Snow and Reality

I've really been struggling with blogging in recent days. Longing for some great flash of insight, or brilliant inspiration, I have waited -- but I think I've waited long enough.

It snowed last night, and today, the town was quiet under its cold white comforter.

Now, the moon is dazzling and the town has gone from quiet to hushed.

And I'm wandering from my office to the porch, restless and still at the same time.

I think that, since the election, I've been feeling the rising sense of personal revolution. "This is not enough," rings the mantra in my head.

I want to change the world. Really change it.

That's been in me since I was a child, and in some ways, I have impacted the world -- but that's not the kind of change I want to make -- I want radical change -- astounding transformation.

And I don't believe that this is in any way "unrealistic", or "dreamy-eyed", or "naive". I believe that it is possible. I've seen it. I know that it is possible.

I used to go to a weekend retreat ever year at a place called Breitenbush Hot Springs, in Oregon. During that retreat, a group of people, many of whom did not know each other well at all, would come together to celebrate, play, and change. There were no "organized agendas" -- scheduling was intentionally handled like this: If you wanted to offer a workshop or organize an activity, you wrote down on a big sheet of paper in the main hall what you wanted to do, and the approximate time and location where you would do it, and people showed up then and there if they wanted to.

It sounds ridiculously simple, and I wouldn't have expected it to work at all -- but it did -- year after year. And there weren't any great conflicts about it, and it didn't take a ton of planning, and it created an atmosphere where you could be certain that the people involving themselves wanted to be there, which seemed to change everything about the way things went.

We would do this for three days. The relaxation in the faces of those participating was visible, and the organic flow of this huge group of people was amazing.

And then we would all go back to the city, and it would change. We would hunker down into our individual or couple dynamics, into our own isolated lives, and we would forget.

I know that we were capable of living and interacting very differently, because I experienced it -- year after year -- and the greatest question that I had was: "Why would we give that up? Why would we go back to something that we don't like?"

Daniel Quinn addresses this kind of thing rather eloquently in his book "Beyond Civilization" (which I recommend highly, btw), and I've studied on it long and hard -- and written, and thought, and puzzled, and opined -- but now, I'm tired of that. I want something more.

So, I'm going to be posting, in the coming days, about creating a new reality. Because that's what I want to do -- and because I'm out of patience with sitting on my ass and hoping and praying and dreaming that this new reality will somehow just "arrive".

One of the first things I'm going to be thinking and writing about is this: What wakes me up? What brings me back to life?

I noticed that, after the election, my usual impatience with things "political" (which I've written about before) has increased daily -- and I've noticed that the things that feel truly "real" to me have to do with direct human contact, not the shit in the media, and not the arguments about theory -- I was brought abruptly into myself upon hearing that an internet friend was facing a tough diagnosis (someone who I have never met, but who I have the sense of knowing). I was dragged into consciousness by the strangeness of the snow, as interpretted by the cat (who is not my cat), when I opened the side door to let him outside last night, and watched his befuddlement as he gazed out on the first snow of his lifetime. I was drawn into the raw reality of my emotional body when I was moved by the message of a man who shares my desire to change the world, and whose actions harnessed to that intent inspire me to think bigger again.

That's where I've been at.

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of waiting. I believe in the vast potential of humankind. I know that we can create the world I want to live in. I know this. I'm planning to take my focus off all the people who say we can't do it, and put my focus on those who are doing it -- and that will, from this moment on, include me.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 10:44 PM  


Laura Ross said... December 16, 2008 at 11:19 AM  

Very good. I have been thinking the same thing. I almost want to wean myself from the news for a few days, because there is nothing positive there, and spend some time trying to figure out ways to help and make a difference in the world. We should have a workshop!

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