By Molly Brown
Welcome to the March 2020 issue of Deep Times, which continues to explore how we might live with grace and integrity in a world that is falling apart— and how the Work That Reconnects can support us in that challenge.
Last August our theme was “Living into the Great Unraveling.” The editorial team considered two possible themes for this first issue of 2020: “Amidst Uncertainty, Building Resilience” and “Living the Great Turning within the Great Unraveling.” As we face the Great Unraveling and a very uncertain future, many of us experience grief, confusion, and fear. At the same time, our love—for one another, for all the beings with whom we share Earth, and for life itself—moves us into action for a Great Turning to a life-sustaining society. Love engenders resilience!
In Emergent Strategy, adrienne maree brown counsels us about resilience:
Humans, especially humans who persist in trying to transform the conditions of life, are remarkably resilient. We experience so much loss, pain, hardship, attack–and we persist! Resilience is in our nature, and we recover from things that we would be justified in giving up over, again and again (p. 126).
Let’s call upon on human resilience—and the resilience of life itself—as we move into and through the mutually compounding crises we face today. The articles and poems in this issue can guide and inspire us along the way.
We open as always with gratitude, with a celebratory poem, “The Luminous Dark,” by Elizabeth Glenn-Copeland, followed by Diane Szymaszek’s four beautiful mandalas representing the stages of the Spiral of the Work That Reconnects. My story of writing Coming Back to Life with Joanna Macy concludes that section.
As we were putting this issue together, Joanna Macy forwarded an essay from Rosalie Chappie, “Requiem for Nature,” regarding the fires raging in Australia. We knew immediately we had to feature this essay because of its impact, truth-telling, and timeliness, so it heads up the section on Honoring Our Pain for the World. A powerful poem, “Mass Mourning,” by Karina Lutz follows, along with Eve Ensler’s heart-wrenching “Letter of Apology to Mother Earth,” and Nico Arcilla’s poem “Resurrection,” which speaks of resilience in nature in the wake of human destruction.
“Lilikoi, A Song of Connection” by Skye Mandozay opens our Seeing with New (Ancient) Eyes section. Anna Swisher encourages us to embody the Work through movement, in “Dancing for Change: The Role of the Body in Community Resilience,” and Jennifer Browdy shares her work with the contemplative practice of memoir in “Purposeful Memoir as Another Doorway into the Work That Reconnects.” “Reciprocal Rhythm” by Toni Spencer reminds us of the power of reciprocity in all life.
“No Time to Lose,” an excerpt from a galvanizing talk by Joanna Macy, opens our Going Forth section, along with an interview with Stephanie Kaza, editor of A Wild Love for the World, the forthcoming book exploring Joanna Macy’s lifework. Carmen Rumbaut asks some piercing questions in her poem, “What If?” In “What I Love about Being Alive in these Times,” Karen Scott explores how we can hold both global destruction and regeneration in our hearts to guide our action in the world.
The Evolving Edge section of this issue has two articles exploring how power and unconscious white privilege can compromise the work of groups committed to social transformation. Aravinda Ananda describes what she learned in a recent WTR workshop about the complexities of working with these dynamics. Kurt Kuwald offers a letter he wrote to a colleague regarding the nearly all white space in a recent webinar series on facing global collapse and how such groups might become more inclusive and therefore more powerfully effective.
In our Network section, Martha O’Hehir reviews the new Work That Reconnects Network website, launched in September 2019. And our Resources section is bursting with good stuff, including an audio “Guided Self Practice in the Work That Reconnects” from Kathleen Rude, and some book reviews. Check it out!
We hope to feature articles from young people in our August 2020 issue, possibly with guest editors from that generation. So, although we welcome articles and poems from any of our readers, we especially seek submissions from young people.
A reflective memoir on working together with Joanna on Coming Back to Life
A meditation on the smoke from the catastrophic Australian bush fires, December 2019.
Eve Ensler apologizes to our Mother, the Earth, in this moving piece originally published at brainpickings.
It will be messy, but this is our work right now: to see the Great Turning even as things are falling apart.
"Could it be that Gaia's dying days are happening at the same time as humanity is trying to birth something new?"
A growing edge for me with my Work That Reconnects facilitation is learning about how power, privilege, and oppression are operating in group spaces.
This letter explores the problem of white space and ponders how activist movements might be recreated as truly inclusive spaces.
The Guided Self Practice is a 40-minute experience of the Work That Reconnects Spiral.
Reviews of Turn This World Inside Out: The Emergence of Nurturance Cultureby Nora Samaran and My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem
A review of an almanac/planning tool for radical being that is inspired by the Work That Reconnects
Deep Times: A Journal of The Work That Reconnects
Vol. #5 Issue #1 – March 2020
Editor: Molly Brown
Editorial Team: Aravinda Ananda, Silvia Di Blasio, Karina Lutz (poetry editor), Martha O’Hehir, Carmen Rumbaut, Rebecca Selove, Carolyn Treadway, David Voelker. More information here.
Webmaster: 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.