Wednesday, February 15, 2017

When the story of this time is written...

When the story of this time is written, how will humans account for it? What will be the highlights of the narrative? It's hard to see where this is going. It's hard to even see exactly how to proceed, though proceed we must, and with vision, with a sense of prophetic witness, with courage.

There have been thousands of stories since we last posted on this page. Like many of us, I feel the deep sense of overwhelm as wave after wave washes over our time, rearranging the landscape again and again and again...

Raging wildfires and record-breaking brutal heat in Chile and Australia, California's drought turned to raging torrents, floods, mudslides and one fine example of the neglect of infrastructure at the Oroville Dam.

Think of the stories embedded here - of people displaced, of people whose homes and towns are now ashes, lives upended. Thousands of stories of loss, of coping, of resilience and despair.


The Arctic is again seeing a record warm winter and loss of sea ice even in the months of darkness. Temperatures around the North Pole have reached 50 degrees above normal several times in recent weeks. Meanwhile, down at the southern pole, massive chunks of Antarctica's ice shelves are breaking off and floating away.

Those are Earth stories and they have something to say to us, a message, a moral of the story.

The fossil fuel industry and its allies govern us now (if govern is the appropriate word). Tillerson, Trump, Energy Transfer Partners (DAPL), Enbridge, TransCanada, Putin, GazNeft, ExxonMobil - they've stolen our democracy. Citizens United corrupted it. Voter suppression and apathy assured it. Lying also helped a lot.

How many stories are embedded there? Millions of them, stories of people's lives impacted by these developments.

The day after Trump's inauguration 2.9 million people marched and protested in the streets in response to the call for a Women's March. They were everywhere, from DC (of course) to the Bay Area (of course), but also Miami and Oklahoma City and Denver and Lincoln NE and Minneapolis and even Bayfield, Wisconsin.

Also Paris, London, Athens, Barcelona, the Philippines, and more.

Didn't end that day. Stories of protests continue in the streets, at legislators' district offices, at town hall meetings packed to overflowing, with phone lines in Congressional offices jammed with constituent calls - an ongoing practice of democracy now like nothing we have seen in many years. And in defense of what? Of diversity, of inclusion, of human and civil rights, and even defense of just plain human decency.
Day Without Latinos march, Milwaukee, Feb 13

How many millions of stories are embedded in those actions? Stories of refugees and immigrants, of profound human aspirations, of community and joy, and celebration of our wild cultural diversity. We don't want the world to which we are being told we must submit. We have other dreams and visions, and meanness, domination, nationalism, harsh exclusion, and cruelty have no part in them.

Some of these new stories, the ones of our hopes and dreams, are written on the signs and placards held up in the streets, which have been colorful, beautiful, and the messages full of creativity, also humor, which we badly need.

What a time to be alive, yes? Think of the opportunities, the possibilities before us - because, if nothing else, we can now SEE more clearly.

A story is being written now, one of the most crucial in the history of humans. How is it going to come out? Will there be humans still around a thousand years from now to read it, or is this book short-lived? Will the climax be the collapse of democracy, of eco-systems, of compassion? Will it be a survival of the fittest future?

Source: Philly Thrive
Or will those future generations be inspired to read our story, the history of our times, in amazement at how we pulled together the best in us and turned this crisis time into a story of struggle and sacrifice and selflessness and redemption and healing and regeneration in partnership with the living communities of this planet? Will we have created from the chaos a truly new human culture, a culture of cultures, diverse and beautiful, our unneeded "stuff" relinquished and our essential beings allowed to emerge from this long period of capitalist hypnosis?

What story will they read? What story do we want them to read? What story is our dream for them?

When the story of this time is written... Yes, when the story of this time is written...

~ Margaret Swedish

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