by Molly Brown
Many of us are feeling mounting anguish as we see what is happening to our world. Those of us in the United States witness our government separating, criminalizing, and incarcerating families who are desperately seeking asylum at our southern border. We witness corruption, confusion, and lies at the highest levels of our government. We join people around the world in witnessing—and experiencing—climate and economic chaos as well as warfare. We see and feel enormous suffering all around us!
As we witness this suffering, we feel the pain of it all. It may seem unbearable and we turn away in apparent apathy. “I can’t deal with this and I have my own challenges to deal with, so I’ll tune this out and look away.” Or perhaps we go into panic: “Got to do something about this right now! But I don’t know what to do!”
Joanna Macy offers the image of walking along a path with a deep ditch on either side: one is apathy, the other panic. Our fear of pain drives us into one or the other and we fall off the path of resilience and right action. Apathy and panic–and social hysteria–are closely related and can trigger and reinforce each other. To stay on the path, we learn to accept the pain as evidence of our deep caring for life—and the Work That Reconnects helps us do that.
The articles and poems in this issue of Deep Times guide us in that direction.
We begin, as always, with Gratitude. Felipe Medina reminds us that gratitude begins at home, with our families, and asks how we can further the Great Turning in and through our family life. Rebecca Selove offers her insights about gratitude as a psychotherapist and facilitator of the Work. John Salskov-Iversen’s poem reminds us of our essential identity with water, wave, and wind.
We move into Honoring Our Pain for the World—honoring it rather than fearing it. Jolie Elan explores the fear and destruction of wildfires and their role in waking us up to our interconnectedness with all of life. John Salskov-Iversen takes an historical look at how so much of humankind moved from a symbiotic relationship with the natural world to one of extraction and exploitation of people and planet. Carolyn Treadway shares a poem on finding a way to live through anguish and despair.
Inspiration and guidance for Going Forth are provided by a series of videos shared by Martha O’Hehir, another poem by Claire Rousell called “The Hospital,” and a report from Werner Brandt about a conference in China where he shared the Work That Reconnects.
In the section devoted to the Evolving Edge, we feature two articles. Silvia Di Blasio explores the social justice dimensions of jobs and livelihood, while Aravinda Ananda suggests offering a land acknowledgment to honor the traditional inhabitants of the region where we are holding a workshop or gathering.
In our Resource section, we offer three reviews of books related to Work That Reconnects perspectives that we heartily recommend to our readers. Constance Washburn shares a beautiful metaphor for network weaving in our Network section, along with the Work That Reconnects Network’s vision, mission, and values.
May you find support and connection here to sustain you through these difficult times and for your work for the Great Turning.
We plan to publish our next issue in August 2019 and welcome articles and poems on any theme. Please check the Submission Guidelines if you want to offer articles, essays, poems, images, or other material. Send submissions, proposals and queries to [email protected] by June 15.
Deep Times: A Journal of The Work That Reconnects
Vol. #4 Issue #1 – February 2019
Editor: Molly Brown
Editorial Team: Aravinda Ananda, Karina Lutz (poetry editor), Martha O’Hehir, Carmen Rumbaut, Rebecca Selove, Carolyn Treadway and Silvia Di Blasio
Webmasters: Werner Brandt & Silvia Di Blasio
Deep Times is published online twice a year by the Work That Reconnects Network.
The Network provides support, guidance, and inspiration to people all over the world in their work for the Great Turning. We welcome your donations to support the Work That Reconnects Network and Deep Times. The Work That Reconnects Network is currently a fiscal project of Interhelp so all donations are tax-deductible.
Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0.