in contact with the people at Holmgren’s Design and being attached to so many others who are working tirelessly for a better world, has showed me, once again, that there is always something around the corner, something that will make you smile inside and take yet another breath, something that will give you strength, or will make you feel less lonely in your efforts…even for things you thought you have already exhausted…

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time
.”

~ T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

Links cited in this blog:

“Future Scenarios” by David Holmgren: here

“Crash on Demand” by David Holmgren: here

Rob Hopkins (Transition Network) blog and reaction to “Crash on demand”: here

David McLeod blog (Integral Permaculture) about “Crash on Demand”: here

Nicole Foss’ (The Automatic Earth) take on “Crash on Demand”: here

Albert Bates from Peak Oil news on “Crash on Demand”: here

Dimitry Orlov (from Club Orlov): here

Green Capitalism: The God That Failed: here

Article about Youth Unemployment in BC: here

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About Silvia TIC

Welcome to these exercises inside the dimensions of what we are: we are what we dream and think and feel, but we are also the different characters we perform, not just the roles (mother, wife, friend), but those things we call “occupations” or “earning a life”. More than anything, we are part of a giant ecosystem and all what we do connects and impacts others (people, animals, plants, air, water...)

Posted on January 16, 2014, in Carbon Emissions, Career Development and Job Search, Climate Change, Community, Community Building, Community Engagement, Community Resilience, Energy, Energy Descent Action Plan, Future, Future Scenarios, Green Economy, Life Changes, Life Choices, Loneliness, New Economy, No Waste Living, Peak Oil, Permaculture, Reflections on an unsustainable world, Resilience, Resilient Living and Choices, Right Livelihood, Sharing Economy, Simply Living, Sustainable Living, Transition, Transition Initiatives. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Re-Think Everything ~ And Know the Place for the First Time.

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