September 2021 Issue

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Life Creates Conditions Conducive to Life by Beth Remmes. Click on image for artist’s description

Welcome to the September 2021 issue of Deep Times. The editorial team chose our theme for this issue,  “Sacred Wisdom, Sacred Earth,” because we wanted to explore what might be called the “spiritual” roots of the Work That Reconnects.  We also wanted to honor the wisdom traditions that have sustained so many people throughout history up to the present time as they have faced hardship, oppression, and collective trauma. A common thread in almost all those traditions has held Earth as the sacred source of life–hence: “Sacred Wisdom, Sacred Earth.”

This theme evoked a strong response, bringing in more submissions than we’ve ever received before, predominantly poetry.  Consequently, this issue is larger than most, with three or more poems and one to three essays for each stage of the Spiral–as well as three videos.  We hope you will find solace and inspiration here, and resources for your work for the Great Turning. 

We begin as always with Gratitude, so vital to our spiritual and emotional well-being.  Reverence is closely associated with gratitude, explored in two essays on that theme.  Three poems and a video of a Rilke poem set to music celebrate the natural world that gives us life.

When we chose our theme, the editorial team talked about the danger of “spiritual bypass”–using spiritual teachings and practices to escape from the pain of the world, rather than to embrace it and metabolize it.  This is especially tempting in these very frightening and uncertain times.  The Work That Reconnects directly addresses that tendency by Honoring Our Pain for the World.  In that section, essays, poems, and a video tribute to WTR facilitator Vivienne Elanta guide us in that process. 

Four poems, two essays, a new practice, and a photographic contemplation invite us to See with New/Ancient Eyes, to comprehend more fully the chaos, uncertainty, and beauty of today’s world from Gaian, Deep Time, and Deep Ecology perspectives.

And in Going Forth, an essay and three poems suggest how we can bring the sacred more fully into our lives as well as our work on behalf of all life. Exquisite paintings of controlled burns in Evolving Edge section urge us to center Indigenous peoples and knowledge in restorative land stewardship efforts.  

And finally, you will find some powerful Resources, starting with a 20 minute video of Joanna Macy speaking about “Climate Change as a Spiritual Path,” a review and announcements of three timely, insightful books–Becoming Gaia by Sean Kelly, Blessed Disilllusionment by Michael Goldstein, Held in Love edited by Molly Brown and Carolyn Treadway–and a description of Chris Johnstone’s new MOOC (massive open online course): Active Hope Foundations Training.  The Network section announces our two new Weavers and the Network’s Mission, Vision, and Values.

Over the days ahead, I expect to revisit many of the offerings of artists who conveyed their sense of sacred wisdom for this issue.  I hope you find deep connection and inspiration from the written and spoken words, visual images, and music that evoke our sacred Earth.

I want to acknowledge the creative and cooperative spirit of the Deep Times editorial team, for which I give heartfelt thanks.  The team in turn wants to express our gratitude to everyone who submitted poems and essays to this issue.  Please continue to submit to future issues, according to the theme of each issue and following our submission guidelines.  

Molly Brown, Editor


Where There Are Trees

Poem By Chelsea Frisbee

Approaching with Reverence

by Petra Bongartz
A gentle encounter with baboons evokes reflections on approaching life with reverence.

What is Not Sacred?

Poem by Simone Hanchet

R is for Reverence

by Rev Lauren Van Ham
Reflections on how Reverence can build resilience and connection in the midst of the Great Unraveling.


Poem by Khalilah Alwani

Gentlest of Ways

Song by Jen Ringbauer
Music video produced by Anastasia Freeman. Lyrics based on a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy;

Honoring Our Pain for the World

The Rising

Poem by Annie Hayes

The Pain that Reconnects

by Karina Lutz
Brain food on honoring our pain for the world

Dark Faith

Poem by Tim Weidman


Video introduced by John Croft
John shares the inspiring last words of his wife Vivienne Elanta, on the message of cancer for humanity.

Our Aching Conscience: Moral Injury and the Work That Reconnects

by Molly Brown
Honoring our pain for the world in an interconnected world includes honoring the pain of moral injury that we all share, consciously or not. 

Seeing with New/Ancient Eyes

The Sacred Whole

Poem by Laura Johnson

The Ecological Self

by Ben Stopford
A passionate essay on systems thinking, power-with, and the Ecological Self.

A Prayer to the Sacred Infra-natural

by Michelle Y. Merrill
Introducing a new practice, a prayer/meditation/recitation that explores our human location in deep time and deep space.


Poem by Georgia McCrory-Bowick

To Remember Our True Nature

by Lawrence Toye
Lawrence describes his experiences with and understanding of Deep Ecology, one of the currents of the Work That Reconnects.

Mountain Altar

Poem by Sam Lacey

Ecstatic Desolation

by Chris Jordan
Reflections in words and photos on stillness, aloneness, and silence.

Going Forth

Wild Reciprocity

Poem by Susan O’Connell

Finding Solace in the Sacred: Ritual, Simplicity and Robust Hope

by Laura Koens
How sacred practices of simplicity, rhythm, and ritual can help us develop our moral imagination and emotional fortitude for the Great Turning.

The Crows of Istanbul

Poem by Nico Arcilla

Sacred Life

Poem by Alia Stewart-Silver

Evolving Edge

Prescribed Fires

Paintings by Elsa Muñoz
Four exquisite paintings of controlled burns, with the artist's comments.


Joanna Macy: Climate Change as a Spiritual Path

Video with Joanna Macy
Joanna offers wise counsel on how to live our lives fully, with inner peace and courage (and even joy) as we confront a world that is rapidly destroying itself.

A MOOC in Active Hope

by Chris Johnstone
The purpose and design of the Active Hope "Massive Open Online Course" now available.

Love for the Sake of Life; Live for the Sake of Love

Book review by Martha O'Hehir
A review of Becoming Gaia: On the Threshold of Planetary Initiation by Sean Kelly.

Held in Love: Life Stories to Inspire Us through Times of Change

Book announcement by Carolyn Treadway and Molly Brown


Meet the WTR Network’s New Weavers

Introduction by Helen Sui and Hank Obermayer

Mission, Vision, and Values of the Work That Reconnects Network

by the Weavers team of the Work That Reconnects Network

Deep Times: A Journal of The Work That Reconnects

Vol. #6 Issue #2 – September 2021

Editorial Team: Editor: Molly Brown
Editorial Team:  Karina Lutz (poetry editor), Martha O’Hehir, Carmen Rumbaut, Rebecca Selove, Carolyn Treadway, Erin Holtz Braeckman, Evangelia (Valia) Papoutsaki, Frieda Nixdorf and Silvia Di Blasio.  More about team here.
More information here.

Graphic Design: Frieda Nixdorf
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 Inquiring Systems, Inc. so all donations are tax-deductible.

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0.