Sunday 15 January 2012

Come Together Right Now

The subject of our last post in our Looking Back fortnight is perhaps the thorniest and most challenging, both to engage in and write about: our fellow Transitioners. As a social movement we need to work on an equal and dynamic and friendly footing with others. Not an easy task as all of us have spent our lives working within a hierarchical and competitive structure. By the time we join our initiatives most of us have an array of defence systems in place. Transition happily breaks many of us out of isolation and disenfranchisment, and gives us a heady enthusiasm and a feeling of possibility. But no matter how we cling to our principles of fair share, earth care and people care, at some point the storm hits the rigging.

Working on the Healthy Conflict tool for The Transition Companion last year it was hard not to lose ourselves in the hydra-headed monster that keeps everyone separated in the psychological drama of it all. I realised then that the heroic inner work required to sort it all out would take a lifetime. And in 2012 we don't have that kind of time, or indeed the inclination. Was there another way to go about things?

Jeremy Rifkind in his book The Empathic Civilisation looks at the different strands of consciousness that have shaped the Western world. His thesis is that we are moving from psychological consciousness towards dramaturgical and planetary consciousness. Rather than defining ourselves within nuclear, me-and-you relationships we understand ourselves as players within an unfolding drama, in which we feel connected to all beings on the earth. A solar, alternatively-powered people, as it were.

After many years engaging in creative partnerships - playing in orchestras, acting, working as an editor with felow writers and photographers - I felt this creative community blog would allow for all our voices to be heard and valued. So that when we looked back, as the editorial crew have in these past two weeks, we could say: wow look at that! 92 posts and harmony all the way.

So for the final selection of posts I'd like to choose three pieces that show that creative model at play. Writing as one-amongst-the-many is the particular focus of social reporting. Many of us in Transition can talk about community and people care, but are still stuck in our control towers, living (and writing) about Me. Marella's post during our Inner Transition week, Labyrinth of Inner Transition in Omagh is a searingly honest example of how we can find ourselves in groups but feel as separated and as confused as ever.

Writing about fellow Transitioners is a particular challenge. We like to write passionately from ourselves, or coolly objectively apart from everyone in the room. Sarah Nicholl's introduction to our People and Connections Week was a celebration of her friend and colleague, the late David Fleming, and showed us all the warmth and depth of feeling we need for this social movement to flourish.

So the post I would like to republish today is by someone who I feel really demonstrates the heart qualities for a truly empathic culture. All his posts celebrate people, planet, plants and places as he records everyone (including himself) coming together in direct, generous and warm ways. Here is Mark Watson during our Food and Health Week with a post (and a title) that for me sums everything up about Transition . . . .

Love, Food and the Whole Damn Thing by Mark Watson - 31 October

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